Changing lives through code

HackYourFuture, a non-profit coding school serving those from disadvantaged backgrounds, has teamed up with ad agency 72andSunny on a new campaign, Behind the Source. By honouring refugees who became coders, it demonstrates how learning to code can help people improve their lives. At the same time, it strives to change the way people see refugees and highlight the contributions they can make to their new countries. 

The campaign consists of seven portraits of refugees who’ve become coders through the HackYourFuture programme. Each picture is hidden in the source code of a website for the company they work for, including Accenture and eBay. To see them, simply visit the participating sites and click ‘view source.’ 

Reframing the conversation around refugees

A seven-month programme, HackYourFuture has helped 120 people in the Netherlands become developers. The campaign to promote their success was designed by 72andSunny on a pro bono basis and aims to encourage more companies to work with HackYourFuture and employ their graduates. 

In addition to hard skills, HackYourFuture also helps students with their CVs and provides interview training to increase their chance of finding a job. In a press release, Wouter Kleijn, managing director of HackYourFuture said, “These are real people, with real stories. But do you communicate these in such a way that goes beyond the average feel-good campaign? How do you evade victimisation and stigmatisation when the subjects are refugees, a concept burdened by stereotypes? With Behind the Source, [72andSunny] have shown what advertising, if done right, can do for a world with a little bit more equity and justice.”

Read more startup news from around Amsterdam or check out the startup map.