RailsBridge Cape Town is the local chapter of RailsBridge. We’ve been running free workshops helping people learn Rails, Ruby, HTML, CSS, and JavaScript since July 2013. The workshops are targeted at groups of people that are underrepresented in tech; we want to help increase diversity in tech, to help all people feel welcome and comfortable in our industry.

We’ve had a total of 20 workshops (at various offices, at the Bandwidth Barn in Woodstock, and at the University of Cape Town) and have had over 250 attendees. Our meetup group, which we’ve been using to track attendance since April 2014, has over 505 members. For each workshop, we aim for between 20 and 30 people. We try and keep the number around there so that we can have a good balance of mentors to attendees.

All of the course material is open source and online at docs.railsbridgecapetown.org so that students can continue with the workshop material (and other resources) after they leave. People that do the Intro to Rails course also get guided through installing Ruby and Rails (and Git and the Heroku toolbelt and Atom) onto their machine so that they have those after the workshop too.

RailsBridge is mostly US-based, so they have a donate-via-PayPal option. There’s quite a detailed Donor FAQ. We are still quite informal, so we tend to just ask for sponsorships each time to cover costs like food and drink, and for stationery supplies and loot (like stickers and things) when we can. Getting sponsorship is one of our biggest challenges for each workshop.

If you’d like to sponsor a RailsBridge, please let us know!