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Stories Asia

Brothers in Code: REACHing for the future through computer science education

Digital technology is changing traditional work patterns across Asia. Hai and Tai are two friends from Da Nang, Vietnam, who are making sure they won’t be left behind.

Hai and Tai are classmates in a coding class that’s run by REACH, a nonprofit organization that specializes in vocational training and employment for Vietnam’s most vulnerable and marginalized youth. With the support of Microsoft Philanthropies, REACH provides technical training to youth like Hai and Tai aimed at increasing their economic opportunities and changing their quality of life. The training involves intensive ICT training; web, graphic, and 3D design; job placement; and six months of coaching to support students during their transition to employment.

Hai and Tai, brothers in code, going to REACH training center

Both sons of fishermen, Hai and Tai became friends one day when Hai couldn’t get his three-wheeled motorcycle to start. They pushed the bike in the heat until they found a mechanic who said that the bike was beyond repair. From that day onwards, Tai looked out for Hai and gave him lifts to and from the REACH training center so that he wouldn’t miss any classes.

“Friendship is like coding,” Tai reflects. “You find the right combination of commands and something meaningful comes out at the end.”

Living with cerebral palsy hasn’t stopped Hai from pushing himself as hard as he can to achieve his dream. “Coding is like mathematics for me,“ he says. “I can’t rest until I solve the problem.” Overcoming his disability, Hai now does what he loves for a living and holds a good job as a programmer at a web development company.

Computer science is booming in large cities in Vietnam with fast-growing career opportunities in software and web development. To date, REACH has provided technical training at five REACH centers in Hanoi, Haiduong, Hue, Hoi An, and Da Nang to over 600 youth like Hai and Tai who now have access to a fascinating field that is full of opportunities for creativity, teamwork, and the ability to uncover new possibilities. Like Hai, 80% of REACH’s technology students are employed after the program.

Discover our free resources to empower all young people through computer science education and digital skills by visiting

To read more about Microsoft Philanthropies’ work to build future ready generations in Asia, click here.