By Shashikala Sivapragasam, Managing Principal 

A young student and mother with an 11th grade education solved the Twelve-Coin Problem in three moves, in under 30 minutes, which sometimes takes people hours or even days to solve. Given this feat, it is clear she possess superb logical reasoning skills, so the question is, what is she missing that she only made it to grade 11? Perhaps a laptop to implement this in code. This is where Capco stepped in to help.


In May of 2023, I traveled to Batticaloa, Sri Lanka for the American Ceylon Mission, which provides education and lodging for students in rural areas who do not have access to steady education, or at times lodging, and often coming from unstable backgrounds. The organization’s ask was to design a two-week Python bootcamp to aid undergraduate and high school students.

Over the course of two weeks, I trained the students on reasoning, problem solving, and of course Python, which is common computer programming language used to build websites and software, automate tasks, and analyze data. The students even experimented with using applicational programming interfaces (APIs) and ChatGPT. Though before they could write a single line of code, they needed to understand the basics of algorithms and data-structures.

Teaching these under-privileged students will help prepare them for a future in computer science, which was previously well outside their grasp. The laptops Capco donated were instrumental in creating opportunities for them to build any tool their imagination allowed. For example, one student wanted to build a tool to determine an effective cosmetics and skin care routine based on your skin type. Another wanted to build a tool to help her write music and lyrics. These women at the American Ceylon Mission, were experiencing first-hand what it is like to build software that works for them. And since they live in rural parts of the world where access to teachers, mentors, and counselors is rare, using the laptops will enable them to access to online help, a tutor, and AI friends as well.


Since the bootcamp ended in Sri Lanka, a student has reached and asked me to be her Python buddy as she was in her first year of university and trying to better grasp Python so she could pass the course. Given the established fundamentals, trust, and virtual classes, she was able to succeed and progress to the next level. For this women, earning an undergraduate degree is an unimaginable achievement given her current circumstances.

It never ceases to amaze me how when I ask for laptops to donate one of Capco’s IT managers always says with a smile, “Yes, I have some for you or will find some for you.” This the attitude required to empower under-privileged communities with a better future. To many of us, Capco continuing to donate these laptops and support this worthy cause may seem like a small thing, but for these students it is creating hope for a better future.