The short era of full-time, life-long careers has ended.
We urgently need to find new approaches to living and working.
Snowcastle Valley does this.

Click here to learn why we do this.

We pay our skills forward to help people living below the poverty line
achieve digital literacy and
gain creative skills they need today,
and the rest of the world will need tomorrow.


The Problem

Women and teenage girls living in marginalised villages on the coast of Kerala have little to no opportunities for employment. Many of their husbands and fathers have no jobs either. At the same time as living at home in poverty they desperately need to learn new skills to access government services now operating under the Digital India scheme.

They need to find ways of breaking out of a vicious circle that leads nowhere. They need to discover ways of making creative opportunities for themselves.


The Solutions

We believe that these women and girls can learn the skills they need, if they receive the encouragement they desire. We have begun establishing groups that will enable them to do just this.

We have started a collective where women make craftwork on their own terms, with all profits shared equitably. This will increase their skills while providing a path to claiming their place in Digital India. Along with enhanced craft skills, they will upgrade their financial abilities, and gain access to banking services.

We have created a coding club in which teenage girls learn digital skills that will increase their confidence, upgrade their skills, broaden their horizons, and prepare them for a future they will need to embrace.

We feel certain that making a change in the poorest communities will provide the starting point for a global solution which benefits us all.


The Programs

Snowcastle Valley has begun working with teenage girls and women in the coastal villages of Kerala in South India.

We base our work on methods of digital creativity and human centred design to find respectful and hopeful ways to a better life for people in communities with otherwise quite narrow future possibilities.

We have begun two projects: DGD Coding and DOP Creative. We will work for three years to make them antifragile, self-organised and sustainable.


The Team



Irma Sippola

irma sippola

Irma Sippola is a Finnish-born project manager from Helsinki currently managing a large Helsinki-wide project designed to improve the social possibilites of migrant youth. She has studied educational science, art and design, and commerce.

She has an international mindset and sees problems and solutions in a global rather than local scale. She is extremely motivated to see the impact and change in deprived communities; goals that Snowcastle Valley actively works for.

She is the cofounder of Snowcastle Valley.




Owen Kelly

owen kelly

Owen Kelly grew up on Merseyside, in England. He has worked as a community artist, cultural consultant, digital creator, multimedia programmer, university lecturer and web designer. He has given keynote speeches at conferences on three continents, and currently serves as principal lecturer in online media at Arcada, a university of applied science in Helsinki, Finland.

He has a doctorate in art education and has published several books including Community, Art & The State, Digital Creativity and Ambient Learning & Self Authorship. He runs a popular website and produces a weekly podcast, Meanwhile in an Abandoned Warehouse, with Sophie Hope, an English academic, activist and artist.

He is the cofounder of Snowcastle Valley.




Ansumana Sabally

ansumana sabally

Ansumana Sabally is a Finnish community worker with Gambian roots. He is an active advocate for young people as well as for Gambian community affairs. History, politics and matters related to equality are among his areas of interest, and he is an active community influencer.

He represents young people of multicultural backgrounds by participating in public interviews and panel discussions. Ansumana is a founding member of the Finnish Gambian ry association and has served as a board member for several years.

Ansumana has ambitions to make the world a better and more equal place for all.

He is a board member of Snowcastle Valley.




Sahan Raj

Sahan Raj

Sahan Raj is Indian and comes from a town called Kasaragode in the north the state of Kerala. He is working as a manager in a university maker space where he enables students to build their start-up dreams.

At Snowcastle Valley his primary focus is coordinating the DGD project based at SISP in Kovalam.

He is an enthusiastic movie fanatic, and keen on writing screenplays for movies

Sahan is the Indian Operations Manager for Snowcastle Valley.






Asha is a member of the SISP Social Empowerment Unit and works for Snowcastle Valley’s DOP Designing our Power project. She is responsible for running the local groups and reporting to the Snowcastle Valley Management. She has built a very warm and inspiring team spirit with a jolly atmosphere of creativity and good quality.

Asha is the DOP Kovalam Coordinator.




Simi Sasidharan

Simi Sasidharan

Simi Sasidharan is a teacher at the SISP School for second chance education.

She coordinates the DGD project, recruiting and supporting club members and leading weekly sessions that explore what it means to think like a coder. With her knowledge of the members, their families, and their environment, she provides a vital link between the activities of DGD and the wider community.

Simi is the DGD Kovalam Coordinator.



Our Partners

Our primary Indian partner is SISP, a non-profit organization working in the coastal region of Thiruvananthapuram, the capitial of India's south-western state of Kerala. S.I.S.P. was founded by two Belgians, Paul Van Gelder and Werner Fynaerts in 1996.

We are also working with Project Defy, who are challenging conventional mainstream education, and enabling communities around the world to create their own self-learning spaces called Nooks, where each individual can design their own education.

We currently receive funding from a private foundation in Finland.



Contact Information

Irma Sippola
Tel. +358 (0)50 530 5378