Microsoft Latin America teams up with Children International
SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic (June 18, 2009) Employees from Microsoft Latin America support Children International and travel to the Dominican Republic to teach 50 children who have grown up challenged by poverty the basics of technology, and support another 48 graduates, mothers and staff.
When senior staff from Microsoft Latin America, Carmen Gonzalez and Rafael Lara, toured Children International’s Los Tanquecitos and Mendoza Community Centers, in Santo Domingo recently, they never expected to find students with such a high level of proficiency in PowerPoint and Excel.
“If you have a computer at home, and technology is part of your every day life, doing a Power Point presentation and using an Excel sheet won’t be a surprise for anyone. But I was amazed at the avid interest of these children who have not had access to technology in their sparse homes to learn and commit themselves to know more. This proved the impact of our giving back initiatives and how technology changes people’s lives” said Carmen Gonzalez.
The 20-year old Alexander Celedenio is a great example of how this initiative from Children International and Microsoft Latin America benefits individuals in the communities it serves. He is a graduate of the program and successfully completed his computer training. As a result, he is now starting a new job at a local call center thanks to the technical skills he learned.
Children International’s President and CEO Jim Cook said, “Children International values Microsoft Latin America for being a passionate advocate for children living in crushing poverty throughout the region. Their support has made a difference for thousands of youth like Alexander.”
Passionate to help achieve real digital inclusion by teaching individuals valuable computer skills through technology access and skills training programs, Microsoft Latin America encourages its employees to donate their time and talent three days a year.
“Microsoft provides to all employees outside the United States of America three days of paid time to volunteer. Within the US, the company pays $17 per volunteer hour to the organizations the employee volunteers with, in addition to matching 100% cash and software donations to qualified non-profit organizations ”, said Carmen Gonzalez.
In addition to its contributions of $40,000 in the Dominican Republic, Microsoft Latin America has contributed an additional USD $159,000 in donations, software and hardware to Children International. These donations have specifically helped Children International’s efforts to conduct technology training for communities in Mexico, Ecuador and Cartagena.
Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.
About Children International:
Established in 1936, Children International is a nonprofit organization with its headquarters in Kansas City, Missouri. Children International’s programs benefit more than 325,000 sponsored children and their families in 11 countries around the world including Chile, Colombia, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Guatemala, Mexico, Zambia, Honduras, India, the Philippines and the United States. For more information about Children International, visit www.children.org.