New Delhi, Delhi, India, Wednesday, November 28, 2012 -- (Business Wire India) -- NGO grants worth $350,000 to empower youth announced -- Companywide initiative will impact 300 million youth globally in more than 100 countries over the next three years Microsoft Corporation India Pvt Ltd today gave the first indication of the impact its newly launched global initiative Microsoft YouthSpark, will have in India, announcing the award of cash grants worth 350,000 USD for Indian NGOs for the year 2012-13. Two local NGO's, Aide ét Action and Aga Khan Rural Support Program, were allocated 250,000 USD for the year, in support of their work with youth. The company-wide initiative will aim to create opportunities for 300 million youth in more than 100 countries over the next three years. The announcement also included the launch of the first YouthSpark centre in Delhi, the first of 10 such centres across the country, that will work with underprivileged youth aged 16 to 24, offering training on basic IT skills, spoken English, personality development and job preparedness. Each centre will focus on one trade led enterprise - like IT-enabled services, retail, hospitality, automobiles etc. - and from each batch of students, a select few will be trained in a simulated set-up, and encouraged to start their own group enterprises. This partnership with Aide ét Action, the first grant installment for which was announced today, will aim to train 80,000 youth over three years. Of these youth, 65,000 will be aided in finding employment, and 15,000 in starting their own enterprises. The launch of YouthSpark comes as a response to research highlighting that the world's youth faces a new divide – an opportunity divide, which will have a profound impact on their livelihoods. The International Youth Foundation Opportunity for Action report, published in March 2012, showed that nearly 75 million young people worldwide were unemployed in 2011, with 9.9 percent in South Asia. The report documents that about 20 percent of India's population, or about 240 million people, are youth aged 15 to 24 with data from the Labour Bureau of India identifying unemployment rates in India at 3.8 percent. YouthSpark will build on the company's existing philanthropy programs that empower youth to imagine and realize their full potential by connecting them with greater opportunities for education, employment and entrepreneurship by 1) empowering youth by helping strengthen education and expand digital inclusion; 2) unleashing future innovators by giving youth the inspiration and tools to imagine new opportunities; and 3) helping youth realize new opportunities of employability and entrepreneurship. These three core objectives will be powered through a number of targeted programs driven through partnerships with governments, non-profit organizations, and businesses aimed at empowering youth to imagine and realize their full potential. Speaking on-site at the first YouthSpark centre, hosted in conjunction with NGO Aide ét Action in New Delhi, Jean-Philippe Courtois, President, Microsoft International, said, "I am very proud to be part of the launch of this first Microsoft YouthSpark Center right here in Delhi. I am even more pleased that this is the first of 10 such centers we plan across this great country over the next 18 months as we continue to find new ways to help empower our youth to change their world: to be the spark of change. We expect this YouthSpark center will allow 80,000 youth to be trained over three years – of which we expect 65,000 to find employment through placement drives and alliances with potential employers - and 15,000 to start their own enterprises. This is the core goal of YouthSpark: helping youth access a wide range of Microsoft programs with the common goal of supporting and serving young people in their quest for opportunity”. YouthSpark builds on well-established programs such as Project Shiksha, Project Jyoti, BizSpark, Imagine Cup and DreamSpark which together have empowered millions of Indians over eight years. Through Microsoft YouthSpark, the company will dedicate its efforts and a majority of its cash contributions to create opportunities for young people. “With the Government of India setting the target of skilling 500 million people by the year 2022, nurturing employability and the spirit of entrepreneurship amongst youth has never been more imperative” said Sanket Akerkar, Managing Director, Microsoft Corporation India Pvt Ltd. “Taking a cue from India's proposed 12th Five Year Plan that sees education ‘as the single most important instrument of social and economic transformation ', we are trying create effective mechanisms to support organizations that help in skill-building and empower future communities.” More information about YouthSpark can be found on Microsoft YouthSpark Hub, an online space where people can explore and access all of the youth services, programs and resources provided by Microsoft and its non-profit partners. About Microsoft India Founded in 1975, Microsoft (NASDAQ "MSFT") is the worldwide leader in software for personal and business computing. The company offers a wide range of products and services designed to empower people through great software - any time, any place and on any device. Microsoft Corporation (India) Pvt Ltd. Ltd is a subsidiary of Microsoft Corporation, USA. It has had a presence in India since 1990 and currently has offices in nine cities - Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad, Kochi, Kolkata, Mumbai, New Delhi and Pune. To view the photographs, please click on the links given below: Jean Philippe Courtois interacts with youth beneficiaries at Aide et Action Jean Philippe Courtois(centre) and Sanket Akerkar(right) at the YouthSpark launch Media contact details Varnica Singh, Senior Management Associate, IPAN Hill + Knowlton Strategies, +91 9971005543, email@example.com Gopika Gulati, Senior Management Associate, IPAN Hill + Knowlton Strategies, +91 9871171998, Gopika.firstname.lastname@example.org Contributed via: Bloomberg Publisher WEB Service Provider ID: ca6c01f7432741cbab6f15835fdac525 -0- Nov/29/2012 05:10 GMT
Microsoft Launches YouthSpark in India
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