Microsoft unveils new global youth initiative
Washington, September 24, 2012
Microsoft Corporation has introduced a new global initiative, Microsoft YouthSpark, that aims to create opportunities for 300 million youth in more than 100 countries over the next three years.
This company-wide initiative includes citizenship and other company programmess – both new and enhanced – that empower youth to imagine and realise their full potential by connecting them with greater opportunities for education, employment and entrepreneurship, a statement from Microsoft said.
Through Microsoft YouthSpark, the company will dedicate the majority of its cash contributions to nonprofits that serve the youth population around the world.
In addition, it will promote Office365 for EDU, free technology tools for all teachers and students to power learning and collaboration, and Skype in the classroom, a free global community for teachers to connect their students with others around the world, the statement said.
Steve Ballmer, CEO of Microsoft, said: “Through Microsoft YouthSpark we are making a commitment to help 300 million young people around the world achieve their dreams by focusing our citizenship efforts and other company resources on connecting young people with opportunities for education, employment and entrepreneurship.”
“We believe that working with our partners we can help empower young people to change their world, and we are committed to doing just that.”
The company’s youth-focused philanthropy will be conducted in close collaboration with non-profits around the world. These include worldwide organisations, such as GlobalGiving, TakingITGlobal, Telecentre.org Foundation, and the International Youth Foundation, as well as regional non-profits, such as Silatech in the Middle East, The Trust for Americas in Latin America, AIESEC in Europe, and the Asean Foundation in Asia.
“Our next generation of citizenship needs to focus on the next generation of people,” said Brad Smith, executive vice president, Microsoft. “The global unemployment rate for workers under age 25 is 12.7 per cent, which is double the rate for the world as a whole.”
“This is indicative of a growing opportunity divide between young people who have the access, skills and opportunities to be successful and those who do not. We must work together to close the opportunity divide for youth and help secure the future of this generation and the future of our global economy.”
The International Youth Foundation Opportunity for Action report, published in March 2012, showed that nearly 75 million young people worldwide were unemployed in 2011. As the global youth population continues to grow – there are over 2.2 billion people between the ages of six and 24 today – the opportunity divide is widening, the statement said. The International Labour Organisation’s latest statistics indicate that the global youth unemployment rate is projected to increase to 12.9 percent by 2017. – TradeArabia News Service