US technology giant Microsoft Corp has donated over $10 million in software to help bolster technology training in more than a dozen countries across Latin America and the Caribbean.
Through this donation, Microsoft aims to address wide-ranging social issues, from reducing the digital gap in Nicaragua to providing self-employment training in Honduras, and capacity-building and vocational training for young people in the Dominican Republic, Colombia and Brazil.
Much of the software is destined for community knowledge centers, where rural children will be able to try their hand in high-end technologies to figure out if they can carve a career for themselves in the lucrative technology sector.
The donation will also reinforce technical “training and reduce the existing digital gap,” stated World Vision, a Christian humanitarian organization in charge of implementing the program.
Microsoft said that the key aim of the program is to promote social and economic opportunities for residents living in the countryside and that software, such as Office 2013, will allow the nonprofit organization to increase productivity and better organize training for youths.
World Vision, according to Microsoft, is playing a key role in boosting the development of children. “Their work inspires us, which is why we hope that by supporting them through technology, we can help make a greater impact for the people they support and the communities they serve,” said Jennifer Brooks, director of Corporate Citizenship for Microsoft Latin America.
World Vision is one of the key partners of Microsoft’s YouthSpark program designed to create opportunities for youths by providing them with technical training and job counseling.
Poor education and a lack of training has long been a hurdle for youths trying to explore employment opportunities in the region. The Caribbean’s Guardian Media says the unemployment rate among young people is three times higher than among adults in the region, and only 50% of them finish their schooling.