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Ugunja Community Resource Centre partners with Microsoft to officiate the graduation of youth, women, and persons with disability in Siaya District.
Ugunja, Kenya – 23rd March, 2009 – The Ugunja Community Resource Centre African Centre (UCRC) today hosted a graduation ceremony for 550 youth, women, and persons with disability following the successful completion of their training in ICT, Entrepreneurship and Life Skills.
The training conducted in partnership with Microsoft East and Southern Africa under enhances usage of technologies by the targeted groups in the information age, said Louis Otieno, Microsoft East and Southern Africa, General Manager as he presided over the graduation.
According to Aggrey Omondi, executive director of UCRC, the community-based capacity-building initiative conducted with support of Microsoft’s Unlimited Potential grant, trains the locals to work in their communities, thus contributing to improved social and economic livelihoods for their families.
Support accorded by Microsoft to UCRC is designed to enable even those in the country-side to apply ICT-enabled entrepreneurship skills and training to generate employment and community development opportunities, said Omondi.
With Unlimited Potential, Microsoft is committed to helping all people to benefit from information and communications technology that is accessible, affordable, and relevant to their needs said Louis Otieno, Microsoft East and Southern Africa, General Manager.
Mr. Otieno says the Unlimited Potential program aims to reach the next 1 billion people globally by 2015 by exploring solutions in areas that are crucial to developing sustained economic opportunity.
“By partnering with UCRC to train the young women, Microsoft is focusing its efforts on transforming education, fostering local innovation, and enabling jobs and opportunities,” said Otieno who reiterated the need of a combination of quality content, partnerships, training, and broad access plus usage of appropriate technologies.
Among the training offered by UCRC include Business start up and management, computer maintenance, graphics and design and community media for development.
In a bid to improve connectivity and use local talents, Omondi appealed to the Kenyan government to involve UCRC in the digital village initiatives. “Our over-arching goal, together with our partners, is to make sure that technology supports and accelerates progress towards the Millennium Development Goals and sustainable development it, would be great if the government worked with us to enhance the concept of digital villages in Siaya District,” he said.
Due to the high demand from the youth’s in the community, UCRC did another proposal to Microsoft to scale up the program, this time targeting employment creation. The programme is dubbed - Microsoft Community Technology Skills Program (Microsoft UP – CTSP) and is meant to unleash the potential of the Youths, Women and people living with disability to access ICTs for self-employment. This is the second phase of the UCRC – Microsoft partnership for the next three years.
Some of the areas to be covered include:
Repair and maintenance, user support and networking of computers, Graphics and multimedia
– Video coverage, editing and production
– Music production (this will boost the talents of the youth as well as give them an opportunity to develop their talent.)
– Digital photography
– Radio script writing (for community/fm radio content generation)
– Designing various cards (invitation, wedding, funeral programs, fundraising, business cards using Microsoft products)
– Lamination of documents
– Book keeping
– Internet services
Other areas that we are keen to explore through our continued collaboration with Microsoft include: Mobile phone Repair, Web site development and content generation, Call and data processing centre, E-waste management and disposal.