June, 2012

  • Serving Communities Effectively through Technology

    In March 2012, Microsoft hosted a series of events to benefit non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in Jakarta. The events, entitled “Fun Chat on IT”, “NGO Connection Day” and “Information Communication in Technology (ICT) Coaching Day”, aimed to promote greater use of information technology (IT) within the NGO community. With similar past events being held in Jakarta, Surabaya and Medan, among others, they were held to also recognize the NGOs’ efforts in helping the local community, and to demonstrate Microsoft’s commitment to the social and economic development of Indonesia.

    The first event, hosted by Microsoft Indonesia and the ASEAN Foundation, was held on 1 March as a talk show format at @America, Pacific Place Mall Jakarta. Titled Fun Chat on IT, NGOs were invited to discuss their experiences with IT. It turned out to be much more popular than anticipated, with about 80 participants showing up for the event. Microsoft showcased how, with its technologies, it had helped NGOs serve the communities better. For example, Mr Ajie Akhmad Wahidin and Mr Niko Atmadja of the ASEAN Foundation spoke of the effectiveness of technology in aiding the organization to meet its goals.

    The NGO Connection Day, co-organized by the ASEAN Foundation and Microsoft Indonesia, was attended by nearly 160 participants from over 100 nonprofit organizations. Held on 20 March, it sought to equip NGOs with IT-related knowledge, such as how IT can foster creativity and enhance collaboration and communication within and among organizations and their respective communities. Mr Irving Hutagalung from Microsoft Indonesia provided critical insights into how NGOs could maximize their reach to meet their targets and demands with the use of social media. There were plenty of interactions between the participants and the speakers, with participants trying out different Microsoft products and asking questions.

    The final activity, ICT Coaching Day, was held on 21 March. Attended by 40 participants from various NGOs in Indonesia, they were able to get hands-on experience on the technologies that they had heard so much about over the course of the previous events. Participants also had the opportunity to sharpen their skills on the use of Windows Live Movie Maker®, send e-newsletters with Microsoft Word®, create certificates with Microsoft Publisher®, and even create movies on Microsoft PowerPoint®.

    Yeni Apriani, SH, a volunteer from Mitra Perempuan WCC and a participant of the ICT Coaching Day, felt that she picked up a lot of skills during the event. “Similar events, organized by Microsoft and ASEAN Foundation, should be held more frequently, as they are very beneficial and teach us a lot about IT.” 

    “Similar events, organized by Microsoft and ASEAN Foundation, should be held more frequently, as they are very beneficial and teaches us a lot about IT.”
    - Yeni Apriani, SH, volunteer, Mitra Perempuan WCC

  • Microsoft Student Program Raises Competitiveness of College Interns

    On 4 March, Microsoft Taiwan invited May Su, a Founder of Dreamland Cultural and Creative, to the “Celebrity Talk 2012, Young and Promising” speech forum. Approximately 1,500 college students attended this event, which was aimed to educate them on the importance of professional development and being competitive on the international playing field.

    “We need more adventurous revolutionists who have the courage to wander the path where no one dares to walk through. Forget the existing rules and you will be able to come up with new and innovative ideas,” said May Su.

    Many students are unsure about their future and the type of career path that is suited for them. The speech forum event was part of a Microsoft Student Program that aimed at building a platform for these students to discover their interests through internships and be better prepared for working life.

    In its eighth year, this program has been attended by 30,000 students and seen more than 800 students benefitting from the training during their internships. During the event, there was an interactive question and answer session between the students and Davis Tsai, the General Manager of Microsoft Taiwan, followed by an informative live theatre organized by existing interns who shared interesting insights into the various career roles and opportunities.

    Davis Tsai, General Manager of Microsoft Taiwan, shared his insights with the audience.

    Student attendees asking questions during the question and answer session. 

    “It is inevitable for our Taiwanese youth to face international competition. Hence, it is important for them to increase their competitiveness by developing teamwork skills, a professional working attitude and other soft skills that they may not learn in classrooms,” said Hope Ong, Corporate Affairs Senior Director, Microsoft Taiwan.  

    Over the years, the Microsoft Student Program has helped many students develop career skills in different fields under a mentor system. “I feel more confident to challenge and push myself to the next level in various fields after my internship,” said a student intern. 

    “It is inevitable for our Taiwanese youth to face international competition. Hence, it is important for them to increase their competitiveness by developing teamwork skills, a professional working attitude and other soft skills that they may not learn in classrooms.”
    - Hope Ong, Corporate Affairs Senior Director, Microsoft Taiwan

    For more information, please visit:

    MSCOM portal: www.microsoft.com/taiwan/campus

    On Facebook: www.facebook.com/Microsoft.Student.Program

    Enrollment for 9th round: www.microsoft.com/taiwan/campus/activity.aspx

    Campus RoadShow: www.microsoft.com/taiwan/campus/rs/

  • Microsoft Provides Financial Aid to Underprivileged Children

    As a commendation for the contributions made by Microsoft Taiwan through volunteer work on the ground, the US headquarters of Microsoft awarded the office with USD 10,000. Subsequently, Microsoft Taiwan donated the sum of money, along with 20 Xbox® 360 and Kinect™ bundles, to the Chinese Childrenhome and Shelter Association (CCSA) during a ceremony held on 13 February.

    CCSA is a non-profit organization that supports children and youths without homes by providing them with financial assistance, counseling and educational services. Due to changing family lifestyles in society, children are increasingly being forced to leave their families and become independent at a young age. In order to fulfill basic needs such as food and shelter, these children often resort to sacrificing their academic studies.

    “Children living in shelters or orphanages have to count on public fundraising for tuition, clothes and even food. In fact, being able to use entertainment devices seems like a far-reaching dream. We really appreciate Microsoft and Acer for giving these extraordinary gifts to them,” said Jin-Fan Hung, Secretary General, Chinese Childrenhome and Shelter Association.

    Held on the same day, the Microsoft volunteers invited a few children to the Microsoft Taiwan office where they spent a fun-filled afternoon playing Kinect™ games together. After the gaming activities, the Microsoft volunteers and children enjoyed a delicious lunch.

    ‘Kinected’ as family

    Secretary General Hung from CCSA thanks Microsoft Taiwan for its extraordinary support to the right to rest and leisure for disadvantaged teenagers.

    “Through the interactive and sensory Kinect™ gaming experience, I hope that these children will be able to share the warmth of the Microsoft family,” said Davis Tsai, General Manager, Microsoft Taiwan.

    “I would like to thank the Microsoft team for their support and willingness in learning how to communicate with the children. I believe the day spent at the Microsoft office will be a memorable one for these children,” added Ms Hung. 

    “Children living in shelters or orphanages have to count on public fundraising for tuition, clothes and even food. In fact, being able to use entertainment devices seems like a far-reaching dream to them.”
    - Jin-Fan Hung, Secretary General, Chinese Childrenhome and Shelter Association.

  • Microsoft China Employees Pledge Time to Improve Lives

    Microsoft has a long tradition of employee giving and supporting communities. This has led to a culture of active volunteerism throughout Microsoft’s global offices, including in China. Efforts in China have been nothing less than noteworthy.  

    Throughout 2011 and early 2012, Microsoft China employees have shown real support to their surrounding communities. Even from afar, employees like Run Liu showcased true personal effort by mailing individual postcards to fellow employees all the way from Argentina, seeking their pledge to contribute at least 20 hours of community service in 2012.

    Microsoft China volunteers.

    In addition to personal acts of volunteerism, Microsoft employees, as a group, have also conducted numerous visits to homes, schools and centers. On 21 December 2011, 24 trainees and five instructors of Huiling, a nonprofit organization founded in 1990 with the aim to provide support for persons with mental disabilities, were invited to Microsoft Beijing West Campus. Eighteen Microsoft volunteers accompanied the Huiling trainees to the Microsoft Visitor Center to experience Kinect, have lunch together and go on a campus tour. Microsoft volunteers let Huiling trainees know they have equal opportunity to access technology.

    In another group visit on 22 February, 95 Microsoft volunteers spent a morning with children of Beijing Tonxin migrant school. The volunteers helped out in many ways, including painting the school, fixing the school computers, cooking lunch for over 500 students and reading stories to the kids. During the visit, the migrant families accompanied the volunteers to the Migrant Worker Museum and the philanthropic store where Microsoft employees had donated more than 3,500 sets of clothes and over 500 books, toys and other resources since August 2011. 

    Later in the year, another group of 23 Microsoft volunteers embarked on a visit to the Xiaojiahe Sunshine kindergarten. The volunteers took training from qualified teachers before they visited the children, and brought reading materials, toys and photos for the kids. As part of the day’s agenda, the volunteers read stories to the kids and bonded with them. One of the volunteers even donated 800 RMB to buy snacks for the kids.

    Another charity driven activity included an employee charity poker and auction event. These are only some of the acts of kindness demonstrated by Microsoft China staff. With the support of employees from around the globe, Microsoft strives to continue its tradition of pledging time on top of financial support to communities worldwide.



  • Microsoft Technology Fulfills Young Entrepreneur’s Dream

    Technology can make dreams come true and there is no better example than that of Huan Zhou’s life story, a mere 21-year-old fresh college graduate. Using Microsoft technology, Huan Zhou started his own eCommerce store selling locally branded cosmetics, and managed to earn a five diamond credibility rating on the Chinese equivalent of eBay – Taobao.

    Huan Zhou’s story is not without its share of disappointments. His journey began as an enthusiastic student in his college days when he set up his first eCommerce shop. This resulted in failure as he lacked the capital and the relevant Information Technology (IT) skills required to maintain a stable stream of customers. Just when he decided to give up, he chanced upon a recommendation from a friend to attend the Microsoft Community Technology Skills Program offered at the Beijing Entrepreneurship Community Technology Center (CTC). Attending the course made him realize the entrepreneurship potential he had within, and all that was needed was the right kind of training and technology to help bring his business dream to fruition.

    It was the hands-on IT training he received at the CTC that showed him the possibilities of technology. With Microsoft software, Huan Zhou learnt how to design a series of eye-catching webpages within his virtual shop space. The end product was so successful that he managed to draw in a healthy flow of customers, raise his credibility and even hire a humble group of six employees to help operate his business. Using the Microsoft IT skills he picked up, Huan Zhou managed to translate business ideas to reality – demonstrating Microsoft’s core belief that technology can, in fact, change lives.


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