On 13 October, Microsoft Sri Lanka organised a Volunteer Day at the SOS Children’s Village Piliyandala, situated on the outskirts of the city of Piliyandala in Kesbewa, about 20 kilometres from the capital of Colombo.

SOS Children’s Villages Sri Lanka support children who have lost the care of their biological families as well as those who are at risk of losing the care of their biological families in five different locations across Sri Lanka — enabling children to live in a family with love, respect and protection. Children receive care, education, vocational training opportunities and medical services, enabling them to grow up in a child-friendly environment.

During the event, the Microsoft volunteers interacted with more than 250 children and engaged them in a series of learning sessions that involve the use of the latest information technology (IT) and basic work skills training. The planned activities were differentiated according to the children’s respective age groups.

Young children under the age of 10 experienced first-hand the use of Windows® MultiPoint Server to improve their learning capabilities. During the MultiPoint sessions, the young students gathered in classrooms to learn how to access a single PC through multiple, individually-operated mouse devices.

A session on social media and the importance of online safety was conducted to provide the teenagers at the SOS Children’s Village guidance on the different types of social media and how they can protect themselves from the potential dangers of digital technologies.

Microsoft also introduced them to the enhanced features of the latest technologies such as Windows 8, Windows 8 phone and Microsoft cloud platforms, while the Xbox® and Kinect® devices added much excitement during the event. The Microsoft staff members and the children capped off Volunteer Day with a friendly cricket match.

“We are honoured to have the opportunity to support SOS Children’s Villages in their efforts to help young, disadvantaged children in Sri Lanka develop to their fullest potential. Microsoft wants to provide these children with the technology training they need and empower them to play an active role in improving their own lives,” said Janakie Karunaratne, Microsoft Sri Lanka Citizenship Manager.