The National Council for Children and Youth Development (NCYD) works with Microsoft Thailand on THE YES programme (Tech training to Help Extend Youth Empowerment Space), which is designed to empower rural and disadvantaged youth by creating opportunities for themselves in employment, further education or training, entrepreneurship or social innovation through IT programmes. Below is a short Q&A with Srisak Thaiarry, Executive Director of NYCD, under the Royal Patronage of HRH Princess Mahachakri Sirindhorn.

Can you give us more insight into the programme objectives and activities in Thailand?

This is a one year project from March 2013 – to February 2014. Through this IT programme, the goal is to empower 1,200 rural and disadvantaged youth, and we hope to reach another 5,000 young people from all over Thailand by implementing the project at IT training skills programmes of participating schools. Community college and skills development centers will also be enhanced through THE YES programme.

Can you tell us more about how this programme works?

Stage I: We worked with local authorities in Thailand to identify schools in underserved communities where a majority of the young people are from disadvantage backgrounds, such as ethnic youth, youth from poor families, youth effected by HIV/AIDs and family abuse, youth who are at risk of being victims to drugs and gambling. These young people usually have very little access to public social and welfare services.

Stage 2: We will identify and train teacher trainers for each school/college/center, and subsequently produce teacher trainer handbooks.

Stage 3: Each of these schools will then select 50 young people between the ages of 16 – 25 years old from underserved communities to join this teacher training programme.

Stage 4: Trained youth in each of these schools will then form IT clubs which seek to create awareness among students on the resources available to them that will enable them to further their education, secure job opportunities and start their own entrepreneurship or social venture.

How will you measure the outcomes of THE YES programme?

We will collect individual data from 1,200 trained youth in three stages: at the beginning of the project, after training and during club activities to measure the effectiveness of this programme.

We will also share their success stories with the hope that this exercise will help inspire other young people to realize their full potential.

THE YES programme is a Microsoft YouthSpark programme in partnership with NCYD.

A full list of Microsoft YouthSpark programmes can be found here: http://www.microsoft.com/about/corporatecitizenship/en-us/youthspark/youthsparkhub/