Microsoft Vietnam employees raised VND36,800,000 (US$1,760) in donations and helped bring festive joy to the residents of the Centre of Nurturing Old People and Disabled Children during the Vietnamese New Year season.
On 1 February, a group of 20 employees visited the Hanoi-based Centre to present the donated items comprising diapers, wet tissues, toys, food, milk and other dairy products. During their visit, staff members also took the opportunity to personally interact with each of the residents.
“Being able to spend time playing with the children and getting to chat with the elderly residents at the Centre of Nurturing Old People and Disabled Children certainly enriched the whole experience for us. We are all delighted to have the opportunity to make a small but worthwhile contribution to improve the lives of the less fortunate and spread some festive cheer just before the New Year holidays,” said Duong Thi Kim Anh, HR director of Microsoft Vietnam.
The Centre of Nurturing Old People and Disabled Children accommodates more than 320 people, including 165 elderly people and 155 children. About two thirds of the young residents are handicapped or suffering from poor health and serious diseases such as cerebral palsy.
“We understand that this is a busy period of time for most people, having to balance their time between work and preparing for the Vietnamese New Year holiday. We are therefore very grateful for the generous donation and strong support shown by the Microsoft Vietnam employees in arranging this trip to visit the children and the elderly at the Centre. We are very happy and greatly appreciate the kindness and caring spirit shown by everyone who volunteered,” said Phung Cong Loi, Vice Director of the Centre of Nurturing Old People and Disabled Children.
“We are very grateful for the generous donation and strong support shown by the Microsoft Vietnam employees in arranging this trip to visit the children and the elderly at the Centre.”
- Phung Cong Loi, Vice Director, Centre of Nurturing Old People and Disabled Children
On 9 April, more than 120 young people gathered in Beijing to participate in the second ever Microsoft Innovate for Good event to be held in China. The event was jointly organised by Microsoft and the Tsinghua University Student Club, and provided the platform for participants to discuss how to leverage innovative technologies to solve emerging social issues.
Part of the global Microsoft YouthSpark programme, the objective of the Innovate for Good event is to aid young people in collaborating, inspiring and supporting one another through technology. The main participants consisted of beneficiaries from the various Microsoft youth programmes, non-governmental organisation (NGO) representatives and young Microsoft employees.
In his keynote speech, David Chen, Vice President and General Manager of Legal and Corporate Affairs at Microsoft Greater China Region, highlighted Microsoft’s commitment to fostering greater opportunities for young people in China through partnerships with leading NGOs in the country and the recently launched China YouthSpark programme.
“Through our initiatives, we hope to provide young people in China with improved access to innovative technology and advanced learning resources to support their new ideas, which will contribute to the development of China’s knowledge-driven economy. Our aim is to empower the next generation of young people through the transformative power of technology,” Mr Chen said.
Jingyang Han, Vice President of Tsinghua University Council, spoke highly of the contributions Microsoft has made towards changing people’s lives and inspiring youth with advanced technologies and products.
Ms Han said, “Tsinghua University is honoured to be working with an organisation that shares the same values. The youth development and social entrepreneurship programmes initiated by Microsoft in China are a demonstration of its strong commitment to social responsibility.”
During the event, Ji Dong, the CEO of Protection & Ease, shared his experience of how the YouthSpark initiative and the Microsoft Cloud Accelerator Programme supported his social entrepreneurship venture, aimed at helping visually impaired people utilise smartphones and other technologies to communicate effectively.
Other event highlights included a showcase of Kinect® for Windows® in Sign Language Recognition & Translation for people with hearing difficulties, as well as a technology demonstration for Windows AzureTM 3D Scan in Windows Phone 8.
“The youth development and social entrepreneurship programmes initiated by Microsoft in China are a demonstration of its strong commitment to social responsibility.”
- Jingyang Han, Vice President, Tsinghua University Council
AppsForAsia is a new initiative created by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and Microsoft, and is supported by regional information technology (IT) associations, private sector technology partners and universities. The programme aims to harness the creative power of hundreds of software developer teams to create sustainable solutions for the economic, commercial and social benefit of governments, non-governmental organisations (NGOs), citizens and enterprises throughout Asia.
In this post we are pleased to present the winning AppsForAsia entries from India.
Application development is taking off rapidly in India and reflects the power of technology to drive the momentum of social and economic developments across the country. Four software developer teams from India recently showcased their app ideas — Jeevan Pani, Help-Me, TOTS and PathFinder — at the 46th Annual Meeting of the ADB, held on 2-5 May in New Delhi.
Water scarcity is an increasingly critical challenge in India. To help address the issue of potential water shortage, Winjit Technologies developed the Jeevan Pani app to help drive awareness and encourage water conservation in Maharashtra state.
The Jeevan Pani app is available in both English and the regional Marathi language to enable users to access useful information about water usage as well as relevant statistics, such as the average daily water consumption rates in their city. The app also helps users to calculate their average water consumption and compare usage rates to recommended levels specified by government authorities.
Leveraging social networking platforms, the Jeevan Pani app allows users to consistently track and report how much water they consume and earn ‘credit points’ for their efforts to conserve water — instances of water wastage can also be documented, via images saved on the Windows AzureTM cloud platform, to encourage more people in India to maximise water efficiency.
A team of software developers from Infosys created the Help-Me app to combine the existing communication channels through which people in India can seek commonly used emergency services. Available in English and Marathi, the mobile app serves as a multi-dimensional solution by consolidating police, fire and ambulance services through three main components: the phone application, operating console and reporting application.
The user-friendly interface of the Help-Me app allows users to simply click on the ‘Police’, ‘Fire’ or ‘Ambulance’ icons, and an emergency request will be sent immediately to the respective control room with all the relevant details along with the current location of the user. During emergency situations, the user does not need to provide much information as the app has already pre-stored all the critical details.
The operator console is a web-based multi-tenant application with defined access levels for emergency types and the corresponding requests will appear in the respective dashboards. The reporting application generates reports that provide insight into data that can be used for analytical purposes.
Tuberculosis (TB) remains a prevalent health concern in India. According to the World Health Organisation, India accounts for one-fifth of global TB incident cases and nearly two million people in India are diagnosed with the disease each year. The Tablet Observed Treatment System (TOTS) app helps TB patients to follow and manage their own treatment regimens.
Built on the Windows Azure cloud platform, the TOTS app sends reminders for patients to take their medicine, manage treatment records and calendars, as well as allow patients to take photographs of themselves taking their medicine in order for health officers to remotely keep track of their treatment plans.
The TOTS app also utilises the Bing Map service to help patients locate the nearest TB treatment centres, allowing patients to find a facility quickly and more easily.
The PathFinder app helps to ease the process of travel planning. The app helps people in India identify the best transportation routes to get to their desired location — it also allows users to choose their route based on their travel priorities based on travel time, cost, number of stopovers and mode of transportation (bus or train).
In addition, the PathFinder app provides users with the expected time of travel based on real-time traffic analysis and a map detailing a user’s journey from the starting location to the destination. Through the app, the PathFinder team hopes that users will utilise public transportation more efficiently to reduce road traffic, fuel consumption and environmental impact.
Congratulations to these developer teams from India!
For more information, please visit the AppsForAsia website.
Microsoft Sri Lanka, Sarvodaya-Fusion and the World Bank announced on 6 March the joint launch of an innovative grant competition, entitled ‘Youth Solutions! Technology for Skills and Employment’. The competition will take place in Bangladesh, Nepal, Maldives and Sri Lanka.
This partnership was formalised during the visit of Alexander Ferguson, Special Advisor World Bank South Asia Region External Affairs to Sri Lanka. Sriyan de Silva Wijeyeratne, Microsoft Country Manager in Sri Lanka, met with World Bank officials and engaged in a discussion on the use of information and communication technology (ICT) solutions to address the issue of youth unemployment.
Sarvodaya-Fusion will support Microsoft and the World Bank in the outreach efforts for the competition, coordinating with its regional partners to reach social enterprises actively involved in youth programmes in rural communities.
The ICT-themed regional competition will showcase the fresh ideas and creativity of young people in South Asia, and at the same time encourage them to develop innovative solutions to the challenges faced by youth such as lack of skills development and unemployment. The winning entry in each country will be awarded a grant of between US$10,000-20,000 to develop their innovative projects over a one-year period.
Mr Wijeyeratne said, “We are delighted to have the opportunity to work with the World Bank for the first time. This partnership between Microsoft, Sarvodaya-Fusion and the World Bank aims to capture youthful enthusiasm for innovation and inspiring ideas that will lead to the creation of new jobs for young people both in Sri Lanka and across the region. We are optimistic that the competition will generate a wealth of solutions, and we will provide selected candidates our full support to help them realise their ideas.”
Microsoft and the World Bank, with the support of an external evaluation panel, will shortlist the innovative proposals from the youth. All shortlisted candidates will present their proposal at a regional workshop scheduled for the second half of May 2013.
“This partnership between Microsoft and the World Bank aims to capture youthful enthusiasm for innovation and inspiring ideas that will lead to the creation of new jobs for young people.”
- Sriyan de Silva Wijeyeratne, Microsoft Country Manager, Sri Lanka
Jointly organised by Crescent Girls’ School (CGS), People’s Association Youth Movement and Microsoft Singapore, the National i-Trail Challenge (NiTC) is an annual student competition held to promote active citizenry, foster a greater sense of community and drive values education among Singapore students.
In last year’s inaugural NiTC competition, students were tasked to collaboratively develop digital learning trails about Singapore using the Trail Shuttle, a simple web-based mobile application built upon the Windows® platform. Under the theme of ‘The Singapore Heartbeat’, the learning trails serve as a platform for citizenship education and to empower students to initiate action for the community.
To familiarise students with the technology used to create the digital trails, several Community Boot Camps were conducted for more than 389 primary and secondary school students at CGS last year. More than 100 community i-Trails have been created by students from more than 40 schools to date, and each community i-Trail can be accessed on a free-of-charge basis by the general public.
“At Microsoft, we are happy to support initiatives that contribute towards Singapore’s growth and success, be it in education efforts or community activities. The NiTC is a perfect combination of both. We are honoured to provide Microsoft technology and platforms that enable students to innovate and build their very own digital learning trails,” said Stephanie Hung, Public Sector Director, Microsoft Singapore.
On 2 March, the inaugural NiTC winners were announced at an award ceremony graced by Indranee Rajah, Senior Minister of State for Law and Education, and Member of Parliament for Tanjong Pagar GRC. Winning teams from 18 primary schools and 15 secondary schools received prizes at the district level, while the three most outstanding i-Trails were also selected as national winners in the primary, secondary and open categories.
The Henderson Food Trail Challenge was held on the same day in conjunction with the NiTC award ceremony. In this collaboration between CGS and the Henderson CC Youth Executive Committee, residents from the Henderson community were grouped into 12 teams to follow the digital food trails designed by CGS students, with the help of Samsung Slate PC tablets and the Trail Shuttle app. Led by student team facilitators, the participants were able to get acquainted with food culture and the history of the marketplace in the community.
Tan Chen Kee, Principal of CGS, said, “We are pleased to partner with the People’s Association Youth Movement, Henderson CC Youth Executive Committee and Microsoft Singapore towards the success of the inaugural NiTC. Through the NiTC, we want to encourage students to be actively involved in their community in a fun and meaningful way. In the process of creating these digital trails, we also hope that the students can put values in action and be inspired to make a difference in the community.”
“Through the NiTC, we want to encourage students to be actively involved in their community in a fun and meaningful way. We also hope that the students can put values in action and be inspired to make a difference in the community.”
- Tan Chen Kee, Principal, Crescent Girls’ School
Our mission is to help people and businesses throughout the world realize their full potential.
Explore the positive impact of local programs promoted and supported by Microsoft around the world.
News, perspectives and analysis on legal and policy issues.
© 2012 Microsoft
| Privacy Statement | Connect With Us