Youth & Opportunity
Engineering , Math
We share one the best part-time jobs in the world. As co-chairs of the annual Microsoft Giving Campaign, we get the opportunity to see firsthand how our colleagues bring passion, creativity and generosity to raise much needed funds for community organizations around the globe. In 2010, we raised an outstanding $96 million. We wondered if we could go higher in 2011 and we did, knowing our employees would rise to the challenge.
In 2011 Microsoft employees across the United States raised $100.5 million, which includes corporate matching. This marks our biggest year yet, and brings the total amount of money raised by employees to $946 million since our giving program started in 1983.
Each full-time, U.S. based Microsoft employee receives an annual $12,000 benefit that matches donations, dollar-for-dollar, to eligible nonprofits. In 2011, 35,500 employees donated to support more than 18,000 community organizations across the globe. If an employee wishes to volunteer their personal time, we honor that donation, too. Employee volunteer time is matched $17/hour to their chosen organization. In 2011, employees committed 426,671 hours which raised $7.2 million for nonprofits. That brings the total number of volunteering hours to 1.7 million hours since we started tracking in 2006.
While employee giving takes place throughout the year, October is a special month for our offices across the U.S. Over 50 percent of the fundraising takes place during that time. Every year we are amazed by the creativity demonstrated by Microsoft employees. From flocking a colleague’s office with pink flamingos; to running a 5K around the Microsoft campus or virtually around the world; to bidding on a coveted reserved parking space on campus through our online auction, it’s fun to watch it all happen.
Our employees assist thousands of nonprofit organizations through their donations and volunteering. For example, Adnan Mahmud founded Jolkona, a micro-giving nonprofit that supports grassroots organizations and has over a dozen employee volunteers who committed over 2,000 hours to building the technology platform. And then there are employees like Toby Velte who volunteers at his daughter’s school via EduConnect and teaches students about careers in technology. Toby rallied a team of Microsoft parents to raise money to fund a PC lab in their school district to teach students programming via the Kodu Games Labs.
We are so proud to share these results on behalf of Microsoft employees across the US. This $100,000,000 milestone is due to the many volunteers across our organization that worked tirelessly to help make it happen. Motivating and encouraging all of us every step of the way. We want to thank them for their contribution in making 2011 the largest year of employee giving yet!
It is our privilege to work alongside so many people that care so deeply and give so generously.
Kathleen Hogan was co-chair of the 2011 Microsoft Giving Campaign and is Corporate Vice President of Microsoft Services
As corporate vice president of Microsoft Services, Kathleen Hogan leads a global team of more than 19,000 professionals who are dedicated to helping businesses and individual consumers maximize the value of their investment in Microsoft technologies. Under her leadership, Microsoft Services helps customers meet their business and personal objectives by effectively deploying and supporting Microsoft software and services.
S. Somasegar was co-chair of the 2011 Microsoft Giving Campaign and is Corporate Vice President, Developer Division
As corporate vice president of the Developer Division at Microsoft. Somasegar is responsible for engineering and marketing for developer tools and services, programming languages and runtimes designed for a broad base of software developers and development teams, including the Visual Studio and Expression families of products, .NET Framework, and Team Foundation Server. Somasegar also owns developer evangelism efforts spanning the full array of Microsoft platforms. His team also owns MSDN and TechNet online properties to enable a deep connection with the developer and IT professional audiences. In addition, Somasegar is responsible for the Server and Tools Business Global Development Centers in China, India and Israel and is the executive sponsor for the India Development Center and the Israel Research and Development Center for all of Microsoft.
Earlier today, three outstanding students, David Hayden, Hannah Wyman, and Jacen Sherman – winners of the Microsoft Imagine Cup and Kodu Cup student competitions – participated in the second annual White House Science Fair, hosted by President Barack Obama. David, Hannah and Jacen were among only 100 students selected to attend the event, which celebrated students that were winners of a broad range of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) competitions from across the U.S.
During the fair, President Obama walked through exhibits of the students’ projects and delivered remarks on the importance of STEM education to the country’s economic future. The President also announced a new $80 million investment to help prepare effective STEM teachers.
Improving STEM education and inspiring more students to pursue STEM careers is an important part of our focus on creating opportunities for young people to help them succeed, make a difference in the world and ultimately help grow the future economy.
David Hayden and his team, Note-Taker, won in the Software Design category at Microsoft’s Imagine Cup 2011 U.S. Finals. The Note-Taker helps low-vision and legally blind students take notes in class as quickly and effectively as their fully-sighted peers. David is legally blind and created the device during his undergraduate years so he could keep up with note-taking in blackboard-intensive math courses.
Hannah Wyman, one of only around 30 students who were chosen to exhibit their projects at the Science Fair, is 11 years old and lives in Leominster, Massachusetts. She was the Grand Prize Winner in the 9-12 year-olds category in Microsoft’s Kodu Cup Last year. She designed a video game called Toxic, where players collect coins and hearts while solving puzzles to help save the environment. Her interest in coding developed from an unusual place – a birthday card from her brother. In order to receive her present, she had to decipher the birthday card message, which was written entirely in bytes. The gift turned out to be a trip to the movie of her choice.
Jacen Sherman is 16 years old and lives in Silver Spring, Maryland. He was the First Prize Winner in the Kodu Cup’s 13-17 year-old category with his game called The Vortex, where players are challenged to save humanity from extinction. In designing his game, Jacen was inspired both by the Kodu programming experience, and by the movie Tron.
After the event, Jacen noted that the day was “awesome!” – an experience he will always remember. In addition to getting to shake President Obama’s hand twice, Jacen got to tour the White House with Hannah and David and meet people from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and the Unites States Military Academy.
Three students who were winners in Microsoft’s Kodu Cup and Imagine Cup competitions last year, including Hannah Wyman (pictured), Jacen Sherman and David Hayden, were invited to participate in the second White House Science Fair on February 7, 2012.
We congratulate David, Hannah and Jacen for receiving this special recognition today. Celebrating students that excel in STEM is incredibly important and will help inspire more students to get excited about STEM subjects in school. Students like Hannah, Jacen and David are on their way to becoming tomorrow’s innovators and entrepreneurs. We look forward to helping more young people receive these kinds of opportunities and experiences to help them succeed in the future.
Since 1968, Concern Worldwide has been working with the poorest people in the poorest countries of the world to enable them to transform their lives.
Today, Concern is one of the world’s largest humanitarian NGOs, with almost 4,000 staff working in nearly 30 countries in Africa, Asia and Central America. In keeping with its mission of helping poor people to achieve long-lasting improvements in their lives, Concern’s field programs focus on food security, education, primary healthcare, livelihoods, and disaster risk reduction as well as emergency response.
Technology plays an indispensable role in ensuring that Concern’s field programs provide sustainable benefits to local communities. “We view technology as a strategic asset,” according to Vincent Richardson, chief information officer at Concern. “It’s obviously crucial for our back office systems and our ability to keep operating in the most difficult situations. We’re also embedding technology in our field operations, both to deliver programs and to put technology into people’s hands so they can use it to improve their lives and livelihoods. This is at the heart of achieving sustainable change for the world’s poorest people.”
Concern faces the same operational requirements for reporting, collaboration, management and communication as any large global organization, with the added challenge of operating in communities which often have limited infrastructure.
So how do they keep things up and running? They are using Microsoft Office 365 to support their incredible work around the world. Here’s how they’re using it.
You can find out more about Concern’s work here and why not support their work by visiting their donations page.
Today there are nearly 7,000 languages spoken around the world and scientists estimate that three languages become extinct every month and over half of all languages are in danger of becoming extinct before the end of this century. Just think of the knowledge and history that’s lost when a language dies. Today is UNESCO's International Mother Language Day and a great time to celebrate the importance of language to everyone around the world.
There are many economic and cultural reasons why so many languages are at risk of extinction. However, with the ubiquity of computers in our lives, one element that can help preserve language is technology. At Microsoft we’ve committed to enable as many people as possible to work, communicate and collaborate using their native language through our Local Language Program.
While software is localized for the major world languages if you live in a smaller community you are often forced to use technology in a foreign language, adding yet another hurdle to protecting and developing your native tongue. Take Spain as an example. More than 74 percent of the country’s 47 million citizens speak Castilian Spanish, but 26 percent speak Valencian, Basque, Catalan or Galician. Through the technology of Local Interface Packs (LIPS) and Caption Language Interface Packs (CLIPS), which are part of the Microsoft Local Language Program, native speakers of Valencian, Basque, Catalan and Galician can now use technology such as Windows and Office on their own terms.
Today Microsoft offers Windows and Office in nearly 100 languages, reaching more than 90 percent of the global population.
In addition to providing these Local Language Packs, we also provide online dictionaries, translation tools and localized versions of our developer tools.
Ultimately these tools and resources help support language preservation and translation, which can lead to better economic opportunities through giving more people access to technology in their own language.
On International Mother Language Day it’s a good time to celebrate the wonderful diversity around our planet and recognize the importance those languages play in our culture and diversity. You can find a whole set of resources and download instructions for Local Language Packs at the Local Language Program website.
Some of the languages supported today by the Local Language Program.
Azerbaijani (Latin) <Azərbaycan>
Bangla (Bangladesh) <বাংলা (বাংলাদেশ)>
Bengali (India) <বাংলা (ভারত)>
Bosnian (Cyrillic) <босански>
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Bosnian (Latin) <Bosanski>
Chinese Simplified <简体中文>
Chinese Traditional <繁體中文>
Indonesian <Bahasa Indonesia>
Macedonia, Fmr Yugoslav Republic of
Malay (Brunei Darussalam) <Bahasa Melayu (Brunei Darussalam)>
Malay (Malaysia) <Bahasa Melayu (Malaysia)>
Maori <Reo Māori>
Mongolian (Cyrillic) <Монгол хэл>
Norwegian (Nynorsk) <Norsk (Nynorsk)>
Portuguese Brazil <Português (Brasil)>
Punjabi (Gurmukhi, India) <ਪੰਜਾਬੀ>
Scottish Gaelic <Gàidhlig>
Serbian (Cyrillic) <Српски>
Serbian (Latin) <Srpski>
Sesotho sa Leboa
Uzbek (Latin) <O’zbekcha>
Vietnamese <Tiếng Việt>
Kenyan Janet Karani got her first email address a decade ago. It was a way to stay in touch with friends who had moved from Kenya to the United States and was far easier than waiting for the public telephone in a local shopping center—the standard mode for international communication at the time. For Karani, a young college student in a new city, email became a lifeline.
Ten years later, email and a host of other technologies play a central role in Karani’s work as a regional systems administrator for PATH, a Seattle-based global health nonprofit organization. Karani manages all computer and network systems for PATH’s field offices in eastern Africa, supporting about 300 staff. A grant from Microsoft has enabled PATH to standardize its information technology (IT) systems across its 32 field offices so that, from her desk in Nairobi, Kenya, Karani can solve a technology problem in Tanzania, Uganda, or any of the other countries she supports using Exchange and other Microsoft tools.
“It makes it much easier to troubleshoot and get solutions,” Karani says.
Janet Karani manages IT systems for PATH’s offices in eastern Africa. A grant from Microsoft helped PATH standardize its IT systems across its field offices. Photo courtesy of PATH.
Karani is part of PATH’s hub model that puts systems administrators on the same continents and in the same time zones as the offices they support. The model boosts efficiency across the organization, allowing staff to focus on developing and advancing health solutions for the world’s poorest communities. It is widely used in the corporate world but is still catching on among nonprofits, mainly because of the prohibitive cost. Microsoft’s grant makes the model possible for PATH.
From reactive to proactive
Nonprofit organizations make fulfilling their mission their top priority, and technology has to be calibrated to support that mission, explains Pete Tutak, PATH’s associate director of global infrastructure and support. The Microsoft grant and other Microsoft systems management products, such as System Center Operations Manager and System Center Configuration Manager, enable PATH to provide its staff with advanced technology, shift its operational focus from reactive to proactive, stay on top of IT issues, and keep its field staff connected.
For Karani, that means not only can she solve problems remotely, but she can do so in real time—time zone delays between Africa and PATH’s IT staff in Seattle no longer apply. Her proximity and background also help as she works across cultures and office environments.
Karani knows firsthand what it’s like in PATH’s remote sites where Internet connections are unreliable, or nonexistent, as well as how staff are using technology and what challenges they face. “The way things are done in Kenya is not necessarily the way things are done in Tanzania,” she says. Likewise for Ethiopia, Malawi, and Uganda, the other countries she supports. Karani can judge when to delegate problem-solving to another staff member or when to troubleshoot issues herself.
Using technology for HIV services
Part of Karani’s work involves setting up and overseeing the more than 400 laptop and desktop computers PATH has distributed to its staff, partner organizations, and local health centers to help expand care and support services for Kenyans affected by HIV. Loaded with software licensed to PATH through the Microsoft grant, the computers are used to track the health information of HIV-positive patients, the welfare of children orphaned by HIV, and other data.
For example, health workers use Microsoft Access to store patients’ weight, temperature, and CD4 cell count (an indicator of AIDS progression), which enables them to better monitor patients’ health. Within seconds a health worker can pull up a patient’s health history and then determine appropriate treatment and connect the patient with the right services.
The technology helps to strengthen Kenya’s health system, allows health workers and researchers to obtain reliable data, and makes for a much faster transfer of information among staff working in multiple field offices. The impact extends to individuals in the communities where PATH works—resulting in both better care and better awareness.
“The community around where we are setting up these offices is getting exposure to technology,” Karani says. “So people realize, for instance, that it’s important to go to school, it’s important to take care of themselves health-wise.”
In Kenya, local health centers use computers from PATH loaded with Microsoft software to track health records of Kenyans affected by HIV. Photo credit: PATH/Evelyn Hockstein
Expanding the field
Karani is doing her own part to expose more people, especially women, to IT. She helped launch a mentoring program at her alma mater to encourage girls to consider entering the male-dominated industry, and she sits on the steering committee for a new program through NetHope—an IT group for international humanitarian organizations—to recruit more women to the IT field.
As technology progresses and becomes more attainable for nonprofits, Karani and others are seeing the myriad ways IT advances the mission of PATH. Just as Karani’s first email address connected her to friends across the world, PATH’s technology backbone links communities in Africa and around the world to better health and hopeful futures.
PATH is an international nonprofit organization that transforms global health through innovation. PATH takes an entrepreneurial approach to developing and delivering high-impact, low-cost solutions, from lifesaving vaccines and devices to collaborative programs with communities. Through its work in more than 70 countries, PATH and its partners empower people to achieve their full potential.
For more information, please visit www.path.org.
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