October is employee giving month at Microsoft. It’s a time when employees across the United States come together to raise money and donate their time and expertise to nonprofits and local communities.  Of course while October is the employee giving campaign, our people volunteer their time and expertise throughout the year. Here’s an example of how the folks in our Customer Services and Support organization are giving back.

 

This summer, for the second year running, as part of Microsoft Customer Service and Support (CSS) Citizenship project, a team of engineers went to Malawi to help children and teachers realize their full potential through technology. The main goal of the project is to share knowledge about IT with the local community and to make a difference through on the ground projects.   clip_image002

The team, made up of volunteers from our Customer Service and Support teams, helped schools and orphanages install new IT infrastructure and helped the Malawi Learning Partnership to reach more schools.  In addition they trained and mentored teachers and students to ensure that their knowledge remains in the country long after the team have returned home. Over 20 teachers were trained to equip them with the skills they needed to create and maintain a network at their school. The work included IT Master Classes for students, a local business forum and a conference where engineers talked about new technology and participated in a discussion about the challenges facing Malawi due to poor technology infrastructure.

The volunteers held a DigiGirlz event which reached over 120 young girls. The purpose of DigiGirlz is give girls the opportunity to learn about careers in technology, connect with Microsoft employees, and participate in hands-on computer and technology workshops. This event had girls aged between 11 and 18 years old. Most of these girls had never used a computer before, but by the end of the day they had typed their resume and cover letters in Microsoft Word, learned how to create a PowerPoint presentation, how to create a website, create a video game with Kodu, and how to stay safe online.

The Malawi “Fundraising Project” Water is life

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Since June, the CSS Malawi Citizenship Project team has been raising money to fund Water Pumps which provide clean water for people in Malawi.

A group of over 40 team members across North America, Europe, the Middle East and Africa are organizing a variety of fundraising events.

The objective to support the installation of 10 new boreholes which will provide access to safe & clean water for 2500 people in TA Mphuka in Southern Malawi where only 22% of population have access to safe water. This project is running in partnership with Concern Universal.

Microsoft engineers went to one village to see how the money raised so far is used and the joy of the people having a water pump repaired and access to clean water was just indescribable!

How can you help? Donations can be made through Justgiving.org.

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More info? Visit the CSS Malawi Citizenship Facebook page.