SQUASH sensation Nicol David took time off from her busy schedule to visit two grant recipients of the Samsung DigitAll Hope social programme recently in Penang.
The recipients were St Nicholas Home for the Visually Impaired and the Socio-economic and Environmental Research Institute (SERI).
St Nicholas won US$50,000 (RM190,000) for its Samsung Eyes project while SERI, aimed at improving the services of existing student welfare councils (SWCs) in Penang, won US$31,000 (RM120,000) for its Samsung DigitAll READ (Road to Equity and Advancement) project.
Nicol, one of the programme’s ambassadors, was briefed on the winning projects during her visits to St Nicholas Home and the student welfare council centre in Rifle Range.
She signed autographs and entertained photograph requests from the youths.
Nicol, the current world number three player, had encouraging words for underprivileged youths.
“The underprivileged should work hard and strive for what they aspire to be as they too can be successful regardless of their circumstances,” she said.
Also present was Samsung Malaysia electronics corporate and branding general manager Jimmy Tan.
He said that the grant was awarded to welfare organisations nationwide that have the best IT-driven community projects, or organisations that have initiated projects aimed at improving the lives of youths.
“We are glad that Samsung has been able to play a significant role in helping the underprivileged.
“However, we also hope to see more organisations extending their support as well,” said Tan.
Ooi Chee Khoon, executive director of St Nicholas Home, said about 80 students, aged 16 to 25, had benefited from new technology, thanks to the grant.
“St Nicholas was able to equip its centre with 13 computers installed with Braille software and applications catering for the visually impaired.
“The software can translate documents to Braille format and arm the computers to ‘speak out’ words, instructions and functions to the visually impaired,” said Ooi.
Over at the student welfare council centre, SERI executive director Tan Pek Leng said the lower income group and SWCs would benefit from the grant.
“It has allowed us to improve our services and Information Technology (IT) facilities at the SWCs.
“It has also given youths the opportunity to be IT-trained,” said Tan.