Help for the needy from Microsoft

IN BRIDGING the gap between poor and rich, Microsoft aims to transcend digital boundaries with its Education Excellence Programme.  

A total of 130 underprivileged students received financial support and assistance recently from the Microsoft Foundation Campaign, the corporate philanthropy and community affairs arm of Microsoft in Malaysia. 

In its third year, the Microsoft Foundation Campaign Education Excellence Programme proves Microsoft's long-term commitment to all segments of the community in Malaysia. 

BRIGHT BOY: Abdul Hadi receiving the Microsoft Education Excellence Scholarship from Leo Moggie, while Cheong (left) and Butt look on.

Said Microsoft Malaysia managing director Butt Wai Choon: “Microsoft believes that the single most important use of information technology is to improve education. Children, regardless of background and socio-economic status, should be given equal opportunity to acquire knowledge and information to improve their quality of life. 

“The Microsoft Foundation Campaign Education Excellence Fund ensures that deserving underprivileged children are able to continue their education, and make a better life for themselves and the community.”  

Hence, Microsoft is committed to working with government, industry, businesses and non-governmental organisations to build a better Malaysia for everyone.  

This year's batch of recipients comprises 50 UPSR, 52 PMR and 28 SPM students from the Lions Club of CyberCare network of homes. 

CyberCare is a national pilot programme under the National IT Council to seed and nurture an eCommunity. The CyberCare eCommunity, which comprises children in homes, home administrators, the public sector, the private sector (corporate sponsors) and the community service sector (volunteers, NGOs), aims to cultivate and nurture disadvantaged children's interests, experience and skills through the use of information technology that will empower them for the knowledge-based economy. 

Since its inception in December 1998, the CyberCare eCommunity programme has benefited more than 5000 children from the Cybercare network of 91 homes in Malaysia in terms of PC and software donations, hardware upgrades, and training for orphanage administrators.  

The total number of eligible students this year is 3,500, a 75% increase from the previous year. 

Abdul Hadi Meor Abdul Halim, 19, from Asrama Damai in Kuang, Selangor, received the Microsoft Foundation Campaign Scholarship Award. A student at the Matriculation College in Perak, he obtained a cumulative grade point average of 3.07. Abdul Hadi will study electrical engineering at Universiti Teknologi Malaysia. 

Scholarship recipients get a yearly grant of up to RM10,000, which covers tuition, board and lodging, depending on the nature of the first-degree course. 

Speaking at the awards ceremony, Minister of Energy, Multimedia and Communications and Cybercare patron Datuk Amar Leo Moggie said the programme has helped to counter the digital divide arising from socio-economic disparity. 

“Information and communications technology, particularly the Internet, is an important means for governments and citizens to enhance socio-economic well-being, including in education, healthcare and public services. Therefore, it is crucial for all Malaysians to be involved in the adoption of ICT,” he said.  

Under the Microsoft Foundation Campaign Educational Excellence Programme, CyberCare children are eligible for two types of awards: The Microsoft Foundation Campaign Merit Awards and the Microsoft Foundation Campaign Scholarship Awards. A total of RM500,000 has been committed to the programme over four years. 

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