Home promotes IT skills


Gift from the heart: Soon (left) receiving the mock cheque from Tan at St Nicholas Home in George Town.

Gift from the heart: Soon (left) receiving the mock cheque from Tan at St Nicholas Home in George Town.

GEORGE TOWN: Knowing that information technology is the way forward, St Nicholas Home has been running IT programmes for the visually impaired.

Its executive director Daniel Soon said acquiring skills in the field would put the home’s residents on a level playing field with the able-bodied in society.

“Instead of just providing them training on massage and basketry, we want them to secure high-income jobs as well,” Soon said after receiving RM30,000 from Star Foundation on Tuesday.

“We want to equip them with knowledge on information and communication technology that could pave the way for a better future for them.

“They are very good in using keyboard shortcuts and have very good memory,” Soon added.

The RM30,000 donation is meant to support the home with operational expenses and for the running of its programmes. On hand to present the mock cheque was Star Media Group’s senior writer Tan Sin Chow.

Elaborating his point, Soon said being a masseur or a basket weaver were laborious and it got tougher when they grew older.

“But it’ll be different if one is good in coding or programming,” he said.

“They can secure a lucrative income, as we do not want the blind to do something that can only sustain their lives.

“We want a better future for them and their families.

“If they are successful, then they can be role models for others,” he added.

Set up in 1926, St Nicholas Home has been helping the visually impaired even through the war era.

Soon said the fund would be used to create a new Linux essential coding programme, improve its current online learning resources project and continue its indoor navigation system project.

The Linux essential coding, which is a server administration course, is the first in the world created for the blind.

“We appreciate the help and support from The Star, for the write-ups that created awareness among the public on the visually impaired,” he said.

Star Foundation is a charitable arm of Star Media Group. It is aimed at raising, receiving and administering funds for charitable, social and research purposes.

Since its inception, Star Foundation has helped several charitable causes and organisations lessen their financial burden, running of existing programme and upgrading of facilities.