Left to Right with trained students from the Oman Womans Association:
Sarah M Jackson - Director - Middle East Partnership Initiative - Embassy of the United States of America
Naushad Hamza - Country marketing Executive - Oman
Fauziyah Ghazi Al Araimi - OWAM Chairperson
Abdullah Lootah - Country Manager - Oman
Pawan Singh Arora - Sales manager - New Horizon Computer Learning Institute
The Oman Women's Association in Muscat (OWAM) is now equipped to train women across the country in IT skills and capabilities following collaboration with Microsoft Oman. Fifteen women are celebrating the completion of Microsoft's Unlimited Potential (UP) curriculum which will enable them to pass on their new expertise to at least 750 members of the OWAM in the three regions of Salalah, Buraimi and Muscat.
Microsoft donated its UP Curriculum and trainers to OWAM in this first phase as well as $25,000 and $27,000 worth of software. Plans are in place currently to expand the programme following this first phase to the remaining 42 women associations.
"In today's knowledge-based economy, computer literacy has become a vital workplace skill-a skill that millions of people worldwide still lack" explained Abdullah Lootah, Country Manager, Microsoft Oman. "Microsoft Unlimited Potential (UP) is a global initiative designed to help broaden digital inclusion and aid global workforce development by providing technology skills through community technology centers. Our work with the OWAM further cements our commitment to empowering people in Oman and enabling them to reach their own potential and that of others around them."
The OWAM was established in 1970 with one of the key goals being to eliminate digital illiteracy and empower women by building their knowledge and skills, and by promoting their personal and professional development. "The goals of Microsoft in the area of empowerment and skills development are totally aligned to our own, making it a natural partner for us," said Fawziyah Ghazi Al Araimi, Chairperson, OWAM. "Each OWA that has already benefited from this programme has been tasked with training 250 women, meaning that through this first phase alone 750 women will benefit from up-to-date IT skills that will enhance their marketability and prospects for employment."
New Horizon Computer Learning Centre (NHCLC), Microsoft's certified partner in learning solutions, provided the training and worked with OWAM on the initiative. "It is projects like this that drive change in a country and foster economic growth," commented Lawrence Alva, General Manager, NHCLC. "It is something that we are very excited to be a part of, and hope to continue our partnership with both Microsoft and OWAM in all of their future endeavors in developing human resources especially the women in the Sultanate."