Microsoft Oman today joined efforts with the Oman information Technology Society (OITS) to highlight the role of technology in empowering and developing societies at the 2nd Microsoft NGO Connection Day.
The event, held in association with Tawasul, started with keynote speeches from Microsoft, OITS and Tawasul representatives highlighting how the NGOs in Oman can benefit from technology in making a difference in their community. The one-day workshop included a panel discussion about Youth Employability and Entrepreneurship, with the participation of the National Committee for Youth, in addition to a number of training sessions and hands-on presentations by Microsoft and its technical partners Exceed IT Training & Services and LinkDev introducing the newly launched Windows 8 and tackling a wide range of Information and communications technology related topics.
Inaugurating the 2nd NGO Connection Day in Oman, Tareq Hijazi, Regional Country Manager for Microsoft Bahrain & Oman reiterated the significant role technology plays in social development; he said “Microsoft is committed to help facilitating access to technology and improve its use in developing societies to make a difference in as many lives as possible. We are pleased to partner with three respected local institutions OITS, Tawasul and Exceed IT Training and Services to ensure access to stable and secure technology for NGOs and help them transform their operations through innovative and appropriate use of technology.”
Mr. Yaqoob Al Balushi, Deputy Chairman of OITS applauded Microsoft’s efforts saying “Joining efforts with Microsoft to host the NGO Connection Day 2012 has allowed us to meet with some of Oman’s most respected NGOs and highlight our role in supporting and empowering social development in the Sultanate.” He added “This one-day workshop helped us identify future goals which we hope to achieve through our partnership with Microsoft and the on-going discussions with the NGOs."
Representing Tawasul, Microsoft’s partner in advancing the e-maturity of Oman and expanding the e-skills of Omani youth and women through NGOs, Nasra Al Adawi, Advisory Board Member at Tawasul said “The Connection Day programme is a unique technology channel and aimed at fostering economic and social development by targeting various civil society initiatives and groups. There is a growing need to measure development in the society not only in terms of profit, but also in terms of fairness and community support through social responsibility initiatives, for example, like Microsoft programmes. ICT can and should have a significant role in supporting communities and making this social collaboration process more successful in making positive impact. We strongly believe in “capacity building” and “awareness” as basic tools for fostering social development. Such networking dialogues and workshops are best practices that will hopefully pave the way for bringing in innovative mobile applications, software and other solutions that directly satisfy the needs of our communities.”
Tareq Hijazi introduced the Microsoft's Software Donation Programme and highlighted the role of Microsoft in social development; he said "We strongly believe that technology can do amazing things, hence our eagerness to share with more NGOs in Oman our experiences and help them maximize the usage of technology solutions and support positive social and economic development in local communities around the world. Hand in hand with players from different sectors: government, public and private, we aim to close the gap between people who have the access, skills and opportunities to be successful and those who do not.”
Hijazi shed light on Microsoft’s latest youth focused initiative, YouthSpark a three-year initiative aimed at creating opportunities for 300 million young people worldwide. YouthSpark is another technologic initiative Microsoft created to support NGOs focused on empowering youngsters by providing them opportunities for education, employment and entrepreneurship.
Sharing Al Noor Association for the Blind’s experience with the Microsoft Software Donation program, Mr. Salim AL-Rawahi, Chairman of Al Noor Association said “We appreciate Microsoft’s support in helping us meet our technology needs; Windows 7 Enterprise, Windows Server and Office Professional helped us increase our capacity to provide quality services, while enhancing our staff productivity.”
Earlier this month, the Reputation Institute, one of the world’s leading reputation management consultant firms, released its 2012 CSR RepTrak™ 100 report naming companies with the best reputations for corporate social responsibility around the world, Microsoft was ranked first in the category of Governance and also received the top ranking overall.
For more information about Microsoft’s CSR initiatives,