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Microsoft Philippines has recently partnered with the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) to provide information technology training to about 1,000 non-government organizations (NGOs) around the country. Dubbed "Kapit-Bisig para sa Kabuhayan," the project aims to close the digital divide to communities that benefit from the outreach projects of non-government organizations.

Microsoft has donated more that $90,000 in cash and more than $1 million in software for the installation of computer training laboratories in 44 TESDA centers nationwide. The centers will provide IT skills trainings to representatives of NGOs who will then cascade the training to their respective beneficiary communities. Over 20,000 Filipinos in underserved communities are expected to benefit from the cascade of IT skills training.

According to Microsoft Philippines Managing Director Antonio "TJ" Javier, "Our partnership with TESDA reiterates Microsoft's commitment to helping people realize their potential. Kapit-Bisig further expresses our support for the government's thrust to develop the Philippine IT industry and to make the Filipino a globally competitive information worker."
Javier added that Kapit-Bisig is unique in such that it builds on the capability of non-government organizations to address community needs. Microsoft is confident that their goal to close the digital divide complements the NGO's mission to uplift the welfare of underserved communities.

Kapit-Bisig is part of Microsoft Unlimited Potential, a global initiative focused on providing technology skills for underserved individuals. Recipients of UP grants are public centers where people can gain IT skills and training to help themselves and their communities.

Other Unlimited Potential projects already being implemented are "Pag-asa" and "Tulay." UP Pag-Asa provides technology training to displaced and out-of-school Amerasian youth in the former U.S. bases in Subic and Clark. This project is implemented through Learn.Ph Foundation. UP Tulay provides basic computer skills to Overseas Filipino Workers to help maximize their potential while working abroad and communicate better with their families in the Philippines. This project is implemented in partnership with the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration.
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