Seattle, WA (December 10, 2012) — Last week in Prague, Czech Republic, Microsoft closed the Partners in Learning Global Forum with an announcement of their $75 million investment and commitment to an initiative that will bring digital access to youth and educators in developing nations, beginning in Kenya in 2013, scaling across sub-Saharan Africa and beyond over the next five years. Spark a Child’s Digital Future, which launches this holiday season, is a collaborative effort, uniting World Vision, British Council, Microsoft and Intel.
World Vision, with operations in nearly 100 countries, will leverage their deep experience in sub-Saharan Africa in collaboration with British Council to initially launch in 50 schools in Kenya. Microsoft will contribute software, curriculum, and expertise gained through Partners in Learning. Together Microsoft and Intel will offer ICT expertise and training while British Council and World Vision bring on-the-ground expertise in education program execution and content development for teacher and school leader professional development, as well as measurement and evaluation.
The Spark a Child’s Digital Future initiative will bring holistic digital access to the classroom, including devices, infrastructure, and teacher training, which improves learning outcomes — in academics, life skills, and economic opportunity.
“We recognize that once a child’s basic needs are met, digital skills development can be vital in securing economic growth,” said Rich Stearns, president, World Vision U.S. “This program is essential in helping children in developing countries succeed in a global world.” To get involved in this partnership, watch Rich Stearns' video message on YouTube.
The announcement is in support of Microsoft’s recent YouthSpark commitment — an initiative to empower 300 million youth worldwide through the provision of education, employment and entrepreneurship opportunities over the next three years.
“Today’s young people face an opportunity divide — a gap between those who have the access, skills and opportunities to be successful and those who do not,” said Anthony Salcito, vice president of Worldwide Education for Microsoft. “We firmly believe in the power of technology to help close this gap. But we can only achieve our ambitions with the help of these kinds of partnerships. Together, we can help bring digital access to youth and support to educators in developing countries worldwide.” See Anthony Salcito’s recent blog post, Digital Access in the Developing World Becomes a Reality Through Partnerships.
“We are pleased to deepen our collaboration with the British Council, Microsoft and World Vision” said Brian Gonzalez, Director of K-12 Education, Intel Corporation. “We look forward to transforming the educational experience for students in Africa through the Spark a Child’s Digital Future program.”
The memoranda of understanding (MOUs) were signed at Microsoft’s Partners in Learning Global Forum 2012 in Prague, Czech Republic.
|Dr. Jo Beall, British Council Director of Education and Society said “We hope these new partnerships will enable a step-change for education around the world. Through working together, we can harness our long-developed expertise in helping young people find new educational opportunities and bring that experience to many, many more people.|
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About World Vision
World Vision is a Christian relief and development organization dedicated to helping children and their communities worldwide reach their full potential by tackling the causes of poverty. World Vision serves the world’s poor regardless of a person’s religion, race, ethnicity, or gender. For more information please visit www.worldvision.org/press. Or follow them on Twitter at @worldvisionnews.
Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential. For more information, news and perspectives from Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft News Center at www.microsoft.com/news.
Intel (NASDAQ: INTC) is a world leader in computing innovation. The company designs and build the essential technologies that serve as the foundation for the world's computing devices. Additional information about Intel is available at newsroom.intel.com and blogs.intel.com.
About The British Council
The British Council is the UK’s international organisation for educational opportunities and cultural relations. We promote the exchange of knowledge and ideas and strengthen links that results in mutual benefits between the United Kingdom and the countries we are present. We work in over 100 countries and among our partners are governments, non-governmental organisations and private institutions. For more information, please visit: www.britishcouncil.org