Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) is in the holiday spirit of giving, and for the second time in a week, it is investing in education through digital access.
In an announcement this past weekend at its Partners in Learning Global Forum 2012 in Prague, the company said via an investment of up to $75 million, it will try to raise digital access for educational materials in Africa. It will partner with six global humanitarian organizations to achieve this, including World Vision Inc., the British Council, SOS Children’s Villages International, Catholic Relief Services, Plan Ltd., and the International Rescue Committee, reported TechCrunch.
The partnership will hit the ground running by funding one project named, “Spark a Child’s Digital Future.” This will begin early next year in Kenya, then move around sub-Saharan Africa and greater areas over the course of five years. Through a collaboration, efforts from numerous organizations, such as its partners, World Vision and the British Council, Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC) and Microsoft will offer their expertise.
A software donation will come from Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT), along with information and communications technology training. Intel and the British Council and World Vision will share their expertise from educational program execution, content development, measurement, and evaluation.
This project will also combine African youth with more than 1 million possible U.S. donors to raise more funds. The program's landing page has already gone live and it is accepting donations beginning at $100 and higher, but visitors also have an opportunity to add their own donation amounts.
The donations will go toward raising digital access in classrooms via devices and infrastructure. They will also contribute to teacher training in this area. The ultimate goal of the program is to encourage the students to seek employment, begin their own businesses, and add to their local economies via learning current digital skills, reported TechCrunch.
Microsoft's $75 million investment in just one of the many projects from the company's bigger initiative, Microsoft YouthSpark. This has been created to give opportunities for hundreds of millions of youths from around the world. With partnerships including governments, nonprofits, and businesses, Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) wants to empower youths to achieve their full potential through connections of more education, employment, and entrepreneurship opportunities.
The company states on its website, "We want to empower youth to change their world."
This weekend's announcement follows Thursday's news by Microsoft that it would contribute an additional $250 million to its Partners In Learning Project. This is a global professional development program that gives teachers the requisite skills to teach IT and other "future-looking subjects" according to TechCrunch.
Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) introduced the program in 2003 and to date, it has invested $750 million into it.