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Microsoft sparks change for disadvantaged youth

Released at: 11:29, 22/03/2017

Microsoft sparks change for disadvantaged youth

Photo: REACH Vietnam

New coding and ICT training program part of a global initiative to empower disadvantaged young people.

by Thu Hoang

More than 600 disadvantaged young people will benefit from a new venture between Microsoft and vocational training charity REACH providing coding and ICT training.

The project was announced at an event at REACH’s Hanoi center on March 21 and is part of Microsoft’s YouthSpark Programs, a global initiative that aims to empower young people by equipping them with computer science skills.

“As technology has become an integral part of people’s daily lives around the world, we’re seeing a growing demand - from students, parents, teachers, governments, and nonprofits - to teach youth not only how to use technology but also how to create technology, to help them become the innovators and drivers of growth and opportunity in their communities,” said Ms. Yvonne Thomas, Global Director of YouthSpark Programs.

Microsoft will provide financial, curriculum, and technical support to roll out coding training to 240 disadvantaged students currently enrolled in REACH’s web and graphic design course in northern and central Vietnam and a 3D modelling class in Hanoi.

Around 460 other students undergoing training in REACH’s food and beverage, sales and marketing, and housekeeping courses will also be provided with ICT training, including skills using the Microsoft Office suite, to enhance their employability.

Asia Regional Director of Microsoft Philanthropies, Dr. Daiana Beitler, added that students will also be participating in Hour of Code, a free online tutorial for students and educators that teaches coding using a wide range of games and exercises.

REACH Executive Director Pham Thi Thanh Tam said that the partnership will play an important role in helping Vietnam’s most disadvantaged youth get their foot in the door in the country’s increasingly competitive job market.

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