Employee volunteerism is important to Microsoft. As part of Microsoft Sri Lanka’s Staff Volunteer Day, employees teamed up with the Foundation of Goodness (FOG) to plan a series of practical training sessions aimed at building career and personal development skills in 250 women and children in Seenigama.
The sessions took place on 18-19 November 2011 with women and children gathered from 20 villages around Seenigama, all eager to learn from Microsoft and FOG staff. The two days saw multiple activities ranging from cooking and sewing lessons, leadership and skills building, information technology (IT) training, and a host of team building activities.
One of the more notable activities was the introduction of Windows® MultiPoint® technology into a kindergarten classroom. It was the first time that these children had used computers. With MultiPoint, the kids could access a centralized computer simultaneously, all from the convenience of their own independent monitor, keyboard and mouse. This was a significant activity for Microsoft, as the kids were the youngest ever to use this type of technology.
Other activities that stirred great interest were the personal development courses. These included cooking and sewing classes for women over 80, as well as public speaking courses. While Microsoft wanted the villagers to have fun with learning, Microsoft also wanted to help secure the youths’ future with the right job skills. To help raise the youth’s employability, Microsoft garnered the support of professional trainers from Global Talent Coach & Consultants (Pvt) Ltd who dedicated their time and energy to conduct free team-building and leadership courses to 180 youths. Microsoft staff themselves also planned in-depth feature trainings centered on two commonly used workplace programs, namely Microsoft® Office 2010 and Windows® 7. With these newly developed IT skills, Microsoft hopes that the youth will feel more confident about entering the workforce.
All in all, the event was a great success. The organizers, Microsoft and FOG, were inspired by the active participation from the villagers. And the villagers themselves showed great enthusiasm throughout the two days. This was yet another accomplishment for Microsoft employees in their mission to help improve the lives of women and the youth worldwide.