Using Technology to Enrich Volunteerism

This post is part of a series of articles that highlight Microsoft employees in Asia who are creating a positive impact in their local community, and inspiring others along the way.

As the Principal IT Manager at Microsoft, Khoo Sang Chin has served in various capacities to support customers in optimising their IT operations. On top of his daily work activities, the Singapore-based industry veteran is also committed to volunteering his time and technical knowledge for a rather different purpose—making technology accessible to everyone, especially the underserved communities whose needs are often overlooked.

 Sang Chin (top right), with another volunteer, spending time with two beneficiaries at the Bishan Home for the Intellectually Disabled

Having been with Microsoft for more than 13 years, Sang Chin was greatly inspired by the conviction shared by the company and his colleagues to create a positive impact through volunteerism. He wanted to contribute to the shared cause by extending the benefits of technology to less privileged individuals.

“While most Singaporean youth and working adults are quite technologically savvy, there is still a group of people who require more support in realising the benefits of technology. I believe we can achieve this by helping make technology easy to use and more accessible to the elderly and needy children,” he said.

Sang Chin was one of the volunteers involved with Microsoft’s recent We Tech Care Open House, held in support of the President’s Challenge 2014. During the event held in November, the volunteers set up a “PC Clinic” to provide guidance and IT support to the general public, especially senior citizens.

“The Open House was a huge endeavour in terms of the planning and event coordination,” Sang Chin recalled. “Working together with my fellow volunteers, I am glad to be able to help many members of the public learn some basic computing skills.”

 Sang Chin's volunteer activities include conducting an IT audit at Canossaville Children's Home

Another memorable experience for Sang Chin was his participation in the AmCham Corporate Community Day at the Bishan Home for the Intellectually Disabled, where Microsoft volunteers and their family members spent a day interacting with the home residents. Windows Touch devices were used to make the various games and activities more fun and engaging for the residents.

Sang Chin said, “Our volunteer work did not require a great deal of effort or deep technical skills. It was really more about spending time with the beneficiaries and showing that we care for them. The smiles and laughter, their gestures of appreciation, made me feel that we have made a real difference in their lives, even if it’s just for a day!”

These activities have certainly provided Sang Chin with a new perspective on the impact volunteering work can have on the community. He hopes to inspire others to play a more active role in volunteer activities, while further exploring the use of technology to enrich the lives of those who are less fortunate.

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