By: Kunle Awosika Microsoft, Kenya Country Manager
In celebration of the Windows 10 launch, Microsoft shone a spotlight on people and organisations who are doing great things to upgrade their world each day.
Upgrade Your World is a year-long initiative that celebrates people and organisations doing great things, including a series of partnerships with 100 global and 10 local non-profit organisations. Kenya was among ten other countries participating in the global Upgrade Your World initiative this year.
Microsoft asked the people of Kenya to vote for non-profits making a difference in their community in the #UpgradeYourWorld initiative and they spoke up.
“The campaign was received with great enthusiasm and the launch event had over 100 guests in attendance. Kenya has many NGOs doing wonderful work in the community and it was encouraging to see how much interest was generated,” says Kunle Awosika Country Manager of Microsoft Kenya.
“Based on the votes, we awarded five winners the opportunity to become Microsoft’s newest local non-profit partners. Each received $50,000 in donations and technology that will empower them to continue doing the great work they do, with the assistance of the Microsoft team who will help them design more community-based initiatives to benefit the locals,” he adds.
Africa Yoga Project
Based in Nairobi Kenya, the Africa Yoga Project (AYP) helps youth become employable using the transformational practice of yoga. Through partnerships with previously marginalised youth who are now yoga teachers, AYP currently provides more than 300 free classes per week to more than 6,000 community members. Since it was created, AYP has trained more than 200 yoga teachers in Kenya.
“We at the Africa Yoga Project are thrilled to be recognised by Microsoft and to have had the opportunity to participate in the Upgrade Your World initiative in Kenya,” said Paige Elenson, Executive Director and Co-Founder of the Africa Yoga Project.
AIESEC in Kenya is a youth-led organisation that runs various programmes in universities with the goal of creating young leaders who will make a positive impact in society. According to Dennis Lugan, President of AIESEC in Kenya, this partnership with Microsoft Kenya will elevate their reach, grow their impact and help them achieve their goal of engaging with and developing every young person in Kenya.
Kids Comp Camp
Kids Comp Camp helps young learners between the ages of 9-14, living in marginalised communities, catch up with the current digital driven society. “We are so excited to be part of this great initiative by Microsoft to upgrade our world. We are glad to be empowered to empower our children and youth to achieve more for themselves and their communities,” said Caleb Ndaka, Kids Comp Camp Lead.
Vision Africa equips children and young people in Kenya to fulfil their potential and make a difference in their families and communities. By meeting the children’s material and emotional needs, Vision Africa protects the rights of children to have a happy childhood free from neglect, cruelty and exploitation. Working with local partners Vision Africa currently supports over 2,300 children to build a brighter future. “Vision Africa is delighted to be in partnership with Microsoft, we truly believe that partnerships such as this pave the way for wider, more sustainable impact. We look forward to working together to create brighter futures for vulnerable children and young people,” said Deborah Kimathi, Field Director for Vision Africa.
Beacon of Hope
Beacon of Hope is a faith-based, community non-governmental organisation that provides effective services in health, education and economic, youth and social empowerment to the people of Kenya. Their overall goal is to expand Beacon of Hope’s integrated community transformational model throughout Kajiado, Machakos, and Nairobi and replicate it in other countries throughout Africa. The Board of Directors and the entire fraternity of Beacon of Hope expressed its gratitude to Microsoft and is eager to continue empowering the community in sustainable ways through the partnership with Microsoft Kenya.
“I want to thank all those who voted, putting the spotlight on these organisations and highlighting the vital work they do. I wish them the best of success and look forward to our continued partnership,” concludes Awosika.