Microsoft India today announced the establishment of the first YouthSpark Centre in India in the capital, New Delhi. YouthSpark, a global initiative recently launched by Microsoft aims to create opportunities for more than 300 million youth in more than 100 countries over the next three years.
On the heels of this establishment, Microsoft also announced cash grants worth US $350,000 for Indian NGOs for the year of 2012-2013. As a part of the grants, two local NGOs, Aide ét Action and Aga Khan Rural Support Program, were allocated US $250,000 in support of their work for youth. Meanwhile, the YouthSpark centre in New Delhi is the first of the ten such centres coming up in various locales across the country. Such centres will focus on providing core training on basic employability skills especially in IT, spoken-English, personality development etc. At the culmination of the course, a selected few will be trained in a simulated set-up, and encouraged to start their own group enterprises or start-ups.
According to Microsoft, YouthSpark will build on the company’s existing philanthropy programs that empower youth to imagine and realize their full potential by connecting them with greater opportunities for education, employment and entrepreneurship by
- empowering youth by helping strengthen education and expand digital inclusion;
- unleashing future innovators by giving youth the inspiration and tools to imagine new opportunities; and
- helping youth realize new opportunities of employability and entrepreneurship.
“I am very proud to be part of the launch of this first Microsoft YouthSpark Center right here in Delhi. I am even more pleased that this is the first of 10 such centers we plan across this great country over the next 18 months as we continue to find new ways to help empower our youth to change their world: to be the spark of change. We expect this YouthSpark center will allow 80,000 youth to be trained over three years – of which we expect 65,000 to find employment through placement drives and alliances with potential employers – and 15,000 to start their own enterprises. This is the core goal of YouthSpark: helping youth access a wide range of Microsoft programs with the common goal of supporting and serving young people in their quest for opportunity”. – Jean-Philippe Courtois, President, Microsoft International.
More information about YouthSpark can be found on the Microsoft YouthSpark Hub, an online space where people can explore and access all of the youth services, programs and resources provided by Microsoft and its non-profit partners.