HSBC and Microsoft Collaborates With Fusion to bring ICT to war ravaged communities in the North and East

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p>The pioneering vision of Sarvodaya- Fusion, to bring information and communication technology (ICT) to those in need, received another boost from two giants of commerce.

Microsoft Sri Lanka together with the Hong Kong and Shanghai Bank will assist Sarvodaya- Fusion to roll out mass access to ICT resources in the Northern and Eastern provinces of the country. The two companies provided a total of US$263,000 to a Sarvodaya-Fusion project to improve the provision of ICT resources to the war ravaged North East provinces.

These areas endured decades of instability and impoverishment due to an insurgency that finally ended in middle of 2009. The conclusion of the conflict provides a unique opportunity for growth and to share the peace dividend enjoyed by the rest of Sri Lanka. However, the population currently has very limited access to facilities for professional education including crucial IT skills. As new businesses are move to these areas, the demand for an educated workforce is increasing. Gainful employment also provides opportunities for the local communities to rebuild lives through empowerment and stability.

The partnership between Fusion, Microsoft and HSBC aims to this shortfall through a combined Telecentre and Village Information Centre (VIC) strategy. Microsoft will provide training for IT educators at fifty new VICs, which will be equipped with learning materials in Tamil language. These VICs will provide much needed training and access to IT resource to the local populace. This initiative will start with the selection of 50 youth community leaders to set up VICs and close to a dozen awareness programmes to educate the public about benefits of ICT education. Telecentre operatives in the area will also receive additional training and resources to upgrade their own infrastructure and capacity.

The war ravaged Northern and Eastern Sri Lanka needs the development of not only physical infrastructure but also the human resource potential neglected thus far. Since research has shown that telecentres have led to local community motivation, skills development, exploration and ultimately application of knowledge available on the internet, this project aims to develop this potential.

Related Media articles:

Daily News, Sri Lanka

News at Express Business Sri Lanka

IT Pro, Sri Lanka

Posted by Harsha Goonewardana

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