SINGAPORE: Microsoft Singapore has raised more than S$154,000 for people with disabilities in its flagship philanthropy event held on Saturday (Dec 10).
The funds will be channelled to help people with disabilities pursue tertiary education in information technology-related fields and pick up vocational IT skills training.
The cheque was presented to President's Challenge beneficiary SPD on Saturday at the event, We Tech Care. It was held at the Enabling Village in Lengkok Bahru, a community space focused on the training and employment of people with disabilities.
The funds will go towards supporting SPD's vocational training programmes, as well as the Microsoft YouthSpark Scholarship.
Through these programmes, 32 scholarships have been awarded to 29 students. Meanwhile, more than 68 people with disabilities have been trained and 30 have found jobs.
“Technology empowers people with disabilities and unlocks their potential,” said SPD’s president Chia Yong Yong. “Microsoft’s donation will go towards supporting students with disabilities pursuing a tertiary education in information technology, and providing vocational and work skills training to help increase the employability of people with disabilities.”
As part of the event, more than 600 volunteers and members of the public also got to experience technology-related activities such as coding workshops and demonstrations on how assistive technologies can help people with disabilities lead more independent lives.
Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam interacting with a participant at one of the coding workshops during We Tech Care 2016. (Photo: Microsoft)
Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam said such initiatives help to create the future that people want in Singapore.
“It involves not just assisting people and enabling people, but about helping everyone to contribute to that future because the future that we want is a future that will be made by all of us - made by people of every ability,” said Mr Tharman, who is also Coordinating Minister for Economic and Social Policies.
“In fact, everyone has something hindered in them that can be unlocked, and everyone learns and grows by having relationships with people of different abilities,” he added.
However, Mr Tharman noted that there is still a lot more Singapore can do in this aspect. “I think it’s still a journey and there’s a lot more we can do for each individual… and develop this society where you’ve got thicker relationships between people of different abilities."