Source: Press release from Microsoft Malaysia, March 2006
eHomemakers manager, Chong Sheau Ching (3rd from left) and Project Coordinator, Wong Peck Lin (1st from right) at Microsoft UP grantees' meeting in Singapore with representatives from Microsoft Malaysia.
Unlimited Potential (UP) is a community learning programme set up by Microsoft to help underserved communities worldwide to participate in ICT skills training. The UP programme partners with local organizations to benefit the community through software technology donation, localized curriculum, training grants and community technology and learning centres.
Recognising that there is an increasing number of female-headed households in the urban areas, eHomemakers has been developing initiatives to help disadvantaged women who need to work from home but are unable to get employment. Many of the women are economically inactive due to various reasons such as physical disabilities, health problems and complicated home situations.
The UP grant enables eHomemakers to kick start the Development of Home-Based Administrative Assistant (HAA) programme, presenting these women with income-generating opportunities to live independent lives. With the acquisition of computer skills and office administrative work skills, a woman can be connected from her home to the world through modern ICT tools, and she will be able to improve her economic and social conditions.
The project duration covers 12 calendar months, starting from April 2006. Ten Salaam Wanita members who possess considerable ICT skills will be invited to be trained as computer class tutors. However, only five will be selected as trainers. HAA jobs will be secured for the other five, who will eventually serve as sources to identify the employment problems that may be encountered by successive batches of trainees.
Sixty disadvantaged women will be selected to participate in the basic computer, soft skills and motivation training programmes. Upon completion of their training, home offices will be set up in their homes with resources donated from other donors. eHomemakers will assist in job placement for the trainees in order to ensure the success of the project. An advanced course will be made available for the top 20 trainees from the class who will then be placed in administrative jobs requiring higher ICT skills.
We would like to express our sincere thanks to Microsoft for sharing our commitment to empower women.
We also acknowledge many individuals and organisations for their support in helping us to implement this project successfully.