Microsoft Student Partners and YoungSparks program Turn One

Two of Microsoft’s initiatives, Microsoft Student Partners (MSP) and Microsoft YouthSpark program in Cambodia, have hit an exciting milestone, celebrating their first year anniversary on 10 August 2017 at an event held at the Royal University of Phnom Penh!

These initiatives have greatly impacted the lives of over 3,000 Cambodian youth by making technology and technical training way more accessible to them; so as to help them develop the necessary skills for a bigger and brighter future.

Firstly, the MSP program was created to cultivate technological skills amongst youth by providing them a platform where technology-focused student communities can fester, as well as grant them access to the most current and relevant resources and training. Jointly initiated by non-profit organization (NPO) STEM Cambodia, Microsoft has chosen 54 senior students from 10 Phnom Penh-based institutions over the past year.

These promising and talented individuals were given access to technical training on programming languages such as Xamarin and ASP.net. Managing Director of STEM Cambodia, Allen Dodgson Tan commented, “The Microsoft MSP program is providing globally relevant skills to Cambodia’s burgeoning IT sector. This has been a great opportunity for the students involved and will ultimately improve skills across the sector.”

Furthermore, fellow MSP Dalya Limchan added that MSP is definitely a program that “cultivates students to be innovative and provides us with opportunities to develop our technical and soft skills”,  empowering its youth participants to be more ready for their careers in the future.

This is all rooted in the opportunities presented during the program itself, which allows participants to exercise their leadership, communication and project management skills. To date, Microsoft has successfully created an active tech community with over 700 students; who act as Microsoft ambassadors at their respective campuses where they organize various events and workshops.

On the other hand, the global Microsoft YouthSpark program was introduced to equip all youth to be future-ready through the provision of relevant digital and computational thinking skills. These skills are key building blocks that can allow youths to succeed in today’s modern and tech-fueled economy, as well as empower them with the necessary resources and content to allow them to innovate and create growth for their communities.

As part of this program, Microsoft has also been working with several Cambodian NPOs over the last year to prepare the youth for jobs in the digital economy and they include:

  • Cambodian Children’s Fund (CCF): Extends high-quality digital education to more than 1,700 children located in the slums of Steung Meanchey and covers topics like basic literacy education and introduction to computer science
  • Friends-International: Provides technology and productivity training for 300 marginalized youth in Phnom Penh and Siem Reap to break the vicious circle of intergenerational poverty
  • Passerelles Numériques: Provides a gateway out of poverty through a technical 2-year training that awards its participants with an associate or bachelor’s degree. So far, there have been 200 graduates across the 3 different centres in Cambodia, Vietnam and the Philippines

For more information about the Microsoft Student Partners (MSP) program, you can visit their Facebook page here and if you want to read up on more examples of how Microsoft is helping people realise the promise and potential of technology and their philanthropy work, you can visit their website here as well.