Microsoft Announces More Than $25 Million in "UP" grants

It often amazes me how many people portay Bill Gates as one of the most evil men in the world; the fact that he has given literally hundreds of millions of dollars away to charity is just ignored or passed off simply as a "tax scam".

In an effort to increase worldwide computer literacy and reduce the global digital divide in technology skills, Microsoft Corp. today announced a second round of Unlimited Potential (UP) grants totaling more than $25 million (U.S.) in cash and software for more than 70 nonprofit organizations. Unlimited Potential is a global initiative focused on providing technology skills for underserved individuals. Recipients of UP grants are public centers where people can gain IT skills and training to help themselves and their communities. Microsoft has made a five-year, $1 billion commitment to Unlimited Potential and other programs to bridge the digital divide, and the company has distributed nearly $50 million in cash and software since the program was initiated in May, 2003. The recipients in this round span 45 countries in Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America, the Middle East and North America.

One example is Street Tech, an organization that provides IT training and professional skills to low-income and underserved adults in the San Francisco Bay Area. Street Tech helps clients from disadvantaged backgrounds secure paid, stable positions as IT technicians. Street Tech will use its UP grant to continue providing job-related technology training to members of the local community. "How one uses technology is every bit as important as whether one uses it at all," said Paul Lamb, executive director of Street Tech. "Community-based initiatives like Unlimited Potential allow us to provide state-of-the-art technology training to those who would otherwise lack access to even basic computer skills education. We're helping members of our community attain the skills they need to not only survive, but to succeed, in the 21st century work force."

UNICEF Venezuela, another UP grant recipient, has been working since 1991 to protect that country's children and their rights. Its UP grant will be used to support the Technology for Indigenous Children project, created to give young people the opportunity to develop skills and knowledge and help them avoid child labor, while enabling access to higher-level education. The project is expected to benefit 2,000 Venezuelan children and teenagers, and represents the first time that indigenous children and communities supported by UNICEF will have access to technology.

View: Press Release @ Microsoft.com

View: Reciepients of the money

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