Microsoft allocates US$75 million globally to empower underprivileged youth with IT skills
Around 1,000 junior high school students of Jogjakarta gathered at Gadjah Mada University on November 17 to attend the opening ceremony of Microsoft YouthSpark 2015, a training and capacity building programme for underprivileged youth.
Held in collaboration with non-government organisation Yayasan Cinta Anak Bangsa (YCAB) as mediator to the youth and Gadjah Mada University’s Microsoft Innovation Center as incubator, the event aims to empower underprivileged teenagers by teaching them game developing skills.
The event process includes idea submission, selection, development of the idea and incubation to develop a game application that will peak in May 2016.
It uses the Kodu Game Labs application, which incorporates visual programming language that makes it easier for students to master.
The annual event is being held in the city for the third time after successfully gathering 15,000 participants in Jakarta and Jambi in previous years.
“The end goal of YouthSpark is not the level of complexity of the game itself, but [for students] to understand the thought process behind it. Our hope is that youth can actualise their creative and strategic ideas through the coding process,” said Ruben Hattari, Corporate Affairs Director of Microsoft Indonesia.
He also added that Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella has announced an investment of US$75 million through the YouthSpark programme to empower underprivileged youth in the field of technology.
Jogjakarta was chosen for its potential as a future center of tech industry, with abundance of young talents in the field. Several Indonesian startups such as Go-Jek and MatahariMall have been reported to set up an engineering center in the city.
Image Credit: Microsoft YouthSpark
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