GURT Resource Centre and Microsoft-Ukraine help youth NGOs to develop IT and entrepreneurship skills

Microsoft Corporation in partnership with the GURT Resource Centre has organized the 6th NGO Connection Day, which took place on 27 November 2013. The aim of the event is to give NGOs opportunities to connect with partners, to learn about free IT educational programs, to see examples of efficient implementation and best practices using IT in youth entrepreneurship. Participants of the event had an opportunity to share their own experiences of using IT products for overcoming challenges within their organizations.

This year’s event, which has already become a tradition and has been held in Ukraine for the 6th time, brought together about 100 leaders and managers of national and local youth organizations working with young people in the field of entrepreneurship.

Victor Tsykunov, Head of Strategic Technologies Department at Microsoft:

We present technologies that can help you discover and develop your potential. Several years ago, you needed a big investment to start your own company and enter international market… Today, modern technology enables young professionals to start projects and with just a few clicks away, their ideas can spread around the globe.

Oleksandra Chuvakova, Project Coordinator at Microsoft Ukraine

NGOs can contribute to the partnership, which is not necessarily about money. It’s also about having resources. While NGOs do have expert and human resources, premises, contacts, one more thing they need is build up partnerships. We are now far away from giving a fish to a fisherman, that is we don’t give NGOs “decisions-to-go”. We now give them a fishing rod, which in business terms is investment. We think that giving money to NGOs helps us show our responsibility as a business for the society in which we work. Long-term partnership implies that both parties work hard, and a partnership doesn’t appear overnight, but gradually. This makes business public, and leads NGOs to anticipated results.

Philip Litvinov, Managing Partner at Sammy Icon:

My business sprang up thanks to volunteering in Portuguese Red Cross. For a year I worked in Braga in different projects ranging from working with young people and vulnerable groups to planning programs for Red Cross leaders. I particularly single out 5 key skills that I acquired through volunteering. I think that modern youth need to master those skills as they will help  people who start their career find what they want to do and boost their career. First of all, I tried to take on any work tasks and to learn to do a variety of new things which I couldn’t do. Beside this, it is important to be able to work with limited resources, to learn about fundraising. Very often creativity comes along with lack of resources. It is always a good thing. In addition, you need to talk to people and visualize your project holistically.

Oleh Levchenko, Podil Regional Development Agency:

You can speak a lot about future challenges for NGOs. But digital future will inevitably come and there is no way to escape it. More important is how we will be building our lives within this future. Because all electronic services provide opportunities and resources for NGOs, activists and people who want to change things for the better, technology cannot be ignored. We need try to understand what e-democracy is and how IT technologies can facilitate making a positive change.

Iryna Demydenko, NGO Modern Format, Zhytomyr

The stereotype about IT field lies in the fact that it is a predominantly male domain. Nevertheless, women should also keep up with cutting-edge technology. Knowing and being able to use IT means keeping up-to-date. Educational program of “Modern Format” is a progressive school of young journalists. We train youth and try our best to reveal their potential through modern approaches and with the help of latest tools. As a part of the program we organized the project “Open World of IT” IDEA. We thought this kind of project would be great to start since children commonly demonstrate only basic computer skills, however, the project helped children to get a deeper insight into IT.

At the end of the meeting participants selected and discussed 8 tips and steps on how to use Microsoft technologies for organizational development efficiently:

  • Be connected with Microsoft-Ukraine, as well as to take part in information days;
  • Subscribe to Office — 365 and learn how to use this service;
  • Get Windows 8.1;
  • Invite Microsoft experts to events;
  • Organize a training course for employees based on the NGO Connection Day;
  • Use licensed software for security;
  • Inform students and business representatives of Dream Spark Usage Guidelines;
  • Conduct on-line competition on knowledge of Microsoft products.

Power Point Presentations.

More video.

More pictures.

Leave a comment