Ministry of Communications and Information Technology
16 June 2014
ICT, Social Solidarity Ministers Witness IBM 10th Volunteer Program Ceremony

The Minister of Communications and Information Technology Atef Helmy and the Minister of Social Solidarity Ghada Wali witnessed today IBM 10th anniversary of Volunteer Program “On Demand Community”.

During the celebration launched in cooperation with Eitesal association, IBM efforts for community development were highlighted; these efforts are line with IBM belief in volunteering activities to develop communities. A group of association and institutions took part in the event to showcase their services and products through IBM employees volunteer work allocating part of their time to help communities build a better future. In his speech, Helmy has underlined the new phase Egypt is undergoing, and has called upon everyone to stay together and support society prosperity. The Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MCIT) has launched the social responsibility strategy in partnership with local and international ICT companies and civil society organizations, in December 2013, he has said. Within this context, an ICT sector committee for social responsibility was formed to unify the efforts of partners to implement related projects. The committee’s members agreed to participate in developing 30 centers for full community development in Cairo’s slums. A new project serving the most needed groups gathered all parties. Helmy has added that he looks forward to undertake MCIT social responsibility’s projects via coordination between partners in private sector and civil society. MCIT has several cooperation agreements with different entities.

A number of projects in the field of social responsibility and services, such as information portals for community development, youth employment--awarded by the WSIS Project Prizes 2014 contest--are being implemented.

This is in addition to projects dedicated to distant and marginalized areas and ICT for illiteracy, the ICT minister has noted. MCIT and the Ministry of Social Solidarity have agreed to provide information and technology support to the latter and its different sectors, create a network for volunteering work in Egypt, develop services and take care of the most needed groups. MCIT, therefore, has adopted the initiative of technology development of orphans’ dorms affiliated to the Ministry of Social Solidarity starting with nine dorms as a first phase.

Accordingly, MCIT provides computers and internet as well as training children and youth on using computers and its maintenance as a step before offering IBM advanced training.

Thanks to this initiative, youth can find suitable job opportunities while gaining new professional skills and unleashing innovation. The Ministry of Social Solidarity has selected the dorms for this initiative.

Under the supervision of Misr El-Kheir foundation, IBM has launched two initiatives, in cooperation with MCIT, to leverage children’s skills and education in the Ministry of Social Solidarity dorms and to develop children skills in community schools and prepare them psychologically for the job market to become active members in the society.

Advisor of ICT Minister for Community Services, Abeer Shakweer said that the private sector participation in developing the community work in Egypt was one of the strategic goals of social responsibility of the ICT sector in Egypt, adding that these two initiatives represented fruitful results of the ICT sector committee for social responsibility efforts. MCIT supports a number of ICT enabling projects for the development of societal services and empowering people with disabilities.

Amr Talaat, Country General Manager, IBM Egypt pointed out to the importance of this day reflecting IBM engagement to achieving sustainable development and prosperity for the Egyptian society through a leading role in social responsibility and allocating human and technical resources to achieve these goals, clarifying that volunteering is a main pillar of IBM strategy for social responsibility.

Talaat added that IBM wanted to help children develop their skills to become active members in society and to acquire virtues, knowledge and skills. Accordingly,

 IBM is to utilize ICT tools to improve children capability to learn using English language education tools, progress their skills in sciences and general knowledge and encourage them to participate in IBM mobile software contests.

IBM also trains around 20 tutorials in dorms during the initiative’s first phase, helping them acquire technology skills to train 500 children with programming basic skills to join related contests. Mona El- Ereishi, IBM Social Responsibility and Companies Affairs manager for MENA Region, expressed her deep happiness with the partnership between MCIT, the Ministry of Social Solidarity and IBM to implement the company’s strategy for social responsibility relying on education.

El-Ereishi added that IBM shaped the world’s future through this program relying on IBM team showcasing the latest releases, innovations and solutions in the field of cloud computing, analyzing data, security, social networks, mobile and tablets applications.

The objective is to support small companies with new technologies, expertise and programs to help them evaluate the work model they follow and explore new methods to develop their projects. The program has had 24,6000 volunteers worldwide, limited to IBM employees only.
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