U.S. Ambassador to Nicaragua Laura F. Dogu (left) signs a partnership agreement with Microsoft’s Regional Manager Gracia Rossi (right).
Photo by Jose Leonel Jimenez, USAID.
Microsoft & USAID to expand Nicaraguan youth access to technology
By Gretchen Robleto
May 17, 2016
Managua – More than 20,000 Nicaraguan youth will gain access to technical training and new technologies thanks to a partnership between Microsoft and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).
The company has committed $2.5 million for programs, training and access to technology tools for Nicaraguan youth through Microsoft YouthSpark initiative. The program’s goal is to expand access for young people around the world to learn computer science as a means to better educational, employment and entrepreneurship opportunities.
The partnership will benefit at-risk youth along Nicaragua’s Caribbean coast ages 14 to 29 who are enrolled in technical and vocational training centers supported by USAID’s Aprendo y Emprendo project, implemented by Creative Associates International, as well as other initiatives supported by the U.S. government.
Known in English as the Technical Vocational Education and Training Strengthening for At-Risk Youth project, it seeks to tie job training for at-risk youth with the needs of employers along Nicaragua’s Caribbean coast.
“The ability to use technology is in high demand throughout the world, and this knowledge can offer opportunities to youth at risk who have lacked access to these innovative tools,” says Rose Mary Garcia, Director of the Aprendo y Emprendo project. “Microsoft’s efforts in Nicaragua can be transformational both for the youth and the development of the Caribbean coast,” she said.
Particularly for youth who do not have formal education and training, gaining technology skills can open doors to workforce opportunities.
U.S. Ambassador to Nicaragua Laura F. Dogu, speaking at the April 26 signing event at Fundacion Samuel, one of the eight technical and vocational training centers participating in the Aprendo y Emprendo project, stressed the need for improve technical skills.
“Many young people leave formal education early, leaving them relegated academically and limiting their employment opportunities,” said Ambassador Dogu.
When young people gain competency in new technologies it can also have broader positive effects in a community, said Gracia Rossi, Microsoft’s Regional Manager, speaking at the event.
“Microsoft emphasizes promoting and contributing to the access and use of information technology, innovation and productivity as factors in achieving social change and improving the quality of life for people and economies where these factors operates,” said Rossi.