Philanthropies Asia Archive

Water in the hand: using the cloud to respond to flood disasters in Thailand

When a group of Thai software developers saw how residents relied on fragmented social media posts and occasional radio announcements to get traffic information during severe floods in their country, they decided to make an ambitious integrated cloud-based solution that would give citizens access to reliable local flood information… Read more »




Crop in hand: how a cloud-based application brings farmers closer to end users

If ever there was a time for technology to assist in how the global population produces, trades and consumes food, that time is now. With predictions showing that the world will need to produce 70% more food to feed the 9 billion people by 2050, the race is on to find solutions that will transform the production… Read more »




‘AI for Good’: Empowering China’s nonprofits with world-leading technologies

“In front of you is Barack Obama, looking straight towards you.” At the prompt, the volunteer takes off the Seeing AI glasses she was trying on. In front of her was simply a large photograph of Barack Obama that the glasses had decoded with facial recognition. The Chinese version of Seeing AI was one of the solutions presented at the… Read more »




It takes a community to raise a STEM-girl

Every day when I get to the office, I meet so many amazing, talented people. We brainstorm problems together, we strategize & pursue opportunities together – we go through the ups and downs of our work together. When I take a step back & reflect on the number of women alongside me in the work we do, it fills my heart with pride. As a woman, I see that we’ve come a long way… Read more »




Mapping inclusivity in Singapore and beyond

Ever wondered how online maps can be made more inclusive, for persons with disabilities? Well, on 15 March 2018, Microsoft and Grab joined forces to do exactly that. Teams of 70 volunteers from both organisations embarked on a mapathon to “unlock” Redhill – one of Singapore’s oldest neighborhoods – for people with special needs… Read more »




Thai Red Cross is building an inclusive workplace with Office 365

When the Thai Red Cross Society announced it had positions for people with disabilities, Jutarat Plaiseemuank, 33, saw it as a chance to be closer to her family and decrease her financial burden. She decided to leave her job and the glamor of Bangkok, returning to her hometown in Ratchaburi province. Still, the working environment… Read more »




To Asia’s girls pursuing STEM: “Be brave!”

What is the best advice to give a room full of 100 schoolgirls who are wondering what direction they should take, and what decisions they should make, in life? Wendy Johnstone uses just two words: “Be brave”. Wendy (pictured above) is General Manager of Marketing and Operations for Asia Pacific with Microsoft –  a global company whose mission is… Read more »




Microsoft celebrates International Women’s Day by encouraging young women in Asia to #MakeWhatsNext

To mark International Women’s Day, Microsoft will be driving multiple events and programs at its offices, as well as in schools and with public and private partners to launch the #MakeWhatsNext campaign… Read more »




Mapping hope: how community data is driving cloud-based disaster management in the Philippines

“During a natural disaster, two critical issues that need to be addressed quickly are the lack of information from the affected communities and the perception of the survivors that they are being left behind”. That’s the view of Dan Bercasio, Operations Head at Gawad Kalinga (GK) in the Philippines… Read more »




Coding for culture: Connecting digital skills with Australian Indigenous heritage

A figure step through tall grass as native birds caw and the distinctly Australian sound of insects bristle and hum in the sun; our view scans the treeline, looking for a smoke trail, and far in the distance, we can just see the spindly masts of tall ships against an otherwise clear sky. The scene on the screen is part of Virtual Songlines, a Unity gaming project… Read more »




At a crossroad: how one Bangladeshi girl used technology as a springboard to empowerment

Five years ago, Fatema, a child maid for a middle class family, was called back to her village. Not to reunite with her family, as she first thought, but to be married. “My happiness turned to horror, as I realised I’d been brought back to be married to a man who was 25 years old”. Current figures show that 52% of girls under 18 in Bangladesh are girl brides… Read more »




How a Taipei school for the visually impaired is helping make Microsoft Windows even more accessible

Shen Yan-lin can mix music by computer. His fingers whip across the panel of a smartphone from app to app, changing settings at the same high speed. The faithful Windows user who studied PCs mostly by himself just wants more precision when using Narrator, a built-in Microsoft tool… Read more »




‘Too hard for girls’: IT student defies Vietnam’s gender norms

Just a short three years ago, Pham Thu Huong had no email address, no Facebook account, and no time ever spent at the internet cafes that sprout like weeds around Vietnam. In fact, she had almost never laid her hands on a computer. And yet now she is wrapping up her college degree in computer science, eager to try her hand at writing code… Read more »




Coding the way to a brighter future in 2018 & beyond

As the world ushers in 2018, there are many reasons to celebrate the new year. For hundreds of thousands of youths who participated in the Hour of Code across Asia, one reason is that they are already starting the year on a bright note. After all, they have been introduced to skills that will be closely relevant to their future… Read more »




Unlocking Asia’s digital future with 21st century skills

Bill Gates likes to call himself an “impatient optimist.” I do too. When I meet people like Hai, a 25 year old programmer from Vietnam with cerebral palsy, I am filled with pride and excitement. There is so much to be done, so many opportunities to pursue, a truly inclusive future to build… Read more »




South Korea’s Coding Heroes bring creativity back into the classroom

Already a technological powerhouse, South Korea is banking on a new generation of software education specialists to propel the country into the fourth industrial revolution. Studying computer science and law, Geon-hoon Lee, 26, is the very poster-child of Korea’s young, computer-savvy workforce… Read more »



Microsoft celebrates Hour of Code to build future ready generations in Asia

As part of its ongoing support for’s Hour of Code, Microsoft will be directly conducting over 30 Hour of Code events in Asia to encourage youth to try and pursue computer science and get future ready. This is the third consecutive year that Microsoft is part of this global call to action for students… Read more » 



Teaching China’s next generation to express themselves in code

For 22 years, Xu Xinyan has taught computer skills and computer science to young Chinese students. Now she is on the front lines of China’s national push to educate the next generation in coding skills essential to excel in the new economy. With a Microsoft China Education partner… Read more »




Minecraft brings new hope to Cambodia’s underprivileged kids

One of the joys of technology today is how it can bring people together. That’s what happened when 16 members of Microsoft’s APAC Finance team recently visited a very special charity organization in one of Asia’s poorest nations – the Cambodian Children’s Fund (CCF). During their visit, the Microsoft staffers… Read more »




Step by step: empowering Vietnamese youth in remote areas for the digital world

It’s 6 am. Heavy rain is echoing off the roof of the traditional wooden stilt house. Thu’s mum is helping her prepare for a thousand-step journey. Backpack, raincoat, shoes, umbrella. She’s ready, not to go on a hike, but to attend her computer class. Thu lives in the mountainous region of Hoa Binh, one of the northern provinces in Vietnam… Read more »




Building Sri Lanka’s young programmers, bit by bit

Winning an award for creating a digital dictionary while he was still in school has inspired Prabhath Mannapperuma to foster a legion of budding young programmers in remote corners of Sri Lanka. Mannapperuma heads a team of volunteers who fan out all over the country firing up students with the micro:bit… Read more »




Brothers in Code: REACHing for the future through computer science education

Digital technology is changing traditional work patterns across Asia. Hai and Tai are two friends from Da Nang, Vietnam, who are making sure they won’t be left behind. Hai and Tai are classmates in a coding class that’s run by REACH, a nonprofit organization that specializes in vocational training and employment… Read more »




Angel’s path: building the future of Myanmar with Tech Age Girls

In Myanmar, women only account for 35% of the workforce and are largely left out of the growing technology industry. But one young Burmese believes that learning digital skills will help close that gap.  She is a messenger of the technological wave empowering many other young people in Myanmar to build the future of their country… Read more »



Learn how your nonprofit can leverage technology for greater impact

The demands on nonprofits are perhaps greater today than ever. That’s why, in early 2016, Microsoft Philanthropies committed to donating $1 billion in cloud computing resources, over three years, to help 70,000 nonprofit organizations digitally scale their impact and serve the public good… Read more »



Initiating change, one ‘tech’ at a time

Gunjan Tomar and Ranjitsinh Disale both share a similar passion—that every child should get equal access to a good education. And to make their passion a reality, Tomar who works with children with special needs in Gurgaon, and Disale who teaches children in a rural Maharashtrian school… Read more »



Crystal’s story: Empowering the visually impaired with digital skills

Crystal Jhoy Banzil lost any chance of having eyesight when her retinas did not develop properly in the weeks after her premature birth. Now 14 years-old, she is confident that technology will help her forge an independent and productive life and career in Manila, the bustling capital city of The Philippines… Read more » 



Nurturing Japan’s Next generation of social innovators

Yuto Nishizuka, an undergraduate at Waseda University, is a strong advocate of providing quality and accessible education for all. Originally from Yamagata Prefecture, Yuto felt that the education he received in his hometown was not sufficient to encourage students to explore their full potential… Read more »



An M-Powered future: Enabling the disabled to craft their futures

As a young child, Danny Gnaniah already knew that he wanted to create impact and make change. While the entrepreneur suffers from a permanent spinal cord injury and uses a wheelchair to get around, Danny has never let his disability be an obstacle to his dreams… Read more »



An M-Powered future: Helping youth realize their dreams

The dynamic, fast-paced world of journalism has always fascinated Naowarat Sodsamang. The 23-year-old college graduate has since channeled her passion for the news media into exploring a future career path in marketing and public relations—following internship stints that further enriched her interest and knowledge in digital marketing… Read more »


Empowering young refugees to create their futures

Kayin State has been part of Myanmar’s ongoing civil war for over six decades. It was also once the home of 19-year-old Yo Pyu Ei and her family—until they were driven out by a raid on their village. With nowhere else to turn to, they had to leave their home behind and seek refuge in Thailand… Read more »


An M-Powered future: Shaping the next generation

For high school English teacher Adrianto Supardiono, one of his biggest motivations at work is watching his students mature into young, independent adults. “Being able to share knowledge with my students and guide them in their journey towards adulthood is a blessing,” said Adrianto, who has worked at YCAB Foundation… Read more »


An M-Powered future: Forging new paths

With youth unemployment on the rise in the country, many Vietnamese youth are worried about their job prospects. For 25-year-old Mai Anh Dung, who has already switched career tracks once, not being able to get a job was a real concern. 25-year-old Mai Anh Dung is now studying systems administration at a vocational… Read more »



Microsoft’s CSR programs recognized by AmCham Singapore

Microsoft has received an award from the American Chamber of Commerce in Singapore (AmCham) in recognition of its corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives. One of the 42 companies honored at this year’s AmCham CARES awards, Microsoft was lauded for its efforts to “combine sustainability… Read more »


A cloud of childhood memories

Old photos, school reports, medical reports, and family histories. For many of us, these are things we take for granted. But for the over 40,000 children in foster care in Australia, these things may have long been lost to them. Frequent changes in out-of-home care placements and caseworkers are all part and parcel of life… Read more »



Envisioning a digital world for all

“For people with special needs like me, the digital world is an avenue for us to be able to lead a fulfilling life,” said Rhea Guntalilib, a 28-year-old programmer at Smart Communications Inc. 10 years ago, Rhea was diagnosed with Systemic Lupus Erythematosu (SLE). Then 17, she was going to nursing school… Read more »



Saving children from the streets with the cloud

Shanmukha ran away from home when he was just 13 years old. He was later found at the Bangalore city railway station, more than 200km away from his home, by field staff of the Don Bosco National Forum for the Young at Risk (Don Bosco). Through its vast network, Don Bosco reunited the 13-year-old with his family… Read more »



Promoting education and the performing arts via the cloud

Friends of the Arts Foundation (FOTAF) is a nonprofit committed to spreading the joy of the performing arts to more people in Thailand. Its programs encompass building interest in the arts through festivals and performances, as well as nurturing talented young artists. But FOTAF is not solely about the performing arts… Read more »



Why women are at risk in the Fourth Industrial Revolution

We are entering what is widely referred to as the fourth industrial revolution, an era where the development of new materials, breakthroughs in the field of genetic engineering and digital transformation are increasingly blurring the lines between the physical, biological and digital worlds… Read more »


Microsoft Philanthropies partners Myanmar Book Aid and Preservation Foundation to launch inaugural YouthSpark program in Myanmar

Microsoft Philanthropies has launched its inaugural YouthSpark program in Myanmar to bring access to computer science education for over 450 Myanmar youth. The program was launched in partnership with Myanmar Book Aid and Preservation Foundation (MBAPF), a non-profit organization (NPO) focused… Read more »


Empowering through better understanding

“How can we improve and centralize communications internally to provide more seamless and consistent services to our beneficiaries across different locations?” This was a question the IT staff of Singapore-based nonprofit SPD posed to three Microsoft volunteers during a sharing session on March 1…
Read more »



NEEDeed and Microsoft deliver essential technology to nonprofits

As a proud partner of Microsoft Philanthropies, NEEDeed will soon help equip select not-for-profit organizations in Thailand with essential cloud-based technologies that will help them fulfil their mission through the empowering impact of technology… Read more »



Hearing the world via the cloud

Li Yiran is a twelve-year-old Chinese boy who enjoys reading. Some of his favorite genres are fables and science fiction, but his all-time favorite book is the 100 Thousand Whys book, as it tells him more about the world around him—the world he cannot see for himself. China is home to more than 12.6 million people… Read more »



Tech: The key to achieving greater social impact

How do we communicate and collaborate even while in the field? How do we keep information entrusted to us safe yet easily accessible to staff? How do we improve our operations while saving on limited resources? What is the role of technology in delivering better services to more people in need… Read more »


>Coding the world of tomorrow

Coding is for everyone, and anyone—regardless of gender, age, nationality or occupation. Embodying this very spirit for herself was Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen, who wrote her first lines of code at the Taiwan Hour of Code kick-off on November 30. The event marked a great start to the 2016 Hour of Code campaign in Asia… Read more »


Bringing hope to the children of Cambodia with the cloud

Child abuse and trafficking remains a serious social issue in Cambodia, with an estimated 1.2 million children trafficked every year—and a fifth of these victims sexually exploited. Hoping to bring an end to this is the Child Protection Unit (CPU), a joint operation between the Cambodian Children’s Fund… Read more »



Living Dreams empowers children’s homes in Japan with IT

Five years have passed since the Great East Japan Earthquake which claimed 16,000 lives and displaced 230,000 others. Of those affected was an 11-year-old boy, left orphaned and homeless in the aftermath. He soon found himself at Matsuba-en, a children’s home, where he was cared for since… Read more »

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