Thai Bankers’ Association, CSR Club and Microsoft empower Thai Red Cross Society employees with disabilities nationwide with donation of computers and software licenses

 |   Thornthawat Thongnab

Bangkok, 15 August 2017 – The Thai Bankers’ Association is continuing its work under the Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities initiative through a collaboration with CSR Club and Microsoft (Thailand) Limited to enhance performance of handicapped workers in 76 provincial Red Cross chapters and 240 Red Cross district branches across Thailand. This joint effort includes the donation of 550 computers and essential operation and productivity software worth 27 million Baht to the Thai Red Cross Society.

Mr. Kobsak Duangdee, Secretary-General of the Thai Bankers’ Association said that “In 2017, all 14 members of the Thai Bankers’ Association worked together under the Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities initiative under the Association’s guidance to secure 902 jobs for disabled workers at the Thai Red Cross Society – an influential nationwide organization working for the betterment of society. In the first year of this project, the Thai Red Cross managed to fill 668 job openings with handicapped workers, who have proven to be highly capable yet held back by lack of appropriate equipment – especially computers. In response to this, we worked with the CSR Club of the Thai Bankers’ Association to seek computer hardware donations from member banks who are due to carry out their routine hardware upgrades in order to contribute additional equipment to the Thai Red Cross employees. In addition to strong support from Association members, we also received further contributions from the National Defence College of Thailand’s Class of 2009 as well as Microsoft (Thailand) Limited, allowing us to better develop quality of life and professional capabilities of the handicapped and provide them with significant improvements in career and learning prospects.”

Ms. Thitinan Wattanavekin, Chairperson for the CSR Club of the Thai Bankers’ Association, said, “The CSR Club has been assigned by the Association to oversee the continuation of the project, and we have asked our members for their support in collecting computers replaced by newer hardware as well as new computer equipment throughout 2016 and 2017 for donation. Five member banks with existing plans to upgrade their equipment came forward with a donation of 550 computers – namely Kasikornbank, Kiatnakin Bank, Tisco Bank, Thanachart Bank and UOB Thailand. We received additional funding for further computer purchases from the Class of 2009 of the National Defence College of Thailand, while Microsoft Thailand has contributed essential software for the handicapped Thai Red Cross employees stationed in 76 provincial chapters and 240 district branches throughout the country. We expect the additional hardware and software to enhance these employees’ capabilities in data gathering, public relations, meeting and financial documentation, and self-development through digitally-enhanced learning.”

Data from the Department for Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities in June 2017 shows a total of 1,802,375 disabled people carrying disability identification cards, representing 2.72% of the national population. Out of this total, 802,058 are of working age (15-60 years old), yet only 227,924 (28.4%) of them are employed. There remains a large portion of the handicapped workforce waiting for an employment opportunity.

Mr. Dhanawat Suthumpun, Managing Director, Microsoft Thailand, added: “At Microsoft, we believe that everyone has a potential, and technology plays an important role in tapping that potential. We are proud to have joined the Thai Bankers’ Association and its CSR Club in driving employment for people with disabilities at Red Cross provincial chapters and district branches. Our contribution, which comprises Windows 10, Office 365, and Office 2016 licenses worth over 27 million Baht combined, represents the biggest donation we have ever made to a non-profit organization in Thailand as we look to support Red Cross operations across the country. Furthermore, we will be providing technological skills training through our Microsoft Philanthropies division to empower individuals and organizations alike to achieve success in our mission together.”

Khunying Jada Wattanasiritham, Treasurer for the Thai Red Cross Society, said, “On behalf of the Thai Red Cross Society, I would like to express my appreciation and gratitude for the Thai Bankers’ Association, the CSR Club, and Microsoft Thailand’s support for over 700 employees under the Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities project. Stationed at provincial and district chapters all over Thailand as well as our head office, these employees have proven their competency at work already – especially in the area of computer literacy. This donation of computer systems and software will further enhance their current and potential ability while also bolstering their job security. With a free flow of experience-based knowledge among the handicapped workforce, they can become proud members of a society with reduced social division and greater prospect for sufficiency as professionals in their careers.”