PHOTO - Pictured alongside residents of St. Nicholas Home, Penang, in the second row from left, are: Eileen Khoo, Training & Social Services Manager; Amir Teh, IT Head of Department; David Hathaway, IT Instructor cum Consultant; and, P. Vijaya, Part Time Instructor.
In late June, PC maker Acer Malaysia announced its donation of 50 PCs loaded with Microsoft software with a combined worth of US$190,000 to two charitable organisations: St. Nicholas' Home in Penang and Persatuan Kebajikan Rumah Grace (Grace Community Services) in Klang Valley, Kuala Lumpur.
Acer Malaysia General Manager Ricky Tan said at the time of announcement that the 50 computers were collected, refurbished and then donated as part of the trade-in programme organised by Acer between March 24 and April 13 this year. "Customers were entitled to a RM200 [[US$66] discount for purchase of any Microsoft Window-based Acer desktops, notebooks or netbooks with each trade-in. The machines then underwent a thorough check and repair process to select only those that are in good working conditions suitable for reuse in these NGOs [non-governmental organisations]."
"The trade-in programme was an extension of the recently launched joint charity campaign with Microsoft called 'I'm Inspired' where Acer would refurbish the old PCs while Microsoft sponsors Windows 7 operating system and Office 2010 software to complete the system for donation," he said. "We are pleased to witness the success of this campaign as we are driven by the spirit of 'What is taken from the community is used in the interests of the community'."
"When we conceived the 'I'm Inspired' campaign and launched it in March, it was to encourage and inspire school-children to take an active interest in social issues and to give back to society," said Microsoft Malaysia Chief Financial Officer Vijay Bala. "The response by these young people, and the readiness of Acer to step up to the plate and contribute, has itself been inspiring."
"These machines will be used for our IT programme to train the blind and level the playing field in order for the blind to compete with the sighted," said Penang-based St. Nicholas' Home Executive Director, Daniel Soon.
St. Nicholas Penang is a non-profit organisation (NGO) that provides training and services for blind and visually impaired people from all over the Asia-Pacific region.
"The main thrust of Grace Community Services is in caring for the less privileged," said Grace Community Services Director, Roy Tan. "When we heard about the news, we were all very excited as computers are something we need for the different homes set up under Grace Community Services. Our residents, especially the younger ones can use the computers to learn new skills and help prepare them for employment when they leave our homes. For those who are at an older age, learning to use the computer is good for them to keep their mind active and helps them feel useful."
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