Cross Sector Partnering between PANDA SOFTWARE (Spain) and GOODWILL Madurai, INDIA

The need for cross-sector partnering between businesses and nonprofits for social development efforts in rural and urban areas is greatly realized in most of the world to respond to the development demands of humanity. Many businesses, in particular in developed countries, have been actively involving themselves in corporate giving either directly or through nonprofit sectors for community development initiatives. Many businesses in India are already involved in building social infrastructure of a community (education, health care, housing, economic development, culture, sports, civic measures, environment development and improvement of other human environments), but their community initiatives do not ensure full participation of the poor, the marginalized and the disabled in the economic and developmental process.

The Goodwill social work centre, an Indian NGO is the only nonprofit organisation from India to have been selected as one of the 15 finalists and one of the four winning projects of the Panda IT Aid - Panda Software International, Spain ,adjudged by the selection committee. In the initial phase, the Selection Committee comprising representatives from Panda Software, the European Commission, public administrations and experts in corporate social responsibility selected the following 15 finalists from among the 130 projects submitted to Panda IT Aid. All the 15 finalists were offered the Panda Software security software solutions necessary to launch their projects.

The corporate award has been given to GOODWILL for setting up Community Technology Centres for children and young women in low and moderate income families in and around Madurai, India. The aim of the project is to create Community Technology centres in Madurai, India, to teach women and children in low to middle income families about new information technologies. It aims to train young women and children, so that they can be incorporated in the labor market in local organizations or even set up new businesses and computer centres.

This is a multi-stakeholder partnership involving three actors namely business, nonprofit and government. The business partnership is offered by Panda Software through the award of grants, monitoring and evaluation of the project while the government partnership is provided by Jan Shikshan Sansthan, Ministry of Human resources development through accreditation and certification of the digital learning courses, performance management and award of certificates to successful candidates. GOODWILL partnership involves project implementation, performance management, reporting and documentation.

This is a community based ICT project which aims at empowering children and youth of low and moderate income families with technology skills and usage in a community based setting keeping in view the following objectives:

1. Empowering children and young women in low and moderate-income communities in villages with technology skills and usage in a community based setting.

2.Providing them with intensive hands-on computer literacy training based on real life exercises using MS Office 2000 and help them with computer skills to advance economically and compete professionally in today's digital economy

3. Offering them career guidance and information and assisting them for gainful employment in ICT related fields.

The centre has identified 252 children and young women who hailed from normal as well as dysfunctional families which include offending families indulging in more 'fights', 'arguments', 'conflicts' as well as 'drunkenness' and 'aggressiveness', female headed families, disintegrated families, stressed families(both parents alive), families likely to disintegrate, economically challenged families etc. An analysis of the causes has revealed the fact that lack of means of livelihood, marital disagreement, financial difficulties, death of spouse, problem of ill health of spouse (husband), alcoholic behaviour of husband, domestic violence (wife/husband battering), lack of understanding of family values, shirking of family responsibility by the husband, and neurotic/psychotic behaviour of spouse have resulted in families becoming 'dysfunctional'.

Interestingly enough, the extent of participation and the level of attendance in the digital learning programmes was as high as 98 percent The reasons for their active participation were attributed to the fact that the programmes were offered free of charge by the Goodwill social work centre excepting a minimum amount towards application, registration and examination to each participant as levied by the Government partnering organisation-Jan Shikshan Sansthan,Ministry of Human Resources Department, Government of India located at Madurai, Tamilnadu, which is the accreditation body to conduct theoretical and practical tests and to finally award certificates to successful candidates.

Most importantly, it is a Panda's (Spain) Corporate funded project which has attracted many a child and young woman in low and moderate income communities and admission was other than 'low income and moderate income groups' was restricted.

A unique feature of the project is that the course curriculum has been designed by the Government partner (JSS) in consultation with the GOODWILL as a nonprofit partner. The course has been designed with the prime objectives of providing knowledge and skills in ,

computers and their use
Operation of a computer and various operating systems, particularly DOS and WINDOWS
The terminology and concepts used in the Microsoft applications
Using and operating computer independently for word processing, creating documents, tables, charts, pictures, drawings etc
Using computer as a means of communication through internet and Life enrichment education.

As expected the overall success rate of the project has been 89 percent, as the digital learning programmes have benefitted them, which will eventually generate acceptable investment returns through their active participation for their economic growth. In particular, it has benefitted young women in learning different computer skills and contracting job work in local organizations and also starting their own computer centres in a small way to take up word processing and DTP, data entry work, office management, online data entry and formatting work and data base preparation etc. The intensive hands-on computer literacy training based on real life exercises using MS Office will enable them to acquire applicable technology skills to advance financially and compete professionally in today's digital economy.You can view our webalbum:http://picasaweb.google.com/chrisdangswc/GOODWILLPANDAITAIDPROJECT2006

BECOME A PARTNER OF THIS INNOVATIVE PROJECT:

The Centre is looking for grant help from potential funders,corporates,and funding organisations for setting up five more Community Technology Centres for the poor children and women in low and middle income Indian communities in and around Madurai and its neighbouring villages,Tamilnadu,South India.

I invite you to be a project partner of the Goodwill Social Work Centre and seek your valuable financial assistance for establishing Community Technology Centres for the children and women in villages and backward areas in Madurai, India.Your funds will be utilized for basic infrastructure requirements such as computer systems and accessories, internet connection, furniture, rent, electricity, books and computer learning materials, salary to staff etc. I invite you to join us in this innovative project and partner with us.

Dr.J.Christopher Daniel,M.A.,Ph.D
Executive Director
Goodwill Social Work Centre
Madurai
India.
www.goodwillsocialworkcentre.org

Tags: corporate social responsibility, csr, green marketing, greenwash, sustainability, sustainable development

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