Incubating Solutions to Fight Human Trafficking

Human trafficking, also known as modern slavery or forced labour, affects more than 40 million around the world. As the world’s 3rd fastest form of organized crime, worth an estimated USD150 billion dollar industry, it is easy to see the financial incentive to lure victims into forced labor. Every aspect of this crime is a business – from recruiting, transporting, organizing to monitoring and ensuring the forced labor continues.

Mirroring the stages of the traffickers, the non-profit sector working to combat this issue can briefly be categorized by their main objectives – awareness, prevention, advocacy, enforcement, shelter and resettlement. Although separate in their direction and functional objectives, these NGOs are dedicated in working towards one goal: to end modern slavery.

However, without the right tools, the majority of the non-profit sector working against the crime fall behind the sophisticated techniques used by the traffickers. Without using digitally secure networks, without knowing how to navigate cyberspace without leaving their digital footprints, without using the right communication techniques to speak to their target audience, much of their physical and digital safety is compromised, not to mention their hard work gone to waste.

Over the last few months from August to October, TechSoup conducted a series of workshops for the anti-human trafficking sector. Most participants were Malaysian based NGOs, a handful were unions and organizations set up to address the forced migrant labor issue. The training topics spanned from data visualization, digital security, communication tools, social media insights, fundraising, and even basic photography. The event culminated in an NGO Incubator Pitch, modeled after the “Shark Tank” pitches.

Each participating NGO had 10 mins to pitch their case. Their presentation started with the tech tools used to design and execute a short social media campaign of their choice; an honest sharing of their challenges and successes; and finally, the pitch: why should TechSoup and Yayasan Salam incubate and grow them?

The grand prize, worth USD1,700, comprised a customized training plan, 1-1 support, fundraising service support, mentoring with NGO start-ups, licensed software and a tech gadget of choice.

The winner of the NGO Incubator Pitch was Ziaur Rahman, a Rohingya refugee and a human trafficking victim who has been sold 7 times in his life. Since arriving in Malaysia, and obtaining his UNHCR status, Ziaur has campaigned tirelessly on violence against Rohingyas. The panel of judges were impressed with his ability to demonstrate clearly his goals, his vision for the road ahead, and mostly, that he was able to articulate how this incubation was important in ending modern slavery.

Second prize winner was Tenaganita who received a prize value of USD800, which includes customized training, licensed software and 1-1 support. Honorary mention that won a prize value of USD300 was Friends of Women Organisation, Selangor (Persatuan Sabahat Wanita, Selangor).

The winners will be incubated from November 2018 to April 2019. During this period, the winning NGOs will receive additional resources, support and help for them to campaign more effectively against human trafficking.

The project is funded by the U.S Embassy of Malaysia, and carried out in partnership with Yayasan Salam Malaysia. For more information on the project, please contact Elizabeth Liew at eliew@techsoupglobal.org

NGO Connection Day 2017 in Taiwan

Every year, we tour different cities around Taiwan to explore new ICT innovation and trends with the nonprofit communities.

In 2017, we hosted three events, including CEO Day, in Taipei and Kaohsiung. Topics covered included “NGO Case Studies: Appliances of Azure and Office 365”, “NGO Website Design in Mobile Age” and group discussions among CEOs.

The events, co-sponsored by the local Microsoft office, saw 282 attendees, representing 196 local nonprofits.

For more details, please visit TechSoup Taiwan’s blog.

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More Photos of 2017 NPO Day.

2017ceodayComplete report of CEO Day facilitation process.

Reintroducing TechSoup Thailand

Nonprofits around the globe face similar challenges. However, with changes in political landscapes, shifts in economic powers and evolving market trends, these challenges often become very geographically contained.

In early May 2017, TechSoup Thailand organized a networking and learning event to understand the current challenges that Thai nonprofits are facing.

As a technology nonprofit, TechSoup kick-started the event with tech-centric ice-breaking activities : creating new hashtags for the event, taking creative selfies that display TechSoup’s logo, and ‘checking in’ to Ma:Dee’s (the co-working space where the event was held) social media page.

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Ice breaker: A participant creates inspiring hashtags for the event – #bepartofchange # ngonetworkingbkk #socialentrepreneursunite
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Ice breaker: The group poses with the TechSoup logo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The event drew participants from nonprofits across various sectors from different parts of Thailand, some came from as far as Chiang Rai to learn about how to leverage on TechSoup to better serve their communities.

A presentation line up included long-established Thai nonprofits Kenan Institute Asia and Change Fusion, who shared case studies, best practices, relevant content and practical tools designed specifically for the nonprofit sector.

NEEDed, a small and growing Thai-based nonprofit was also part of the line up where they shared their capacity development projects, focusing on their experience in helping nonprofits adopt technology.

Fhi360’s Regional IT Manager, Somphop Krittayaworagul, was invited to talk about digital security and the impacts of software piracy, a grave concern for the organization and nonprofit community in recent years.

The event ended with an engaging 45 minute breakout session where participants were asked to discuss and identify (collectively) their top five challenges and needs.

i) Technology
ii) Human Resource
iii) Funding
iv) Communication
v) Government and Stakeholder relations

The last part of the breakout required participants to state how TechSoup could help them. Participants shared their struggles with technology – software, hardware, cyber security, lack of I.T skills, adaptation and implementation, and recognizing the need to use more online portals for fundraising and learning.

Clearly, being a global technology network with 66 partner NGOs with presence in 236 countries, TechSoup has partners in the various capacities and are able to bridge the gaps the sector faces.

A key outcome from the event is for TechSoup Asia-Pacific to work with the various stakeholders to design capacity-building projects for the Thai nonprofit sector.

Reintroducing TechSoup Korea

South Korea is popular for several things, many of which are ICT related – the world’s fastest Internet speed, world’s most innovative country in the Bloomberg Innovation Index, Asia’s highest youth digital literacy rate, and Asia’s most e-ready government.

Combining a highly skilled and literate work force with more than 90% of the population having access to Internet, it is no surprise that TechSoup Korea has become a household name in the Korean nonprofit sector.

At the end of April, TechSoup Korea hosted an event for more than 80 people from sixty nonprofits. The half-day event re-introduced the TechSoup Global Network and TechSoup Korea’s suite of current product offerings, as well as qualification criteria, validation standards and processes (based on Korean tax laws and regulations) to qualify for technology donations.

The event ended with an engaging discussion about the technology needs and preferred software of the nonprofit community. The discussion was useful for TechSoup Korea in understanding the growing needs of civil society in Korea, and outlining a list of potential donors and products to include in the TechSoup Korea catalogue.

Technology for Good Day 2017

The “Technology for Good Day” event, formerly known as “NGO Day”, has established itself as a key platform for non-governmental organizations (NGOs), public and private sectors to exchange experience, develop partnership and explore new ICT and strategies in meeting social needs of all kinds. It also signifies the 13th year collaboration between Microsoft Hong Kong Limited and The Hong Kong Council of Social Service (HKCSS) in enhancing the ICT capability of NGOs.

The theme of this year is “The Complete Cloud for Modern Nonprofits – Achieve More for Social Good”. Fruitful programmes include conferences, break-out workshops, exhibition on cloud solutions, case sharing by NGO speakers, and 1:1 Ask the Expert professional consultation service. The details are as follows:

Date:    21st March 2017 (Tue)

Time:    10:00am – 5:30pm

Venue:  Microsoft Hong Kong Office @ Cyberport

Details and Free Registration: https://aka.ms/j59hl6

Simplifying Technology

Technology can be daunting for many, especially for those who struggle to keep up with emerging technological trends. In view of the low digital literacy in the region, the TechSoup Asia Pacific team has made it a priority to simplify these ‘daunting’ concepts.

Jed Adao, TechSoup Asia-Pacific Project Coordinator, developed a mini series of “Tech Made Easy” videos on YouTube. These 1-minute videos have been used in various webinars and f2f trainings across our SE Asia partner network as well as TechSoup UK:

The goal of these videos is to summarise new and existing technology concepts, as well as introduce new products to the non-profit community.

Although certain software such as MailChimp are free and available online, many NGOs lack the knowledge on how to use such products.

Understanding this digital gap, and the need for easy-to-understand content, TechSoup Asia-Pacific has simplified content and made it accessible for the non-profit community.

Our regular webinars and step-by-step guides on both free and paid products, help to reduce the digital divide and build the tech capacity of the non-profit community in the region.

The TechSoup Asia-Pacific catalogue carries a wide range of products including operating systems, project management, anti-spam, security and firewall, multimedia and graphics, mapping tools and programming softwares.

For more information on the TechSoup Asia Pacific catalogue or country-specific products, visit our Tech Donation page or contact customerservice@techsoup.asia.

Hong Kong: Technology for Good 2016 Events

The Technology for Good Day, formerly known as NGO Day, was a grand success this year. Sixty-two senior executives attended the executive breakfast, and 87 IT managers and front line officers attended the half-day conference.

Fifty-one NGO coworkers attended the two technical workshops. The theme of the event was Cloud Technology – From Theory to Practice.

It served as a good platform for nonprofits to exchange  ideas, share best practices and new insights into how to take full advantage of cloud technology.

Microsoft Philanthropies also announced a USD$1 billion donation globally in providing cloud computing resources to nonprofits and university researchers over the next three years.

Information Technology Resource Centre, a limited company wholly owned by HKCSS, will continue to work with Microsoft Hong Kong in the coming months, organizing workshops and trainings to facilitate the utilization of this donation in the nonprofit sector.

For further information, please visit the event webpage (Chinese only).

Hope Worldwide Malaysia scales with technology donations

Techsoup made the difference. Technology is no longer out of reach for the underprivileged.” – Katy Lee, Executive Director, HOPE Worldwide Malaysia

Hope Worldwide Malaysia utilized Microsoft software donations to establish IT centers for underprivileged youth, and update its ICT infrastructure in support of its many educational, scholarship, and training programs.

HOPE Worldwide Malaysia is a nonprofit that has been around for nearly two decades beginning 1996. What started as their first community program, a free health clinic in 2000, has then blossomed to an array of initiatives that tackled problems not only related to health, but also food and education. On top of their initial program, their initiatives now also include educational assistance and monthly grocery provisions to underprivileged children and families, to name a few.

My Reading Program - Pictures 4.jpgFocusing on their initiatives towards education, their executive director, Katy Lee, shares that they also currently provide school sponsorships, a mini library, a reading program for the underprivileged children of Kuala Lumpur and Penang (MY Reading Program) and lastly the Creative Art Program, which is a venue for children to develop their self-esteem and self-confidence through artistic expression.

Katy shares that through TechSoup Asia-Pacific, they were able to add yet another program to an already rich assortment of educational initiatives. The affordable, genuine licenses of Microsoft software that they got through TechSoup Asia-Pacific was used to develop the necessary I.T. infrastructure for their ‘1-stop I.T. Resource Centers’ located in Penang and Kuala Lumpur.

Since the establishment of the I.T. centers in 2013, the organization has continuously put the genuine licenses of Windows 7 and Office Suites to good use by continuously serving over 72 underprivileged children, ages 7-19, and counting! Through the centers underprivileged children can now gain access to a wide array of I.T. services such as free access to the internet and free printing services for their homework.

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But aside from that, the organization has also used the Microsoft software licenses to create a lasting impact on the children by providing free ICT training sessions regularly. These sessions are referred to as the ‘Microsoft Skills Learning Classes’. Through these regular training sessions, underprivileged children are taught how to properly use Microsoft Office software in order to help them in their studies and to serve as an added skill as well.

Lastly, Katy shared that through the affordable genuine licenses made available through TechSoup Asia-Pacific their organization can now easily keep their ICT infrastructure up-to-date.

(Photos from HOPE worldwide Malaysia’s Facebook pagewebsite and blog site)