Camp trains student volunteers to teach underprivileged teenagers computer skills

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 30 June, 2001, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 30 June, 2001, 12:00am

An innovative scheme aims to train volunteers to teach computer skills to underprivileged young people who have little exposure to information technology.

Eighty student volunteers took part in a two-day Cyber Action Bootcamp at Wu Kai Sha Youth Village.

The camp was part of the Cyber Action Summer Campaign.

The campaign is in its third year and is organised by Microsoft Hong Kong, the Social Welfare Department and Agency for Volunteer Services.

Volunteers were trained to use a range of software including Microsoft Windows ME, Magic School Bus, Picture IT!2001, Office XP, Word 2002 and Powerpoint 2002.

In addition, instructors from the Social Welfare Department also taught student volunteers how to communicate with teenagers detained in government institutions.

After training, the volunteers will visit community centres, mental institutions and detention centres to pass on their computer skills.

It is estimated that over 1,000 disadvantaged young people will benefit from the programme.

Yolanda Chan Yee-mei, chief marketing director of Microsoft Hong Kong, said: 'We started informing schools about the event in May. We also invited local universities and other tertiary institutions to participate. All students above the age of 16 can take part.'

Jimmy Li Ying-wai, a first year architecture student at the University of Hong Kong, was one of the participants on the camp. He is already experienced in working for the community.

He said: 'I am currently the chairman of our university's social service group. We devote part of our leisure time to taking part in voluntary community service programmes.

'At the moment we have 13 members in our organising committee and we have developed long-standing working relationships with governmental and non-governmental organisations.

'The course is a very meaningful activity because I can upgrade my knowledge of some software, and at the same time I can also help others who don't have easy access to the technology.'