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Creative, Microsoft to Support 25,000 At-Risk Youth in El Salvador - Valley News Live - KVLY/KXJB - Fargo/Grand Forks

Creative, Microsoft to Support 25,000 At-Risk Youth in El Salvador

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SOURCE Creative Associates International

WASHINGTON, June 12, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Microsoft Corp. and Creative Associates International are partnering to provide thousands of at-risk youth in El Salvador with access to software and technology training as an alternative to the draw of gangs. (CreativeAssociatesInternational.com)

"Microsoft's involvement will have a significant, positive affect on youth in gang-infested areas of El Salvador," says Charito Kruvant, President and CEO of Creative. "We appreciate the company's support of our crime-prevention work and the role youth play in creating a safer, better future for their communities."

Using Creative's network of 77 Youth Outreach Centers in El Salvador, Microsoft will outfit 800 computers with educational software applications, including Office 365, Microsoft Mathematics 4.0, Microsoft Worldwide Telescope and more, that will benefit approximately 25,000 youth. With support from local vendors, Microsoft will train 130 information technology coordinators to use the platform.

Microsoft's support amounts to $2.94 million.

The company will also support 13 Salvadoran IT academies with training for IT coordinators, a full teaching technology curriculum and learning tools that help young people to develop marketable skills.

Creative's El Salvador Violence and Crime Prevention Program-which is funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development-is addressing the country's troubling levels of violence by improving the ability of communities, municipalities and national institutions to address violent crime.

Creative's community based centers provide at-risk youth with a safe space where they can receive academic tutoring, improve their computer literacy, learn English and find opportunities for recreation.

Throughout Central America, Creative has established more than 115 Youth Outreach Centers, with more planned in vulnerable communities. (CreativeAssociatesInternational.com)

U.S. Ambassador to El Salvador, Mari Carmen Aponte, praised the agreement between Creative and Microsoft.

"I am extremely pleased to formalize this agreement with an important private sector partner," U.S. Ambassador Aponte said during the signing ceremony of the Memorandum of Understanding. "Precisely, under the Partnership for Growth, we encourage all sectors to join in violence prevention actions to increase the security and prosperity of thousands of Salvadorian citizens."

Microsoft will support the project through its YouthSpark initiative, a global corporate citizenship program that empowers young people to imagine and develop their potential and connects them to further opportunities in education, employment and entrepreneurship. (http://www.microsoft.com/about/corporatecitizenship/en-us/youthspark/)

Gracia Rosi, General Manager of Microsoft El Salvador, signed of the memorandum of understanding for her company.

"It is important to create areas of mutual cooperation with various types of institutions, who seek from their context and institutions to maximize the development of El Salvador," Rosi said. "Thus, we recognize that we must join in the institutional efforts promoted by USAID, and in particular, we must support those initiatives that seek to provide real opportunities for the Salvadorian youth to reach their goals, their development, vocational training and skills in information technology."

About Creative Associates International
Creative Associates International works with underserved communities by sharing expertise and experience in education, economic growth, governance and transitions from conflict to peace. Creative is the second-largest company owned by women that works with the U.S. government.

Based in Washington, D.C., Creative currently has projects in more than 15 countries. Since 1977, it has worked in 85 countries and on nearly every continent. Recognized for its ability to work rapidly, flexibly and effectively in conflictive environments, Creative is committed to generating long-term sustainable solutions to complex development problems.

For additional information, please visit: www.CreativeAssociatesInternational.com

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