Samsung generosity gives youth and disabled hope

By Craig Zammit

SYDNEY: Samsung has announced the injection of $US600,000 to its largest social program in Asia Pacific, Samsung Digital Hope, reinforcing its commitment in bridging the digital divide for youths and persons with disabilities.

This donation represents an increase of 20 per cent compared to the funds allocated by the Korean based manufacturer in 2005.

Since its launch in 2003, Samsung Digital Hope has contributed $US2.25 million in grants, and has supported over 38 technology-related projects by community organisations to provide education and employment opportunities for youth and persons with disabilities across South East Asia and Oceania.

“Samsung Digital Hope epitomises our global efforts to reach out to communities and leverage our technological leadership to help enrich lives. We believe the power of technology can help make this world a better place for everyone to live in and this program gives opportunities to those less fortunate,” said Samsung Electronics regional CEO and president, Sang-Jin Park.

The Samsung Digital Hope program, which operates across seven Asia Pacific countries including Australia, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam, targets youths aged 15 to 25 and provides education and access to technology, which Samsung believes is the key to overall future development.

“With the support of local governments and charity organisations, we believe we can make a difference in improving the quality of life for these people. We are proud of the success of Digital Hope, and with our long-term commitment, we are certain to continue extending its benefits to all communities.”

By the end of 2006, Samsung will have donated over $AUS350,000 to Australian organisations including The Smith Family, Ted Noffs Foundation, Inspire Foundations, The Reach Foundation and The Salvation Army Oasis Youth Support Network.

“We welcome all applications from community organisations and academic institutions that propose new technology ideas or new suggestions to upgrade existing projects to enrich the lives of youths and persons with disabilities. Winning projects can use the amount granted to develop new technologies that help reduce the digital gap for people with disabilities or upgrade current technologies used in a project or organisation,” said Samsung Electronics Australia managing director, JS Park.

Applications for Samsung Digital Hope are reviewed according to the overall objective, creativity and innovation of the project proposed, impact of the project on persons with disabilities or youths and the sustainability of the project.

The 2006 Digital Hope ambassador will be Australia’s world champion swimmer, Matt Welsh.

The closing date for submissions is 2 October 2006 with the winning recipients being announced in early December. In 2005, the Digital Hope grant was awarded to The Reach Foundation and The Salvation Army Oasis Youth Support Network.

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