Hewlett-Packard and ORT open two new centres


24 November 2005 ORT and Hewlett-Packard open two new computer labs Hewlett-Packard and World ORT have teamed up to open two computer centres in Russia and Israel. The new centres in Samara and Kiryat Bialik are the first of four Micro-enterprise Acceleration Programme (MAP) Centres to be set up by the worlds largest consumer IT company and the worlds largest Jewish educational and vocational training non-government organisation. The collaboration with World ORT will comprise one-quarter of Hewlett-Packards planned worldwide network of 20 such centres. The HP Global MAP Programmes goal is to advance the use of technology in small businesses (i.e. less than 10 employees) in underserved communities and so boost their efficiency and effectiveness. Didier Philippe, Director of HPs ambitious initiative, said after the opening of the Kiryat Bialik centre: This is not the end of a donation, it is the beginning of a long term project. The road ahead looks promising and it will be a pleasure to do it together with ORT. The primary focus of the MAP centre Kiryat Bialik is the economic empowerment of women through micro-enterprise management training. At the opening of the Israeli centre, two female students one Jewish, the other Arab shared details of their small business and the course they were taking. At Kiryat Bialik, from left: Gaby Meyassed, Dr Rafi Wertheim, Zvi Peleg and Didier Philippe. Also at the opening was World ORT Head of Education and Technology, Dr Gaby Meyassed. He paid tribute to Mr Philippe and to the head of ORTs International Cooperation arm, Henri Levy, as pioneers of the project, which is based at the ORT Kiryat Bialik technical college but will be catering to the needs of the wider community particularly women in the Haifa area. This joint venture between HP and World ORT is the result of convergent efforts of two global organisations willing to unify their capabilities and expertise, Dr Meyassed told the crowd, which included ORT Israel National Director Zvi Peleg, Kiryat Bialik Mayor Dr Rafi Wertheim, HP Regional Director Jan Zadka, HP Israel Director Gil Rosenthal, and HP Europes Senior Vice President Bernard Meric. So many challenges and values are involved here: education, high-tech, human solidarity, economic empowerment for women World ORT looks forward to expanding this cooperation to other countries around the world as well as to more programmes in Israel, he added. The opening of the HP-ORT MAP centre in the west Russian town of Samara also attracted a large crowd of dignitaries, including the Head of the Education Ministrys Science Department Vladimir Sokolov and the Governors IT advisor Konstantin Melikhov. The First Deputy Rector of the Samara State Aerospace University (in which the centre is situated), Yevgeniy Shakhmatov, thanked Hewlett-Packard and World ORT for the opening of such a well equipped centre which no doubt will stimulate the use of ICT in micro-enterprise activity. A view of the HP-ORT MAP training facilities at ORT Kiryat Bialik. World ORT Representative in Russia, Belarus and Central Asia, Avi Ganon, said that ORT would help low income individuals and groups to start or improve small businesses by providing training and advice. As at Kiryat Bialik, ORT would, he said, work with HP to deliver technological resources, coordinate IT training, and conduct site visits to assess progress. This is not the first collaboration between Hewlett-Packard and ORT. Since 2002, ORT-HP teamwork has established three Digital Community Centres in Dikhatole (South Africa), Slavutych (Ukraine) and Tula (Russia). Through these centres, ORT provides their respective communities with Information and Communication Technology based on their needs. This ranges from training for employment and skills development, to helping improve the level of teaching and learning in secondary and primary schools as well as community development in general. That the partnership between HP and ORT has worked so well since 2002 is a testament to the real understanding that has developed between the organisations Geneva offices ORT International Cooperation and HPs Philanthropy Department, said ORT IC Head Mr Levy. Senior Vice-President of Research and Director, HP Labs, Richard Lampman, unveils a plaque at the opening of the Samara centre. HP is a technology solutions provider to consumers, businesses and institutions globally. The companys offerings span IT infrastructure, global services, business and home computing, and imaging and printing. In the past 12 months, HP revenue totalled $86.7 billion. World ORT, founded in 1880, is the worlds largest Jewish educational and vocational training non-government organisation with some 270,000 students Jewish and non-Jewish in 58 countries.