World ORT reaches out in Russia


October 12, 2007 World ORT reaches out in Russia The latest collaboration between IT giant Hewlett-Packard (HP) and World ORT is helping to bring together people from across Russias diverse society. HPs Graduate Entrepreneurship Training through IT (GET-IT) programme is aimed at improving the IT-related business skills of school leavers and graduates in Russias non-Jewish community. Five of the 10 GET-IT centres are being run by World ORT as part of its non-sectarian International Cooperation operations. The full range of computers and other equipment that HP is providing is being installed at the five centres this month but the enthusiastic staff and volunteers at World ORT have already hit the ground running: the first GET-IT course, for 15 members of the Foundation to Support Small Business, has been held at the Lawson ORT-Career Centre in Yekaterinburg. Using our facility in Yekaterinburg, which is situated within the Jewish Community Centre, demonstrates the synergy of our two streams of activity in Russia our work for the Jewish community and our International Cooperation work, said Dr Sergey Gorinskiy, Deputy Director of the World ORT Representative Office for the CIS and Baltic States. By bringing in non-Jewish clients we are doing a lot to raise the reputation of the Jewish community amongst local people generally. The course was greatly appreciated by the participants, who had come to Yekaterinburg from throughout the Urals region. Julia Popova, chief accountant at the Kamensk-Uralskiy Small Business Support Fund, said: It was very useful for me. I became acquainted with technology allowing me to organise my work processes more effectively. Ill certainly apply my new knowledge and Ill also share it with my colleagues. Members of the Foundation for the Support of Small Business undergo training at the Lawson ORT-Career Centre in Yekaterinburg. The Lawson ORT-Career Centre normally provides business, office, marketing, design and other skills to help members of the Jewish community break out of the low income and insecure working environments that many find themselves in. It is part of the Lawson ORT-Career Programme funded by UK-based Carole and Geoffrey Lawson Foundation. The Yekaterinburg centre has been designated as one of the five GET-IT centres that HP has asked World ORT to run in a boost to an already flourishing partnership. The other four are at Moscow ORT Technology College 14, the ORT-KesherNet training centres for women in Tambov and Volgograd, and the Vocational Training Boarding School for deaf people in Tula. By using our Lawson ORT-Career Centre facilities we have been able to make a start on the HP project even before installing the range of equipment that HP is providing, Dr Gorinskiy said. GET-IT is a perfect fit for our existing work within the Jewish community and, just as our non-Jewish clients will benefit from the expertise we have accumulated within our own community, so, too will our Jewish clients benefit from the different approach provided by the HP curriculum. In addition to the Yekaterinburg course, five ORT representatives, one from each of the designated GET-IT centres, have completed the special training course run by HP with the Micro-Enterprise Acceleration Institute (MEA-I) that qualifies them to train young people who want to use IT in a small business environment. For Hewlett-Packard, the latest developments are a sign of the confidence the multinational has in World ORTs ability to implement what is one of the key elements of its social investment strategy. In a letter to ORT Russia, HP Business Development Director Karel Vavruska wrote that ORT had been selected to implement the $200,000 project because of the organisations high level of professionalism a guarantee that it will work. HP and World ORT have a long standing and productive relationship, including the setting up of Digital Community Centres in Slavutych (Ukraine), Tula (Russia), and Dikhatole (South Africa) as well as Microenterprise Acceleration Programme (MAP) centres in Yekaterinburg and Samara (Russia). The GET-IT programme builds on the MAP experience and focuses on the need to encourage job creation and entrepreneurship among people below the age of 25. HP is a technology solutions provider to consumers, businesses and institutions globally. With an annual income in excess of $80 billion, the companys offerings span IT infrastructure, global services, business and home computing, and imaging and printing. World ORT is the worlds largest Jewish education and vocational training non-government organisation and has benefited more than 3 million people Jewish and non-Jewish in 100 countries since its foundation in 1880.