Philippines is new home base of telecentre.org

MANILA, March 2 /CNW Telbec/ - The telecentre.org Foundation which improves the social and economic impact of grassroots telecentres around the world is pleased to announce that it has officially opened its doors today in the Philippines. The international initiative is now transferred from Canada's International Development Research Centre (IDRC), where it was housed and grown since 2005, to the telecentre.org foundation, an independent, non-governmental organization based in Manila.

Philippine dignitaries, as well as the foundation's funders and partners will attend the telecentre.org Foundation's launch, scheduled today between 9:30 a.m. and noon in the Philippines, at the New World Hotel Ballroom in Makati City.

"We welcome telecentre.org with open arms," says Sec. Ray Anthony Roxas-Chua III, Chairman of the Philippine government's Commission on Information and Communications Technology (CICT). "To locate this global initiative in the Philippines is truly an honor that confirms our nation's status as an emerging leader in rural informatics."

Created in 2005 by IDRC, Microsoft, and the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, telecentre.org has brought the benefits of the knowledge society to poor and isolated communities by making telecentres stronger and more sustainable. Telecentres are public places where people can use computers, the Internet and other emerging technologies to help promote economic and social development.

"telecentre.org's transfer to the Philippines represents success for us," says Rohinton Medhora, Vice-President, Programs at IDRC. "It is also very much in keeping with IDRC's mandate of building capacity in the developing world by housing and then transferring programs when they are able to function independently."

Since 2005, telecentre.org and now the foundation has worked with 200+ telecentre networks and organizations spread across 70 countries to provide the support, tools, and opportunities that telecentres need to help people overcome poverty and create economic opportunities. Together, we reached approximately 40-million telecentre users and counting.

"Microsoft is proud of what telecentre.org has accomplished in its first five years," says Akhtar Badshah, Senior Director, Community Affairs, Microsoft. "We look forward to seeing the initiative we helped create continue to make a difference in development through the new telecentre.org Foundation."

The telecentre.org Foundation will continue to be a catalyst for the worldwide telecentre movement and work toward building an inclusive knowledge society. We will also work to deepen its engagement with the 200+ telecentre network partners who have already helped make our global initiative a success. The foundation gratefully acknowledges the support of IDRC, Microsoft, SDC and the CICT.

For further information: Contact (in the Philippines): Dr. Basheerhamad Shadrach, Executive Director, telecentre.org Foundation, Tel.: +91-9871119726, Email: bshadrach@idrc.org.in; Contact (in Canada): Isabelle Bourgeault-Tassé, Senior Media Advisor, IDRC, Tel.: (613) 696-2343, Email: lbourgeault-tasse@idrc.ca