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Malaysian children part of world's largest art lesson using Cisco technology

AvantiKumar | Nov. 8, 2010
Guinness World Record attempt part of 25-year CSR anniversary, says Cisco.

KUALA LUMPUR, 8 NOVEMBER 2010 -- Malaysian children formed part of the world's largest art class as part of networking solutions firm Cisco's 25-year anniversary of corporate social responsibility [CSR] by attempting a Guinness World Record for the world's largest art lesson across the most number of cities.

Cisco Asia Pacific & Japan president Edzard Overbeek said the art class, which was held in conjunction with recent Hari Raya celebrations in Malaysia, also included cities from Asia Pacific, Greater China, Japan and the US and was conducted by Singaporean artist, Peter Draw.

Overbeek said Cisco collaborated with Peter Draw's class, called The Sweetest Gift, to children and beneficiaries across 12 countries and 34 locations. "In Malaysia, Cisco invited children from Yayasan Salam Malaysia to take part in the art class conducted by Peter Draw via Cisco TelePresence at the Cisco Malaysia office in Kuala Lumpur Sentral."

He said that as well as Cisco TelePresence, other technologies used included Cisco TV and Cisco WebEx to connect offices and communities with a total of more than 1,893 people.

"Cisco also raised more than US$13,569 in donations towards supporting charity organisations and beneficiaries in the following locations: Sydney, Adelaide, Hong Kong, Bangalore, Jakarta, Tokyo, Seoul, Kuala Lumpur, Penang, Manila, San Jose, Taipei and Bangkok," said Overbeek.

 Making the world smaller

°Connecting and collaborating with others is a key element of Cisco culture, and our technologies make the world a smaller place and enhance life experiences," he said. "I'm heartened by the commitment shown by my teams in all the offices and am even more excited by the opportunities we had to show these children how technology is changing the way we live, work, play and learn."

°This is not just the world's largest art lesson," said Peter Draw. "This is also a dream come true for me: A dream to teach art to children all over the world, no matter who they are, or where they come from. A dream made possible by everyone who shared the same vision with me for children, especially the wonderful people from Cisco."

Cisco's Overbeek said some of the children's drawings from the art class would be made into greeting cards for the festive season ahead, with proceeds from the sales going to the charities. "Volunteering is a huge part of Cisco's culture, and the numbers speak for themselves. Since 2001, Cisco employees have logged more than one million (1,128,970) volunteer hours  - a number that continues to increase year over year."

Cisco Malaysia managing director Anne Abraham said as an extension of the initiative, the company, together with its business partners, came together to raise a collective fund of RM19,000 [US$6,165] for Rumah Nur Salam and KL Krash Pad, which are two safe homes set up by the charity Yayasan Salam Malaysia.

"The money collected will be used to help with the maintenance of the homes and provision for the children's basic necessities," said Abraham. "The Cisco team helped set up wireless Internet connection at the Yayasan Salam's KL Krash Pad in the Chow Kit area, in addition to contributing computers and wireless equipment amounting to RM10,000 [US$3,245]."

°Cisco's social responsibility mission has always been dedicated to helping communities improve lives, and getting our valued business partners and employees involved," she said. "We believe not only in investing in, but also engaging with the community in more meaningful ways. By enabling an environment where people can live, work, play and learn using the borderless world of the Internet, the community will have a chance to gain information and knowledge that will enhance their lives."