Posts Tagged ‘Palestine’
Thirteen FreeBalance Offices Around the World to Participate in Literacy Event
Ottawa, Canada (March 7, 2011) – FreeBalance, a Government Resource Planning (GRP) software For Profit Social Enterprise (FOPSE), will be participating in World Read Aloud Day on March 9, 2011. World Read Aloud Day is an international event organized by LitWorld that motivates children, teens, and adults worldwide to celebrate the power of words and stories. This event advocates the right for every child for literacy, safe education, and access to books and technology.
LitWorld will host a 24-hour Read-Aloud Marathon in Times Square on March 9, supported by the New York Daily News. Special guest readers at the event will include the Chancellor of Schools, Cathie Black, Deputy Mayor for Education and Community Development, Dennis M. Walcott, and many renowned authors and performers, including C. Alexander London, Adam Gidwitz, Jane O’Connor, and Jill Santopolo. A special LitWorld poem will be printed exclusively in the Daily News for New Yorkers to read together and help celebrate the power of the written word.
“Literacy is the human rights issue of our time,” said Pam Allyn, Executive Director and Founder of LitWorld. “By learning to read, we all have access to information, the power of shared stories of the human experience, and a way to connect with one another. By raising our voices to express the written word, we come together on behalf of all the world’s people who long to join the world of readers.”
“We believe it is important to actively participate in the local community in a meaningful way,” said Manuel Pietra, President & CEO of FreeBalance. “World Read Aloud Day allows our offices from around the world to engage with the community. We look forward to March 9 where together we will celebrate the importance of literacy.”
FreeBalance employees will visit local schools, SOS Children’s Villages, orphanages, or community centres in Antigua & Barbuda, Canada, India, Guatemala, Kosovo, Kyrgyz Republic, Liberia, Mongolia, Palestine, Sierra Leone, Timor-Leste, Uganda, and the United States. This year The Mixed-Up Chameleon by Eric Carle will be read. Colouring books and short story booklets will be provided to children by FreeBalance staff members. Text and activities will be translated to the local language to encourage understanding and participation. Children will receive a certificate of achievement.
FreeBalance customers span the globe and the user community includes public financial management professionals in 18 countries, including Afghanistan, Iraq, Kosovo, Liberia, Mongolia, Namibia, Pakistan, Panama, Sierra Leone, Southern Sudan, Timor-Leste, and Uganda among others. FreeBalance operates in 15 customer time zones. FreeBalance has more than 60,000 users around the world. FreeBalance software manages a global civil service workforce of 1,500,000, and also manages a quarter trillion ($US) annual budgets worldwide.
LitWorld is a 501C3 nonprofit organization led by Founder and Executive Director Pam Allyn. LitWorld’s mission is to cultivate literacy leaders worldwide through transformational literacy experiences that build connection, understanding, resilience and strength. Founded on the three pillars of access, advocacy, and education, LitWorld works with teachers, parents, community members, and children to develop sustainable reading and writing practices to engage the world’s most vulnerable communities in the redemptive power of story. For more information, visit www.litworld.org.
FreeBalance helps governments around the world leverage robust Government Resource Planning (GRP) technology to accelerate country growth. FreeBalance software solutions for public financial and human resource management support reform and modernization to improve governance, transparency and accountability. Good governance is required to improve development results. For more information, visit www.freebalance.com.
By James Elrick
Good news. FreeBalance President & CEO Manuel Pietra is an awards finalist for the OCRI Next Generation Executive Award. OCRI is Ottawa’s economic development agency. It is the rallying point to bring business, education, research and talent together to create the winning economic conditions that allow Ottawa’s knowledge-based companies to thrive locally and compete globally. OCRI promotes sustainable economic development to maintain Ottawa’s high quality of life.
This award recognizes an individual who has had a significant impact on the success and/or transformation of their organization as a direct result of their leadership. The winner will be announced at the OCRI Awards on April 7, 2011 at the Hilton Lac Leamy. Here are reasons why Manuel is an awards finalist:
In 2006, Pietra brought international experience to FreeBalance and introduced a new management team. FreeBalance was restructured into a global customer-centric company with a focus on government financial sustainability. The company added new customers in Canada, Pakistan, Panama, Palestine, Uganda, Kyrgyzstan, Namibia, and Liberia.
Pietra developed a unique approach to involve customers in the product development process, including the FreeBalance International Steering Committee (FISC). The steering committee is all about the government customers. FISC is an opportunity for public financial managers to share lessons learned. To discuss emerging trends. And, to set company direction. This is necessary for a customer-centric approach.
With the introduction of a new business strategy and customer-centric approach, FreeBalance is growing at a rate of 18-20% per year. And, the third quarter in 2010 has been the best in the company history. Global employee growth has kept pace as FreeBalance has been actively hiring to support the growing customer base.
FreeBalance customers span the globe and the user community includes public financial management (PFM) professionals in 18 countries, including Afghanistan, Canada, Iraq, Kosovo, Mongolia, Pakistan, Panama, Sierra Leone, Southern Sudan, and Timor-Leste among others. FreeBalance has more than 60,000 users around the world. FreeBalance software manages a global civil service workforce of 1.5 million and also manages a quarter trillion ($US) annual budgets worldwide.
Pietra realized that values were important to sustain long-term corporate success. Effective PFM transforms countries. He implemented the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) philosophy at the core to the company mission. Global citizenship commits FreeBalance to international country development, knowledge sharing and service improvement.
Since 2006, Pietra has ensured that FreeBalance offers leading-edge technology that uses sustainable and proven open-source middleware and modern component-level Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA).
Unlike competitors, FreeBalance does not hide old technology with a web “wrapper”. The FreeBalance Accountability Suite is pure web. FreeBalance technology is optimized for government needs for scalability, usability and maintainability. FreeBalance software is built with reusable PFM components. This lowers total cost of ownership (TCO) for government customers and makes the technology more extensible. FreeBalance leverages technology best practices to achieve technology leapfrog over our competitors. FreeBalance offers full support for any commercial technology stack, so FreeBalance can support customer requirements with both open source and commercial technology.
Dili, Timor-Leste: Stephen was able to capture a good picture of FreeBalance President and CEO, Manuel Pietra, with school children in Dili. Manuel has been at the forefront of Corporate Social Responsibility at FreeBalance by advocating more activities with SOS Children’s Villages and other organizations that focus on children.
Stephen says that “a fun time was had by all” at Escola Primaria Numero 4, Fatuhada, Dili. Timor Leste.
Guatemala City, Guatemala: Miguel and the FreeBalance team read aloud at Public School # 80 “Angelina Acuña” in Guatemala City.
“Teachers of the school also organized other activities related with the WRAD. All of us including kids and teachers enjoyed all the activities and shared a great moment all together!”
Kampala, Uganda: Tiberius reports that Government of Uganda IPPS project and Computech staff joined FreeBalance at World Read Aloud Day from the oldest school in Kampala. SOS Children’s Villages in Kampala also leveraged the reading material. Great art work was created by the children, rated far better than that produced by Tiberius who has wasted his talents on computer engineering.
Ulanbaatar, Mongolia: Khurelbaatar reports a “great day for the kits with lots of joy and new information sharing.”
Books were read aloud in English and Mongolian. Children displayed their Read Aloud workbooks for the camera.
Every FreeBalance staff member reading aloud described the event as a wonderful experience highlighting the importance of literacy for economic development and innovation.
Pristina, Kosovo: Rehana reports that children were happy to hear books read in Albanian and English.
Certificates were provided to all the children who participated around the globe. Certificates were proudly displayed by all.
Kosovo was the first FreeBalance customer outside of North America.
Lisbon, Portugal: Antonio reports that the Portuguese children in the first year elementary class were intrigued with the subject matter. “When we explained this same thing was happening in classrooms all over the world, their eyes lit up and the questions flowed.”
Books were read in English and Portuguese.
Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan: Victoria describes the wonderful experience with school children in the capital of the Kyrgyz Republic.
“We are very much pleased with the opportunity of reaching the hearts of kids on behalf of the mission and look forward for more repeatable events in the future.”
Palestine: Hussam thanks “FB management for giving the opportunity to share this with the kids in Palestine and special thanks from the kids themselves.”
World Read Aloud Day is much more active than reading and listening. Activities, discussion and interaction.
Ottawa, Canada: James reports finding a school that appears like the United Nations.
“Some students already speak two or three languages and are now learning English/French. It’s a very diverse school that does a wonderful job at being inclusive.
All the students enjoyed the story immensely. And they were very excited about the colouring activities and the stickers. Did I mention they liked the stickers!”
Washington, USA: Anne reports that Michael dressed as Batman was big hit with the children at a Head Start Pre-School Program. “all loved the book and there was lots of talk about favorite animals during the Animal on the Globe Activity.” Anne and Michael were accompanied by Kathleen Guy from Global Action for Children.
We were excited to learn that FreeBalance won a Canada Export Achievement Award for our Government Resource Planning When you have the ability to sell a product that you know is going to improve conditions in a country, you really participate in shaping a nation. We’ve seen the transformation of countries that use our software.”
Of course, there is a little bit of hyperbole in the article in Profit Magazine. Manuel’s quote sums up what all of us at FreeBalance feel: “
There are some key points captured in the article and our press release:
- Customer-centric initiatives like the FreeBalance International Steering Committee and the FreeBalance Customer Exchange have helped us to get closer to our customer needs and set product priorities
- Re-organizing the company in 2006 to better address our International and Canadian market has resulted in high growth with new customers in Canada, Pakistan, Panama, Palestine, and Uganda
- Sustainable solutions require a local support model – that’s why FreeBalance hires locally, provides regional support and helps build government capacity
- FreeBalance built products that adapt to the country context: from post-conflict through emerging nations to the G7
- FreeBalance software avoids private sector functionality to achieve fast implementation in government
As Manuel said in the press release: ““his award is a reflection of the difference that FreeBalance is making in the world and our commitment to ensuring success and sustainability in each and every customer country. Governments around the world are undertaking significant public sector reform and modernization initiatives to support accountability, transparency and country growth. We are proud to be a part of this process.”
The past chair of the FreeBalance International Steering Committee, David Mathais, from the Government of Antigua and Barbuda, was quoted in the magazine article. “They’re well aware of the external and internal politics that impact some of the decisions that we, as business managers within government, have to deal with,” says Mathias. “It was said at a World Bank meeting that I attended once that ‘where there’s a crisis, there’s FreeBalance.’”