NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 11 – The Safaricom Foundation has launched the 3rd phase of a Corporate Social Investment initiative which provides individuals with an opportunity to share their skills and expertise with community based organisations for three to six months.
The initiative, dubbed a World of Difference, will see ten members of the public join 20 Safaricom employees in enhancing engagement and involvement of the volunteers by promoting community work and volunteerism amongst participants.
Safaricom CEO Bob Collymore said that the initiative is more than just writing a cheque or donating a shilling, rather it’s about asking what one can do as an individual to make a difference using their skills and talents.
“The foundation work is about what we can do to give more back to the community and we benefit from it because our staff comes back more developed by having worked in more challenging environments and they gain a better understanding of some of the challenges the communities face,” he explained.
“It enhances knowledge and skills in community-based service through first-hand experience and helping partner organisations implement life changing programmes,” he added.
Since it’s inception in 2009, the World of Difference initiative has had 31 Safaricom employees and three university students participate and Collymore revealed that their goal is to have 50 percent of their 2,700 employees participating in a Corporate Social Investment activity.
“This is about making an impact and really making a difference,” he emphasised.
“These are some of the ways that ICT is helping and we will be making a bigger impact in education in the rural communities as a sector,” he added.
In previous phases, over 20 community and NGO partners took part in the World of Difference programme and close to 50 organizations have already expressed their interest to participate in this year’s initiative.
The initiative was established in 2002 by Vodafone Group Foundation and there are now over 20 Vodafone Foundations running the World of Difference programme including in South Africa, Ghana and Egypt.
Foundation Chairman Joseph Ogutu said their partnerships with various organisations have played a major role in the success of the initiative.
“The success of this programme is largely attributable to the strong support we have received from our partner organisations,” he stressed.
“Through them we have developed strong synergies and this occasion further serves as an opportunity for us to strengthen these bonds to make even greater change and impact,” he added.
Application for the public participation is now open and will run until the 10th of August and application forms can be found on the Safaricom Foundation website: www.safaricomfoundation.org.