Community investment and NGOs
Our corporate community investment programs are built on 3 key themes. The themes are aligned with our corporate strategy, key business drivers, the UN Sustainable Development Goals and the material issues where we believe we can have the greatest impact. The three key themes are:
1. Connecting the unconnected
2. Empowering women
3. Saving lives
Our CCI programs are a combination of both larger global and regional programs, complemented with locally managed and supported programs across the company. Our smaller local programs include employee volunteering where possible.
Connecting the unconnected and empowering underprivileged girls through improved learning outcomes in Kenya with UNICEF. Nokia and UNICEF have been working together in Kenya since the beginning of 2018 to enable equitable access to quality education for children in Northern Kenya. This is being done by providing schools in remote locations with access to the internet, digital educational content in line with the new school curriculum and teacher training workshops to build capacity on how to effectively use the digital content and related hardware in schools. Designed with the needs of children in selected areas in mind, the programme seeks to improve the quality of learning for the children and promote wider educational benefits within Kenya.
Shifting towards a competency-based curriculum, underpinned by 21st century skills, the Kenyan Government has distributed 1 million tablets to 22,000 primary schools. The inability to connect these tablets to the internet within the schools has limited the positive impact of the tablets towards improved learning outcomes for children within the schools. By providing technical expertise and financial support, Nokia has worked with UNICEF to establish a plan to extend internet connectivity to remote, disadvantaged and unconnected schools and maximize the impact of the Kenyan government’s investment in the tablets. In 2018 the piloting process began, following approval from the Kenyan Government.
Nokia and UNICEF have been working to ensure that the materials students will access via the tablets are gender sensitive and can be used by all. This includes students with disabilities who encounter difficulties using traditional textbooks. In 2018 a digital adaptation of an environmental studies textbook was piloted. The plan is to build upon lessons learnt so far and continue and expand the availability of quality digital content that is aligned with the new competency-based curriculum. To ensure these materials are used effectively Nokia and UNICEF are training teachers on how to maximize the use of digital resources in their teaching. In the 2018 pilot, 58 teachers, representatives of persons with disabilities, curriculum designers and Government representatives were provided with training. The teachers have been able to use their new skills to teach 400 students.
This collaboration between Nokia and UNICEF aims to deliver long-term positive results for children in Kenyan. By focusing on aligning its activities with the Kenyan Government’s National Educational Sector Strategic Plan, this partnership is geared towards sustained improvement of education in Kenya; a key driver that has informed Nokia’s contribution to the programme to SDG 4 “Ensure inclusive and quality education for all and promote lifelong learning”.
Early Childhood Care and Development in Myanmar with Save the Children. Since 2015, Nokia has supported Save the Children in Myanmar to improve access and quality of pre-school education, especially for the most marginalized children in remote areas of the country. Through this partnership, communities, as well as local and national authorities, have been supported to further develop and increase access to Early Childhood Care and Development (ECCD) services. The aim of ECCD is to ensure that children gain sufficient skills and capabilities needed for formal schooling. This enables better educational performance and higher retention and completion rates. Nokia’s support has helped Save the Children in developing a holistic approach to ECCD in Myanmar, including building community-managed ECCD centers, delivering training to teachers, improving learning materials and supporting libraries.
Over the past two years, Nokia and Save the Children have also developed and deployed a mobile-based app to overcome challenges in collecting and sharing important data from ECCD centers. Information, such as student participation and drop-out rates, from each ECCD center is crucial to inform decisions about the centers and ensure that the maximum number of children in remote regions are reached by the project. Monitoring visits have been capturing this information effectively, but the paper-based methods used presented difficulties in collating and sharing data. The app, developed with the support from Nokia, has provided a highly useful technological solution. Data from monitoring visits to ECCD centers can now be collected, collated and shared instantly. Where there is limited internet coverage, data can be stored offline ready to be uploaded when there is an internet connection. Following a testing phase, the app is now being implemented across three ECCD townships alongside training.
During 2018, nearly 7,500 children have received vital pre-school education through Nokia’s support for Save the Children Myanmar. The enhanced school readiness of these children is giving them the best possible chance to thrive in later education. This is significant in efforts towards SDG 4, particularly in increasing the proportion of children and young people with minimum proficiency in reading and mathematics, and increasing the proportion of children under five years of age who are developmentally on track in health, learning and psychosocial well-being.
Internet Classrooms Against Poverty in China. More than 50 million rural students have no access to computers in China. Meanwhile, many obsolete computers are still in good condition and could be reused after appropriate refurbishment.
We cooperate with the NGO Zhonggu to donate used company/staff computers. After refurbishment by professional institutions, we set up Internet Classrooms in rural schools in impoverished areas in China.
Our customers/partners/media also participate in this program together with us. They usually donate 1-2 years' free broadband network access, books, education videos, and such materials to the schools.
We organize several activities onsite to interact with the children, for example a donation ceremony, internet courses, olympic games, team building courses, and environmental games.
Our NGO signs an agreement with the beneficiary schools, who commit to provide weekly computer courses to the children. After 1-2 years, the NGO will re-visit these schools, examining their teaching quality & computer quality. Our NGO will also dispose of any computers safely according to their condition.
Having cooperated with the NGO Zhonggu for 8 years since 2011, we have successfully set up 36 internet classrooms in 12 provinces and municipalities, including Yunnan, Hunan, Jiangxi, Sichuan, Guizhou, Gansu, Shanghai, Beijing and Tibet. We have refurbished over 900 second hand company/staff computers, benefited more than 20 000 children and teachers, attracted more than 160 staff to attend it as volunteers, who have contributed 19 739 volunteer hours, cooperated with many customers, partners and media, such as Jiangxi Telecom, Jiangxi Mobile, Gansu Mobile, Tibet Mobile, SMG (media) and many others.
Social protection and disaster preparedness in India. Since 2014, we have worked with Save the Children in India to implement social protection programs and reduce the impact of natural disasters on vulnerable children and their families. We have helped to increase the resilience and capacity of children and their communities to reduce disaster risk and provide relief and rehabilitation when disasters hit, by creating critical infrastructure and raising awareness of disaster risk reduction.
The task force groups formed in each village under the project have responded to both major emergencies such as the Bihar floods and the Vardha Cyclone, and daily risks such as fire accidents in the slums.
Through the disaster preparedness and mitigation program, we have reached our target to implement disaster management plans in each of the targeted 350 villages across five states: Bihar, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Delhi, and Rajasthan.
With the help of our project partner Save the Children, we made school children more secure, contributed to district disaster management plans, created a group of early responders, promoted technology to connect people in times of need and helped many in mitigating risks that arose from disasters. Some key outcomes in 2018 were:
Reverse Osmosis Water Purification Plant for 3 villages to mitigate water contamination caused by disaster: The devastating tsunami of 2004 increased the salinity levels of ground and surface water in Kottaikuppam village about 150 KMs from Chennai. The Vardha cyclone of 2016 further ravaged the resources of the village leaving the villagers in a state of deprivation. Being a village identified and addressed by the project, community members of Kottaikuppam found it easier to understand the issue of salinity. They raised the issue with concerned authorities since they were aware of the problems they would face if they consumed contaminated water. Community demand led to a commercial sized reverse osmosis water purification plant. On seeing the success of the RO plant in villages in Tamil Nadu, a similar plant was set up in Jameelbath in Nalanda district of Bihar. 395 adults and 228 children are benefitting and are protected from water borne diseases.
Families In Bihar Get Respite From Contaminated Water With Arsenic Filters: Arsenic and iron levels in drinking water in low lying flood prone villages in Nalanda in Bihar, made it unfit for consumption. The disaster aware community started buying bottled water to prevent health disorders and simultaneously demanded a resolution to their problems. 138 families identified as most vulnerable were given arsenic filters to give them respite from the problem.
Community Early Responders Form Grain Bank To Mitigate Hunger Of Fire Survivors In Hiyadpur Village In Bihar: A violent fire in February, 2018 engulfed 10 houses in Hiyadpur village in Bihar. A Grain Bank created to mitigate disasters within the Disaster Management Resource Centre in Khagaria responded by distributing 600 KGs of grains to the survivors. These grains comprised rice, wheat and maize that are predominantly consumed as staples in the region. The most fascinating fact was that instead of waiting for help from outsiders, the unaffected villagers were the early responders contributing to the grain bank in proportion to their ability.