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Global SOS

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DQW Bureau
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Organizational initiatives under the corporate social responsibility program

(though mostly philanthropic in nature) often evoke strong reactions ranging

from interest to pure contempt. Even as supporters of CSR lock horns with the

cynics over the real motive behind corporate philanthropy, the truth of the

matter is that with the onset of globalization, the relationship between

business and society has undergone a sea change.

While many may argue that CSR is nothing more than a 'PR exercise' for most

of these multinationals; one also cannot simply put aside the fact that a

majority of the 'PR activities' undertaken by these millionCs have indeed

managed to make a difference.

Dell: Invest in youth



Driven by the philosophy to equip youngsters to learn and excel in a digital

economy, Dell launched its global philanthropic strategy for providing

additional support for education and digital inclusion initiatives. As Michael

Dell, Chairman and CEO, Dell succinctly puts it, “The next billion Internet

users coming online will largely live in emerging countries such as Brazil,

Russia, India, and China. And our new giving strategy is rightly focused on

equipping youth in these areas, and around the world for success.”

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Significantly, from 2011 onwards, Dell will increase its overall corporate

giving to one percent of the company's pre-tax profits focusing on emerging

countries. In line with the new philanthropic strategy, the company introduced

YouthConnect Global Initiative, for directing corporate giving to organizations

in emerging countries for promoting education and incorporating math, science,

literacy and technology skills development for youth aged up to seventeen years.

Even amidst the gloomy economic scenario, Dell Foundation awarded 121 open

grants ranging from $500 to $5,000.

IBM: Back to school


Focused on preparing the next generation and supporting community priorities and

concerns, IBM's $75 million Reinventing Education program is using technology to

spur school reform. From 1999, the company conducted technology camps for

encouraging middle school students to develop interest in science, technology,

engineering and mathematics with IBM employees working as online mentors to the

participants. More than 10,000 students have participated in the camps to date.

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Concerned with the declining interest of US grade school students in

technology and engineering streams, IBM recently launched PowerUp for Engineers

Week in 2008. Free of cost, the 3-d, online multiplayer game challenges players

to save the planet 'Helios' from ecological disaster while they develop critical

thinking skills, engineering and science knowledge.

IBM is also reaching out to people with disabilities by accessibilityWorks

tool which makes web content available to disabled people. More than 200 not for

profit organizations and schools in 28 countries now use accessibilityWorks, and

versions of the tool are currently available in multiple languages.

Oracle: Thinking ahead



As part of its philanthropic efforts for catalyzing learning, Oracle has
been working with key stakeholders running a suite of education programs. In

Asia-Pacific alone, Oracle runs three key education initiatives-ThinkQuest.org

(an educational environment for elementary students and teachers); ThinkQuest

competition (an international competition wherein students and teachers work

together to build educational websites; and Oracle Academy (helps students

develop database design, programming and professional skills).

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The Oracle Academy provides software, curriculum, hosted technology, faculty

training, and certification resources to K—12 and higher-education institutions.

Every year, the Academy supports more than 6,55,000 students in 86 countries.

For instance, under the Egyptian education initiative, 35,000 academy

participants are developing IT and business skills; in Germany, 164 education

institutions are availing of cutting-edge curriculum to prepare students for

future employment. Every year more than 2,000 teachers are trained to deliver

the Oracle Academy curriculum through events held in countries like Philippines,

Singapore, China, Estonia, Netherlands and India.

Oracle employees too contribute by way of association with NGOs whether it is

for saving the environment or spending time with elders. In Sydney, volunteers

helped to clean up and protect critical habitat areas of Sydney's North Shore

beaches, assisting with the restoration of Pittwater foreshore. In Indonesia,

the volunteers in partnership with Bogor Agricultural University's Biology

Department, planted 1,000 trees in two acres of critical land at Bogor, West

Java.

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HP: Innovative teaching



With a clear focus on transforming education by way of technology-based

teaching programs, HP, in 2008 invested more than $19.9 million. HP also runs HP

Technology for Teaching program-providing funding to improve learning and

promoting educational opportunities, and donated $12.7 million in cash apart

from giving away HP products and professional development training to 245

primary and secondary schools, colleges around the world in the last fiscal.

Recognizing the need to improve primary education, the company introduced HP

Innovations in Education program in FY '08 as the successor to the Technology

for Teaching program. Under the new program grants will be awarded to integrate

technology in classroom and redesigning engineering, computer science and IT

programs.

In order to foster a spirit of entrepreneurship, HP contributed $5.8 million

through its entrepreneurship education programs in 2008-to organizations that

provide business and IT skills training and support to recent graduates and

entrepreneurs. Its Graduate Entrepreneurship Training through IT program which

helps youngsters develop business and IT skills was launched in 2007. Within a

year, the program doubled its training centers to 70 in 25 countries and the

program now intends to reach over 5,00,000 students by 2010.

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Intel: In aid of AIDS



In celebration of its 40th anniversary, Intel employees donated more than
1.3 million hours of service in over 40 countries. And through its Intel

Involved Matching Grant Program (IIMGP), the Intel Foundation matched employee

volunteerism by contributing over $8.5 million.

As education opens the door to opportunity, Intel has been involved in

education advocacy and technology access programs. Over the last decade, the

leading chipmaker has invested more than $1 billion.

The company's ambitious Intel Teach program provided professional development

for more than 1.1 million teachers in 2008, bringing the total number of

teachers trained to over six million in more than 50 countries since its

inception. The program was also expanded to Palestine, Kenya, and Hungary. In

India too, the program surpassed the one million teacher mark in 2008.

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In October 2008, the Intel Foundation announced its single largest commitment

ever: a $120 million investment in math and science education over the next 10

years.

Employee volunteers are also involved in community development programs. In

India, employees worked with a local NGO to train young people in the community

to become peer educators on HIV/AIDS prevention resulting in more than 16,500

slum youths benefiting from the training in 2008. Not only do the employees

volunteer time but also contribute by way of donating cash. Despite economic

uncertainty, Community Giving Campaign donations in 2008 increased 10.5 percent

over 2007 to a record $11.7 million, including $622,000 from Intel retirees.

With the Intel Foundation match, the total contribution amounted to more than

$22.5 million.

Stuti Das


(Source: DQ)

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