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Helping hands initiative
mobilizes volunteers to
address issues
in local communities

In 2019 we decided to rethink our corporate community investment approach to further engage our employees in volunteering. We launched Helping hands, an application-based corporate community investment initiative addressing local issues with the active participation of our employees. After receiving hundreds of applications, 46 Helping hands projects were selected, across 30 countries.

The application and selection criteria were kept simple. The projects had to fit one of our 2019 corporate community investment categories, ‘Connecting the unconnected’, ‘Empowering women’ and ‘Saving Lives’. The project also had to be done in partnership with a trusted non-governmental organization. This enabled us to have a large variety of different projects, all reflecting the different needs our employees recognized in their local communities. While most of the programs are still ongoing, some examples of projects that have successfully been completed are described below.

Brand support to combat modern slavery

Our Brand team collaborated with the NGO Unseen UK who are dedicated to fighting modern slavery. During two volunteering sessions, the team provided brand positioning, and creative and social media support. In the first session, the team helped create an emergency appeal campaign for social media to help save the Modern Slavery helpline. By leveraging the faces of real modern slavery victims in moving imagery across social media, the NGO was able to raise over GBP 100 000 within days of the campaign launch.

In the second session, the Brand team helped validate the creative concept for a video campaign featuring call center experts at Unseen UK. It was launched on 3 December as part of the “Big Give” nationwide donation campaign and within less than 72 hours, Unseen UK had met their target of raising GBP 75 000. The total raised in the Helpline Appeal is now GBP 488 407. This is almost enough to operate the Helpline for a full year – in which time they expect to identify and help 10 000 victims of modern slavery.

Unseen logo

Solving social problems with technology in Chengdu, China

At our site in Chengdu, China, together with NGO Junior Achievement China, we held a Technology Innovation Relay for middle schools of Sichuan province. The competition was intended to encourage students to use science and technology to solve social problems. The project engaged over 50 volunteers from our Chengdu R&D Center and directly engaged 400 children from the area. Based on feedback, the participants and organizers agreed that the event encouraged children to use their imagination, pay attention to the needs of certain social groups, and co-work and learn knowledge beyond what is taught in textbooks.

Chengdu Technology Innovation Relay

Chengdu Technology Innovation Relay

Improving schooling in rural Vietnam

In Vietnam, our local team together with NGO ActionAid Vietnam are doing their part for the community by improving educational facilities at a school in Quan Ba, Ha Giang, which is one of the most rural and disadvantaged areas in Northern Vietnam. The Quan Ba district has limited schools, housing, health services and clean water. The local team has already completed one trip to the school, and will be doing another, to help in upgrading the educational infrastucture and sanitation facilities of the school, directly benefiting the 203 pupils and 11 teachers. The local team has also done an impressive job in collecting materials, such as warm clothes, books and school supplies to donate to the school.

Reading session organized by volunteers at Sin Suoi Ho branch school, Vietnam

Reading session organized by volunteers at
Sin Suoi Ho branch school, Vietnam

Building a better community in Chile

In Chile, our employees together with the help of NGO TECHO Chile, rolled up their sleeves and built a park for the 30 children and 80 adults living in a camp called “Campamento Cerro la Campana”. In Chile, more than 46 000 families live in camps, where they build homes in precarious living conditions. Living in camps is meant to be a transitory step, but often it becomes their definitive home. Employee volunteers participated in the work for two days, and together they built a park that will be a place for the community and families to come together, and a safe place for children to play.

Nokia volunteers at work

Nokia volunteers at work