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Community investment and NGOs

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Our three overarching themes and main pillars of our community investment approach are aligned with our corporate strategy, business drivers and sustainable development goals. We aim to collaborate with our partners to achieve long term sustainable positive change in these three areas.

To this end we run both global and local collaboration programs with NGOs. In 2017 the following signature programs were implemented. 

Finnish Committee for UNICEF in Indonesia

Commencing in January 2017, we partnered with the Finnish Committee for UNICEF to support the modernization of community health services in Indonesia through new technology. We contributed to a huge vaccination campaign that involved the deployment and prototyping of an innovative mobile platform called RapidPro to transform the provision of care. RapidPro assists caregivers, community health workers and other health providers to improve access to and delivery of effective and efficient care. This platform has helped to provide key information, such as immunization reminders, directly to 6,000 caregivers of newborn babies. 

The platform was also adapted to facilitate real-time data feedback between government officials and health providers in the field, including district and provincial health offices. This enabled the central Ministry of Health to provide vaccinations efficiently and effectively during Indonesia’s national Measles Rubella Immunization Campaign. The campaign was the largest ever in Indonesia and second largest worldwide, reaching 35 million children.

The project has highlighted the potential of innovative mobile platforms to improve Indonesia's public health systems. We are now considering other opportunities in this area. 

Due to end in June 2019, we believe this two-and-a-half year engagement with UNICEF will substantially support the government of Indonesia in modernizing community health services in the country. Looking ahead to next year, we will consider extending our contribution to explore volunteering opportunities to support UNICEF staff in the field. 

Save the children in Myanmar

Building upon the investments made since 2015, we will further strengthen the sustainability of our work and forge further synergies for holistic development of the most marginalized children in Myanmar in the age group 3-6 years. In the 2nd phase of the collaboration we aim to build on technology solutions already developed in order to scale up the use of the mobile app to cover 21 townships and thereby covering about 850 early childhood care and education centers. By scaling up we will enhance the quality of centers and have accurate data that will also be useful for better allocation of governmental resources. This may provide Save the Children with the chance to work more closely with government of Myanmar. 

The project involved our innovation and technology support for the already existing applications and platforms, volunteering by our employees in Myanmar, field visits, joint communications, and advocacy.  Joint discussions with Finnish ministries and other key stakeholders such as UN organizations are also needed in order to enhance the importance of public-private partnerships in development. 

Qualitative impact

21 250 children in 850 centers (every year) receive improved, high quality services, 4000 children and youth will have access to library services in resource poor environments,322 users will be trained and using the upgraded mobile app. The solution will be utilized by other international NGOs & governmental organizations, and will enable Improved disaster preparedness in 850 villages  with the help of technology and training.


Direct 5800 children and 10 222 adults. Indirect 40 950 children and 22 760 adults.  

Connecting the unconnected with Save the Children in India

Since 2014, Nokia has 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 when disasters hit through 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 Bihar floods, Vardha Cyclone, and daily risks such as fire accidents in the slum etc. The task force members in majority of the project areas have been inducted into the respective district disaster management response force. A key element of the program also looks at how we utilize technological solutions to deliver these services. 

Through the disaster preparedness and mitigation programme, we have reached our target to implement Disaster Management Plans in each of the target 350 villages across five states: Bihar, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Delhi, and Rajasthan. 

This year, Save the Children and Nokia supported the district magistrate’s office South East Delhi to develop and launch a mobile application that raises awareness about welfare schemes amongst vulnerable communities in the slums of South East Delhi. The application connects communities in slums in South East Delhi area to government schemes by making people aware of various schemes, and enabling community members to find out their eligibility for the schemes through a simple screening process. So far, 1,897 applications have been filed through the mobile app. 
The partnership has also rolled out Save the Children’s ‘Child Sensitive Social Protection’ initiative (CSSP) which aims to reduce the vulnerability and poverty of children. Given that children from poorer households are more likely to grow up to become poor adults, CSSP aims to break the intergenerational transmission of poverty. The CSSP is based on delivering programs that take into consideration the voice of vulnerable children and their care-givers to ensure that children’s rights are fulfilled. This year, Save the Children and Nokia together trained 19,480 children on their rights, responsibilities and entitlements.

Our impact in 2017

All 350 villages have now Disaster Management Plans in place and 5 Disaster Risk Reduction Task Forces have been formed in each village: Early Warning Group (EWG), Search and Rescue Group (SRG), First Aid, Group (FAG), Psycho-Social Group (PSG), and Relief Management Group (RMG).

334 villages have Disaster Management Plans for schools in place, and 332 villages have functional Disaster Management Resource Center at schools. The Disaster Management Resource Centers play a crucial role before disasters through acting as a resource center for disaster risk reduction, social scheme awareness and distributing critical information for community members. During and after disasters, the DMRCs disseminate early warnings, coordinate search, rescue, and evacuation activities, and support local government authorities.

1,585 teachers were sensitized on working with vulnerable children, and 19,480 children have been trained on their rights, responsibilities and entitlements through the Child Sensitive Social Protection (CSSP) initiative.

Working with Greenlight for girls (g4g) globally to inspire girls and young women in Science and Technology

In 2017, g4g events were held in Athens, Espoo, Tampere, Oulu, Paris, Canberra, Krakow, Brooklyn & Queens, Nigeria, Bangalore, Brussels and Shanghai.

The whole cooperation was launched in February 2017 across three cities in Finland. By inspiring more girls to choose a career in Science, Engineering, Technology and Mathematics through interactive workshops, the partnership aims to increase the number of female leaders in STEM fields. After a successful launch, the events spread across Europe, Australia, the US, Africa and Asia.

Over 200 local school girls aged 11-15 were invited to each event, with the aim that 20% should come from less advantaged communities. These hands-on workshops and activities were also attended by role-model STEM professionals, allowing the girls unique access to role models. These interactive workshops demonstrated how science and technology links to different subjects, and highlighted potential career paths to the girls. 

Through this first year of partnership, 1 810 girls have already directly benefited. Having attended the workshops, 90% of the girls stated that they would now consider a career in STEM. For those who volunteered to help run the events, the partnership enabled 635 people to give back to their community. 

This multi-year partnership enables the impact to be even longer term. The aim is that each community reached creates the potential for annual events and continual inspiration to study and pursue STEM careers. The sharing of technological know-how between Nokia and greenlight for girls will enable greenlight for girls to continue developing and running these workshops for even more girls around the world. New workshops have already emerged that bring together Nokia’s technology and greenlight for girls’ interactive hands-on teaching methods, which will continue to inspire girls to pursue STEM. These include 5G Escape Room, Codebreakers (Programming), It’s Electric (Electrical Engineering), Light me up (Plasma Physics), The Garage (3D Printing & Facial Recognition) and Virtual Reality.


Other regional and local programs

We are a global company with local presence around the world. Below is a snapshot of some of our regional and local programs. 

Codebus Africa

CodeBus Africa’s continent-wide tour empowering youth through creative coding workshops came to an end in South Africa. Cape Town’s Khayelitsha township served as the project’s final stop with local start-up accelerator mLab, Finnish Aalto University, Nokia, Mehackit and the Embassy of Finland in Pretoria

Organized as part of Finland’s centenary celebrations, CodeBus’ 100-day tour started in Ghana in February, stopping in Nigeria, Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Zambia, Namibia and Mozambique before wrapping up in South Africa. Hailed as an empowering celebration of community and technology, the project reached some 1 800 young people with one-day coding workshops, in which they programmed songs using the free open-source software Sonic Pi. The creative and playful approach especially targeted girls, who made up the majority of the workshop participants in every country.

Though compact in its initial 100-day scope, the CodeBus project aims to contribute to long-term efforts in democratising youth participation in science, technology, and innovation fields. To this end, up to six workshop instructors were trained in each of the ten countries with the goal of supporting the local partners’ capacity to continue creative technology education. 

For photos and videos from CodeBus Africa’s journey, visit, or check out the project’s social media channels on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Tele2, Nokia, and Reach for Change innovate new products in Sweden

In February 2018, Reach for Change launched the campaign “Share the brief”, with the goal to challenge existing entrepreneurs and corporates to take the most pressing challenges children and youth are facing in Sweden. We joined forces with Tele2, a telecoms service provider in Sweden, to take on the brief: How can we support newly arrived youth in finding Swedish friends?

Together with Reach for Change, the project was piloted, using a real-time translation service that allows people with different languages to talk on the phone. Four pairs of friends tested the service – four young Swedish people and four newly arrived young people from Syria. Input from the participants now helps steer the development and the evaluation of how to use technology to be able to create change for newly arrived young people, on a larger scale.

Volunteering for literacy & numeracy assessments in India

Nokia-Samridhdhi Bridge school 2016-17 saw the successful admission of over 55 once out-of-school children to age appropriate classes in mainstream schools in June 2017. The journey continues and Nokia-Samridhdhi Bridge school 2017-18 commenced in July providing access to education, and health & nutrition to 120 out-of-school children from various scrap dealer and rag-picker settlements. With a customized curriculum targeted at enabling the children for admissions to mainstream schooling, a nutrition plan, and a Montessori program for younger siblings, the Bridge program is a crucial first step for these children on the journey of education.

In September 2017, 22 Nokia Bangalore employees volunteered to conduct quarterly literacy and numeracy assessments for students at Nokia-Samridhdhi Bridge school at Byatarayanapura, located 6 kilometers from our Bangalore office. Literacy & numeracy assessments help in identifying students who can progress towards learning at the next level, and understanding & addressing the specific focus areas with the current syllabus. 
With support and guidance from teachers, volunteers worked in groups to help evaluate every student’s ability to identify numbers, solve basic math problems, identify alphabets and words, read, and form sentences and paragraphs. Most students fared better than expected.

These assessments serve as a good opportunity for students to interact with individuals outside the school & home arena. Many students were able to overcome their initial hesitation and strike up conversations with our employee volunteers. As always, the assessments were handled in a “learning is fun” manner by our volunteers who adopted many creative methods to evaluate, coach, and interact with the children. 

Internet Classroom in rural China

Between June and September 2017, Nokia Shanghai Bell worked with the Shanghai Zhonggu Charity Youth Development Centre to improve access to computer resources in China’s least developed provinces. In these areas, many village schools lack computer classrooms and the ability to connect to the internet, which results in reduced access to educational resources.

Through Nokia Shanghai Bell’s donation of six ‘Internet Classrooms’, 6,392 students and teachers in rural and remote schools are now able to access the internet and have reported increased knowledge of how to navigate the internet. Being able to access the internet provides these students with crucial opportunities to engage with a world that increasingly exists on, or utilises, digital platforms. 

In creating the ‘Internet Classrooms’, we utilised 211 refurbished second-hand computers that previously belonged to either the company or our employees. This minimised the environmental impact of the project. To address gaps in technical knowledge and skills needed to navigate the internet, Nokia committed to provide weekly computer skills and internet courses for the pupils. This will help to ensure that pupils can make the most of the educational opportunities provided by the ‘Internet Classrooms’. 

Employees from Nokia Shanghai Bell also gave their time to support the project. They not only provided professional support to staff from the Shanghai Zhonggu Charity Youth Development Centre but took part in a wide range of activities with the children on site. These activities range from providing support to deliver computer skills and internet training courses to running team building events and designing environmental games for students and teachers. 

To ensure the long-term viability of the project, Nokia Shanghai Bell will continue to revisit the schools to examine the quality and maintenance of the computers, as well as to provide updated training to the teachers using the classrooms.This will ensure that these remote and rural schools can continue to access and utilise the computer resources that they previously lacked. We will, when necessary, dispose of the computers safely to reduce the environmental impact of electronic waste. In the future, Nokia will also consider the best ways to build on this work by looking at methods to strengthen remote education systems across the globe.