Vodafone Qatar was recently recognised by the Arab Organisation for Social Responsibility with the coveted Golden CSR Award for being one of the most active companies in the region in this space. The Award also attests to the company’s creative and innovative approach to CSR that goes well beyond charity and philanthropy only.
Receiving the award at a ceremony which was recently held in Dubai, UAE and which saw in attendance scores of Ministers and high-profile attendees, Dana Haidan, Head of Corporate Social Responsibility & Sustainability, at Vodafone Qatar said: “We’re very honoured for being chosen out of many companies to receive this prestigious accolade. As a Qatari company with very local roots, corporate social responsibility ranks high on our agenda and our aim is to continue to make a real contribution to society. At Vodafone Qatar, we use our expertise in communication technology to make a positive social impact. We also believe we can help to build a more sustainable future by delivering commercially viable products and scalable services that transform and improve the quality of lives and enable positive economic, social and environmental outcomes for our stakeholders.”
Vodafone Qatar has recently launched the 4th edition of its annual programme, World of Difference, which gives financial grants to a number of winners for them to carry out their creative ideas that generate tangible benefits to the community. The program was launched in 2011 and awarded 4 passionate individuals who helped address a number of social issues in Qatar. In 2012, the program awarded 2 winners who helped disabled individuals in Qatar be engaged in sports through swimming and diving, and brought attention to the issue of animal welfare in Qatar. In 2013, Vodafone Qatar selected three Qatari winners out of 150 applicants, a 35% increase in the number of Qatari applicants from previous years. The winners, respectively, championed programmes to help the visually impaired; to unlock youth’s potential; and to spread awareness of road safety. Winners this year are yet to be announced.
Vodafone Qatar also launched, earlier this year, AmanTECH, the company’s aid programme for online child and youth safety. AmanTECH, which stands for “Safe Technology”, aims at promoting digital literacy amongst parents and improving children’s digital safety. Vodafone’s AmanTECH helps to raise parents’ and children’s awareness about safe internet use and their digital rights.
In its first year, AmanTECH will reach out to 50,000 students aged between 5 to 17; 15,000 teachers; and 25,000 parents. The programme will adopt a three-pronged approach with a focus on awareness, education and technical support. This will entail a number of awareness campaigns during 2014, an online source for information and tips for parents and teachers, magazines and newsletters, ongoing education and discussion groups for parents, teachers and mothers, and dedicated Vodafone Tech Experts to impart valuable knowledge and advice for digital parenting, in addition to how-to guides and children’s educational games.
Additionally, Vodafone Qatar places strong emphasis on the health and safety of its employees and its community. For example, the company kick-started this year an annual Employee Wellness Programme. Furthermore, Vodafone’s CSR approach involves a great focus on continually giving back to the community through a number of initiatives including a long-term partnership with ROTA (Reach Out to Asia).
Haidan added: “At Vodafone Qatar, we firmly believe that CSR should stretch well beyond the mere charitable activities to encompass our integrity in everything we do and to ensure that the initiatives we spearhead are of true and genuine value to the larger national vision of 2030.”