Literary icon and world-famous American poet and author Maya Angelo left us with a powerful observation.
“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did,” she wrote, “But people will never forget how you made them feel.”
These words offer powerful reminisce any time anyone does something that touches the heart or uplifts another human being. And there’s no telling who’s in dire need.
Opportunities present themselves all the time. Whether it’s financial, emotional, psychological or otherwise; there’s always an opportunity to uplift someone else.
At Safaricom, our purpose is to transform lives.
People who hear us say it for the first time might wonder how a telco can transform lives. Isn’t your purpose really to connect people? In deed it is, and as we connect people, we actually transform lives.
An employee working in an office in Nairobi wishing to meet an emergency medical need of a relative or friend in their rural home does not need to leave their desk. We connect them and lives that might have been negatively impacted by waiting to get medical attention receive reprieve instantaneously.
A herdsman in distress in Kapedo over a security issue can quickly reach the local security agencies, thereby dissipating a potentially deadly situation. In an entire community, lives are transformed by the presence of network.
Behind the technology lies more than 5,000 employees who work seamlessly every minute of every day to ensure that connections never fail and that lives are constantly transformed.But beyond the collective call of duty are individuals who themselves would like to strike a blow for humanity; to make a difference, to transform lives.
As part of the Day of the African Child in June, employees, under the auspices of Safaricom Foundation, visited 34 schools for children with visual impairment across the country and donated audio books and playback equipment to connect the 1,270 beneficiary to information and knowledge.
We partnered with the Africa Braille Centre, who have been Safaricom Foundation partners for over 10 years now. Our commitment to continuously support children with disabilities is in line with our commitment to Sustainable Development Goal number 10 that calls for reduced inequalities.
To mark the International Day of Charity on September 5th, we will be carrying out similar activities countrywide. The day was established sensitise and mobilise people, civil society and stakeholders worldwide to take part in volunteer and philanthropic activities.
During the last year, through the Safaricom Foundation, we have invested in over 120 projects that are impacting more than 500,000 Kenyans beyond the network.
These interventions align very closely with our long-term objective to create a more equitable society.
Safaricom has linked its strategy to life through the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). We have embedded nine out of the 17 SDGs into our day to day operations to guide us towards becoming a more responsible business. These goals are a daily reminder that we cannot grow alone and that we exist to create growth for everyone.
But there are times when it is not enough to deliver one’s feeling through institutional means.
What were we to do with employees who had identified projects they chose to support and wanted the support of the Safaricom Foundation? We started the Pamoja initiative to answer this need.
Under the banner ‘You Care, We Care’, employees can submit a proposal, once every year to the Safaricom Foundation for consideration for co-funding. If it meets all the criteria, the employee contributes 10 per cent to the cause and the Foundation contributes the rest. Last year, over 70 per cent of our employees participated in various community engagements through the Pamoja initiative.
These are hard-working men and women who come work every day to make a difference to our world but go the extra mile to give their personal contribution to the wellbeing of society.
We are committed to to this initiative because we believe that when we come together, great things happen. Twaweza.
Mr Ogutu is the Director, Strategy and Innovation at Safaricom and Chairman, Safaricom Foundation.