On Global Volunteering Day, over 2,300 Godrejites focus on improving learning at schools worldwide

06 December 2016

More than 2,300 enthusiastic Godrej Group employees across 11 countries participated in over 97 schools and institutions as part of the Group's second International Global Volunteering Day event, today, to teach children and thereby ensure their overall development. In 2015, around 4,650 man-hours were dedicated towards the cause by the group while this year the activity witnessed 6,600 man-hours.

The event this year revolved around improving the teaching-learning experience in schools. Godrejites organised engaging activities at 74 government and low income private schools in India, with an endeavour to impact the lives of nearby communities. In total, around 18,000 children were impacted through Godrej's efforts.

Children can become the biggest influencers of change since they are at an impressionable age where the right messaging can lead to transformation. Hence, engaging with children in school will lead to more interest in learning, lower dropouts, and eventually create lifelong learners.

In India's commercial capital, the Godrej Group volunteers partnered with Teach for India and Kotak Education Foundation. Other than career counselling, as part of this endeavour, there were sessions on reading and storytelling along with action-packed sports activities.

While Godrej's employees focused on teaching and enhancing the learning experience of Indian children, across the globe similar events in 16 schools and orphanages were taking place in Indonesia, South Africa, Argentina, United Kingdom, Nigeria, Mozambique and Kenya. The themes in these regions ranged from health, hygiene and sanitation to harmony and diversity and the importance of conserving our environmental resources.

Speaking about the initiative, Sumit Mitra, Head, Group Human Resource and Corporate Service, Godrej Industries Limited and Associate Companies, said, "Through Brighter Giving, our structured volunteering platform, we have always encouraged our team members to become more involved with local communities and assist in their betterment through active participation in various volunteering activities. Hence, we selected Global Volunteering Day to reach out to children in low-income schools with an earnest desire of teaching children small but effective ways through which they can make a difference. It is immensely satisfying that through these children, we have reached out to the larger communities and made an effective difference in their lives."

Dr. Vikas Goswami, Head of Good & Green at Godrej Industries Limited and Associate Companies, who volunteered at Milind Vidyalay, supported by the Kotak Education Foundation, says, "We are committed to giving back to society and thereby building a better tomorrow for future generations. This commitment is not only restricted to the group but each and every Godrejite remains wholeheartedly passionate about volunteering for the community's brighter future. Hence, this activity witnessed enthusiastic participation making the event successful and extremely satisfying to each member of our team. We will continue to support these schools and assist them in providing quality education so that a better India can be built in the years ahead."

The concept of Global Volunteer Day is an extension of Godrej's existing year-round philanthropic volunteering programme. Since its introduction in 2014, more than 1,500+ Godrej employees around the world have given their time to support community projects which are estimated to have helped communities around Godrej's office and plant locations. Volunteers engage in a variety of projects such as skill-based, long-term volunteering preparing young people and adults for the world of work, day-long activities, and fundraising for emergencies.

About Good & Green
At Godrej our sustainability strategy, Good & Green, is driven by the desire to help create a more inclusive and greener India. Launched in 2011 as one of our four key imperatives for 2020, Good & Green is based on shared value, a principle that aligns business competitiveness and growth with social and environmental impact. By 2020, we aspire to create a more employable Indian workforce, build a greener India, and innovate for ‘good' and ‘green' products. ‘Good' products are designed to address a critical social issue (e.g. healthcare and sanitation) for consumers at the base of the income pyramid. ‘Green' products are those that are environmentally sustainable.

About Brighter Giving
Brighter Giving is Godrej' Industries' corporate volunteering platform through which our employees donate their time, knowledge and skills to help address needs specific to an underprivileged group, community or non-profit organisation.

Mentor Me programme
GILAC has partnered with Mentor Me where Godrejites volunteer for one year to mentor a child. The mentor – mentee is matched based on shared interests, geography and gender. A mentor meets his/her mentee twice a month – to ensure progress in mentoring. Also, over a period of time, the mentor also builds a relationship with mentee's surrounding – his/her family and school. The programme is further supported through group mentoring sessions in every quarter.

Mentor Me India is a non-profit mentoring organization to help children in low-income communities grow to their full potential by supporting enduring one-to-one relationships with strong role models as mentors. MMI plays an important role in identifying children with mentoring needs within municipal and low cost schools and assign them to mentors from corporates, individuals etc. On the other hand MMI also does quarterly trainings for mentors to help grow in their mentoring journeys.

About Godrej Industries Limited and Associate Companies
Established in 1897, the Godrej Group has its roots in India's Swadeshi movement. Our founder, Ardeshir Godrej, lawyer-turned-serial entrepreneur failed with a few businesses, before he struck gold with the locks business that you know today. One of India's most trusted brands, with revenues of USD 4.1 billion, Godrej enjoys the patronage of over 600 million Indians across our consumer goods, real estate, appliances, agri and many other businesses. You think of Godrej as such an integral part of India that you may be surprised to know that over 25 per cent of our business is done overseas.

We promise Godrejites a culture of tough love; take serious bets on them and differentiate basis performance. We also understand that our team members play multi-faceted roles and so, we strongly encourage them to explore their whole selves. Our canvas is growing. In fact, our Vision for 2020 is to be 10 times the size we were in 2010. We truly believe that while our amazing past distinguishes us, we are only as good as what we do next. Godrej Industries Limited and Associate Companies (GILAC) is part of the Godrej Group. It comprises 5 major companies with interests in real estate, FMCG, agriculture, chemicals and gourmet retail.

To know more about Good & Green initiatives at Godrej, visit http://www.godrej.com/good-and-green.html

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