Setting off New Year with hearts full of warmth

January 23, 2020 | 20:41
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As corporate social responsibility programmes are carried out in a methodical and humane way, they continue to be welcomed by the whole community, creating a positive impact on the whole of society. Duong Thanh reports.
setting off new year with hearts full of warmth
NA Deputy Chairwoman Tong Thi Phong contributed to a MPI charity scheme

Another Lunar New Year holiday is knocking on the door, which is also time for spreading the spirit of “A good leaf covers torn leaves”.

Undoubtedly, charitable activities and social work bring about positive effects, especially when they are part of businesses’ corporate development strategy, next to being a responsible company and contributing to sustainable economic growth.

Today, businesses see it part of their duties to join hands and solve social issues and adjust their business and corporate social responsibility (CSR) programmes towards sustainable development.

Social works by businesses should be built on a long-term vision, empathic and understanding what the community is in need of. Moreover, the public expects businesses to be able to help them solve the long-standing social problems where they operate.

Talking with VIR, Nong Viet Yen, Secretary of Mu Cang Chai Party Committee in the northern mountainous province of Yen Bai, shared the local people’s desire for support and implied that understanding the needs and aspirations of the community plays a crucial role in helping businesses plan out sufficient programmes and offer meaningful contributions to society. “We sometimes receive clothes donated by philanthropists – however, these items are not always necessary because local people here are mostly ethnic minorities, and they wear their own traditional costumes,” said Yen. “What we really need is access to clean water. For this reason, we have negotiated with two organisations for equipping water purification systems at local schools so that the students have clean water to drink.”

This situation has constantly transformed the way businesses implement their CSR plans, as well as the way social enterprises operate, with the ultimate goal of contributing to society in a more practical and sustainable manner.

Business responsibility

The tendency comes with both opportunities and challenges for business growth. For an enterprise with CSR plans appropriate to social needs, this will give them a helping hand to promote public support and positively impact on business outcomes. The challenge, however, is that CSR activities require businesses to dig deeper and design programmes that are able to solve from the root of the problem which the society is addressing.

In recent years, in addition to seasonal charitable activities, businesses are more focusing on investing and uplifting the community with more and more programmes to enhance positive social impacts.

Since mid-2019 at the Ministry of Planning and Investment (MPI), gifts often used at ceremonies are being provided by Kym Viet JSC, a social enterprise chaired by, and employing, disabled people. This meaningful action not only helps promote Vietnamese crafts and culture to the wider world but also makes people with disabilities understand that they still can do a great deal to contribute to society.

To ensure sustainable development, environmental protection is part of Coca-Cola’s global mandate; therefore, Coca-Cola Vietnam has always paid much attention to the environment, and providing access to clean water and sanitation in Vietnam. One popular CSR project is Coca-Cola’s Ekocenter, which aims to bring positive changes to the community and provide safe drinking water for thousands of locals across the country, with the highlight being the use of solar energy.

Besides the CSR activities of businesses, activities with the participation of social enterprises to welcome the new year also take place more regularly. The January 5 festival, organised in Hanoi by social community Tohe and the British Council Vietnam, introduced clean and safe organic products from 30 social enterprises and organic production enterprises, attracting the attention of many people in the capital.

Good quality products are created by disadvantaged people in life, showing the determination and efforts to constantly rise in their lives and be accepted by the whole community.

Meanwhile, Pullman Hanoi in conjunction with KOTO, Vietnam’s first recognised social enterprise, hosted Winter Appeal 2019 to serve 2,000 freshly-cooked bowls of pho and presented 865 meaningful gifts to local students from Ta Van Chu commune.

setting off new year with hearts full of warmth
Businesses play their part in CSR activities by bringing gifts to Vietnam’s most remote regions

Inspirational charity works

Whenever the New Year rings in, with the solidarity spirit, VIR and Vingroup’s Thien Tam Fund, visit the impoverished across Vietnam as a long-standing tradition of the newspaper.

VIR and a Thien Tam Fund delegation gave a thousand gifts worth of VND500 million ($21,800) in total to the poor in remote areas in the central province of Nghe An with the hope of a happier New Year for people there.

Previously, in the last two days of 2019, the delegation presented 500 meaningful gifts worth VND300 million ($13,000) to support ethnic minority families in the northern mountainous province of Dien Bien to wish them a cosier Lunar New Year. These activities are not so much about the value of the gifts but rather about showing sympathy and love to those in need.

“Now we can have a more joyful Lunar New Year,” said 70-year-old Cu Thi Mo, a H’Mong ethnic woman, after receiving VIR’s new-year gift. The elderly woman is now the only shoulder for her two grandchildren of seven and eight. “With this, I will be able to buy some meat for my grandchildren to celebrate a proper Lunar New Year holiday,” she added.

Vang A Ho, Vice Chairman of Dien Bien Dong People’s Committee, said that the gifts from VIR on this occasion were very meaningful and timely helped people in difficult circumstances in Dien Bien as well as encouraged them to rise and get a better life.

Adding to the charity works to support disadvantaged people in the mountainous area, VIR has also organised the charity golf tournament Swing for the Kids for 13 consecutive years. As a much-anticipated charity sports event organised every spring, Swing for the Kids has become a place for domestic and foreign investors, businesspeople, diplomats, and representatives of international organisations to show compassion as well as to meet and discuss life and work.

Another important initiative took place on January 4 when Masan Consumer, together with Vietnam Culinary Culture Association, organised the charity Lunar New Year programme for children. On the occasion, the company sponsored a tour for disadvantaged children in Ho Chi Minh City to visit and experience a traditional Lunar New Year and have fun at the Vietnamese Lunar New Year Festival.

Meanwhile, Vietnmam’s leading beer company Sabeco lives out its social responsibility with its Coming Home for Lunar New Year scheme, under which it brought 1,000 tickets to workers based far from their hometown – labourers with outstanding achievements who contribute to the overall success of the country to inspire and spread the strong message of success to the community.

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