Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much. —Helen Keller
Given the magnitude and complexity of the poverty challenges that our global community faces, Helen Keller’s words couldn’t ring more true.
Around the world, in order to drive impact for the people we serve, we ground our work in this spirit of partnership — the principle that sustainable change is best achieved when community groups, governments and the private sector work together. They’re like the three legs of a stool; without one, the stool falls over.
That’s why we’re proud to partner with companies who share our commitment to helping families around the world. In many cases, this takes the form of strategic and significant philanthropic contributions. But we also utilize the expertise of corporate volunteer engineers, product developers, marketers and executives to design and implement programs that help improve people’s lives.
So today, on International Corporate Philanthropy Day, we’re taking a moment to recognize and celebrate some of the companies who are demonstrating leadership by making a significant commitment to saving and improving lives around the world:
One of our longest standing partnerships began in the famed tea estates of Darjeeling, India, which are so private, even the government can’t enter them to evaluate conditions for families who live on the land. But 10 years ago, thanks to Starbucks’ Tazo Tea, their gates were opened to Mercy Corps, who began providing education, health and sanitation programs as part of the Community Health and Advancement Initiative (CHAI). Today, this ambitious partnership has improved the lives of more than 80,000 people.
DC Entertainment is in its second year of the We Can Be Heroes campaign, an unprecedented giving campaign featuring their iconic Justice League super heroes to raise awareness and funds to fight the hunger crisis in the Horn of Africa. Mercy Corps is proud to be a partner in this campaign, whose funds enable our mobile health teams to provide assistance to some of the hardest hit families in Ethiopia.
While nearly two years have passed since the devastating earthquake and tsunami in Japan, technology company NVIDIA continues to stand by survivors to help them recover and rebuild. Through an employee-led fundraising effort called “Operation Kizuna,” NVIDIA has not only contributed funds to meet immediate needs, but also to support a small business recovery program that has helped more than 200 businesses including bakeries, day-care providers, grocery stores and a kimono-repair shop reopen their doors, creating hundreds of jobs.
Boeing is also contributing to this critical program for small businesses, by funding reemployment grants so that small businesses can rehire staff and startup grants to help entrepreneurs open businesses, kickstarting the economy and creating jobs. With Boeing’s support, the program is specially focusing on support for businesses owned by people with disabilities and also for businesses that cater to their unique needs.
Our partner Xylem, a leading global water technology provider, has supported our disaster response and disaster risk reduction efforts through Xylem Watermark, the company’s corporate citizenship and social investment program. Last year, Xylem’s support helped more than 1 million people access clean water and sanitation, or prepare for future disasters. We’re so proud that Xylem was recognized with the prestigious 2012 Excellence Award in Corporate Philanthropy from the Committee for Encouraging Corporate Philanthropy (CECP) for its leadership in giving back to communities around the world.
With the support of longtime partner Chevron, Mercy Corps is helping young people in two countries prepare for and access employment opportunities. In Liberia, it is common for youth to graduate from high school without proficient literacy skills and 56 percent of females have never attended school. Our new program there will provide hundreds of youth with on-the-job training opportunities with local businesses to build the job skills they need for real world employment opportunities.
Meanwhile, youth in Sichuan province in China suffer substantially from the current socio-economic conditions, which often result in poverty and isolation. With Chevron’s support, Mercy Corps will work with youth and the unemployed to prepare them to enter the job market and promote the expansion of income generating opportunities within the community, helping youth end the cycle of poverty.
We recently launched a new partnership with MasterCard Worldwide in Myanmar to empower 1,000 farmers and entrepreneurs through business and financial literacy training. Currently undergoing rapid political and cultural shifts, Myanmar has seen sharp political changes. As a result, its historically poor populous is gaining access to markets and entrepreneurial endeavors. Mercy Corps’ business and financial literacy program aims to educate these communities on how to succeed in business and manage personal and business assets.
Our longstanding partner Intel Foundation is supporting a recovery program in Haiti designed to empower 200 young women to increase entrepreneurial capacity and revenue generation to further the country’s recovery following the devastating 2010 earthquake. Through Intel Foundation’s generous support, this program will increase the success rates for female-driven small businesses, fuel economic growth and help move women and their families out of poverty.
The leadership of all of our corporate partners — in addition to the thousands of individual supporters who are the heart and soul of our work — is transforming the lives of people in need around the globe. On International Corporate Philanthropy Day, we say thank you to you and your organizations for joining us in making a real and lasting impact around the globe.
If you are a representative of a company and would like to learn more about partnering with Mercy Corps, email Jenny Keating.