A team of 24 Samsung Electronics volunteers from the company’s headquarters in South Korea arrived in Ndola, Zambia last week on a life-changing mission of building four houses for vulnerable families at Chipulukusu.
The week-long initiative, in partnership with Habitat for Humanity Zambia, was part of Samsung’s Employee Volunteer Programme (EVP), an initiative that encourages employees to contribute to communities using their vacation days.
The team included 19 employees and five university students, who spent the first week of December rolling up their sleeves and building much-needed houses. The initiative was one of a series of community development initiatives across Africa under Samsung’s EVP programme, in which Samsung has contributed to community development in recent years. Previous beneficiary countries include Cameroon, Tanzania, Senegal, and Democratic Republic of Congo amongst others.
James Chona, Samsung Electronics Zambia Country Manager said the team would build one house during the week of 1 to 7 December 2013.
“We are targeting completion of one house by Thursday, but we will ceremoniously hand over all four houses to the families.”
He said the project was selected because of the cordial relationship between Samsung and Habitat for Humanity in the African continent.
“For us it is not only about doing business we acknowledge the importance of community upliftment and the much needed infrastructural upgrades in Zambia. This includes the significance of broader cultural exchange,” Chona added.
Samsung Electronics believes in taking community engagement to the next level, with close collaboration with beneficiaries and relevance and sustainability at the heart of all programmes.
Kea Modimoeng, Public Affairs Manager for Samsung Electronics Africa explained: “We have replaced corporate social responsibility with Creating Shared Value (CSV) – where research, relevance and sustainability are key.”
“The CSV engagement model has been warmly welcomed in communities across Africa. Because programmes are implemented in consultation with communities and are clearly designed to meet their felt needs, they develop a sense of ownership of the projects,” he said.
According to Joseph Munsanje, Habitat for Humanity Zambia’s National Director, the NGO has constructed 2,613 houses country wide and through the partnership with Samsung Electronics, four new houses would be given to vulnerable families in Chipulukusu, Ndola.
“Habitat for Humanity Zambia appreciates the partnership with Samsung through their employee volunteer initiative. “We are proud to be associated with Samsung in uplifting the lives of many Zambians especially here in Ndola, through the provision of decent shelter,” Munsanje adds.
Beneficiaries are identified through a rigorous screening and needs analysis process involving community based organisations and leadership. This serves to eliminate discomfort amongst fellow residents.
Olipa Mwansa, one of the beneficiaries who has been sharing a one roomed house with her three grandchildren said the new home would completely change their lives forever.
“I am very grateful to Samsung and Habitat for Humanity and really urge them to continue helping others and giving hope to many disadvantaged people like us.”
Zambia is one of the leading EVP beneficiary countries in Africa. The company ran two successful programs in Kafue, Lusaka for the past two years successively. The first EVP for 2013 was held in Ethiopia during August and included medical care.