Featuring the participation of employees and their family members, the Volunteer Festival works with local community members and non-profit organizations to support a variety of projects including ones supporting education and digital learning initiatives. This year’s program saw the involvement of over 12,000 volunteers in more than 30 countries around the world – that means an average of about 400 Samsung employees took part in volunteer activities in a given day in the month of October.
Samsung Electronics America (SEA) saw regional offices across the United States participate in the company’s eighth Day of Service, an initiative that sees employees put work aside for the day and dedicate their time to local charity partners in the communities where they live and work. More than 3,600 employees took part this year, working to support initiatives benefiting residents in areas near SEA offices. Since the inauguration of the initiative in 2014, SEA employees have contributed over 128,000 hours of community service as part of the Day of Service program.
Employees from countries across Samsung Electronics Latin America (SELA) took part in an initiative to further education on cultural and ethnic diversity and inclusion. The program, titled SELA eSTEMos Juntos (“Let’s be together”), was a collaboration with Plan International harnessing the power of technology to educate over 700 children from disadvantaged public schools across Panama, Costa Rica, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Ecuador and the Dominican Republic.
Samsung Electronics Nordic AB (SENA) recognized that, for a newly arrived immigrant, local language can be a huge barrier to entering the job market and fully integrating oneself in the society. Therefore, SENA collaborated with the Jarfälla Municipality in eastern Sweden to create a unique new project called eSFI (Swedish for Immigrants). Together with the local community, Samsung staff members provided digital learning support and training to help language learning seem like less of a hurdle thanks to a new digital language learning model.
In Italy, more than 50 Samsung Electronics Italy (SEI) employees took part in SAVE for Rome, a project dedicated to providing meaningful refurbishments to a local elementary school. In a collaboration with Retake Rome, volunteers and students renovated the entrance to the school in an effort to foster a learning environment that is as positive and welcoming as possible.
Meanwhile in Turkey, Samsung Electronics Turkey (SETK) worked with some 210 local children and their parents on a Stop Cyberbullying initiative to increase awareness around the effects of online behavior and social media on young lives.
In China, employees from Samsung offices in Xi’an, Suzhou and Tianjin volunteered their time to teach students at a local partner school how to best use electronic devices. Furthermore, the volunteers also held classes on more recreational topics, such as poetry reciting and airplane modeling, much to the students’ delight.
This year marks the third year of the company’s Samsung Love and Care program designed to enrich underprivileged communities across Southeast Asia and Oceania. In Myanmar, 40 employees of Samsung Electronics Myanmar joined forces with the Kyimyindaing School of the Blind in Yangon. The volunteers worked together on community projects to enhance the quality of life at the school such as wall painting, serving lunch, organizing donations and providing basic medical check-ups to students and local youths.
Samsung Electronics Thailand also brought 53 volunteers to help enrich the ecosystem of Salakpra Wildlife Sanctuary, the first Wildlife Sanctuary in Thailand. Volunteers created a check dam for water conservation, made artificial saltlicks which would serve as food sources for wildlife animals, as well as made seed bombs, and planted them in the forest. All of these activities would also help prevent global warming.
Samsung Volunteer Month was founded in Korea in 1995 to increase Samsung employees’ contributions back to their local communities and has been flourishing across international offices since 2011. It is one of a wealth of programs established by Samsung to promote sustainable social and local development – all for a better tomorrow.