Inspired by the saying of Henry Ford “A business that makes nothing but money is a poor business,” more than 12,000 members of the One Ford family have come together to implement over 200 community projects on six continents as part of the 2011 Ford Global Week of Caring that runs through September 18. Enthusiastic volunteers from Ford in India are working on several initiatives during this week to improve education, environment and safety in the communities.
During GWC, a global annual initiative now in its sixth straight year, volunteers from Ford in India have leveraged available opportunities the field of education, environment, health and safety to help students and members of the community through a variety of activities.
For nine days this year, the volunteers drawn from Ford India, Ford Business Service Centre (FBSC) and Ford Technology Services in India (FTSI) are working with neighboring communities to improve the latter's lives.
As the culmination of week-long activities at the Grand Finale of GWC planned for September 17, 2011, volunteers from Ford in India will be conducting a motivational session for over 800 students, representative classes from seven villages around the Chennai manufacturing facility. Mylswamy Annadurai, noted space-scientist and project director of the INSAT programme at Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), will be the chief guest on the occasion to motivate the students.
As part of the activities planned for the Grand Finale at the CSI High School, Melrosapuram, primary students from classes 1-5 from several village schools will exhibit Science projects from their syllabus and present a march past sporting their new shoes donated by Ford India.
Thanking employees for these initiatives, Ford India's president and managing director Michael Boneham said, "At Ford, we truly believe that Corporate Social Responsibility is a way of life. Through our Global Week of Caring in India, we intend to reinforce this belief and build on the accelerated community work we have done in recent years."
At Global Business Services (GBS), Ford volunteers have partnered with Rotary Club of Madras South to distribute 175 computers to six schools in Tamil Nadu. The computers also come loaded with an educational CD and basic software that will help the school children attain digital literacy.
At a function to be held on September 20, US Consul-General for South India, Jennifer McIntyre, and executive director of Ford's Global Business Services in APA, Joginder Singh, will present the computers to representatives from six schools.
Extending his support for the volunteering activities, Joginder Singh remarked, "Ford's Global Week of Caring marks our commitment to improve the lot of the underprivileged. Through our initiatives to promote digital literacy and skill-improvement among them, we want to change their lives for the better."
Key highlights from the nine-day long series of volunteerism activities during which volunteers combined their synergies to improve lives in communities included:
• Conducting an awareness drive on 3 Rs—"Reduce, Reuse and Recycle" in schools and communities around its operations and reaching out to more than 2700 students. This also includes distribution of 3R kits around villages
• Working with children of schools nearby to inculcate reading habit among them and donating books and funds to build up libraries in the schools
• Spreading the message of environmental awareness among the school children and organising an essay contest about the 3Rs among students of five High Schools around the Maraimalai Nagar plant
• Improving safety and hygiene among the school children by distributing shoes among them. Ford India volunteers worked hard to ensure that more than 800 children in seven neighbouring schools got shoes that fit to their size. Volunteers also held hygiene awareness sessions and health checks at DNA School
• Organising eye check up camps for 100 truckers who carry Ford cars from the plant to locations in various parts of the country
• Donating old clothes, toys and books to underprivileged children through kiosks set up at different Ford operations
• Promoting the message of education, environment and safety through street theatre and puppet shows amongst primary school kids
• Conducting an educational and fun trip to Vandalur Zoo for children of DNA School guided by Ford volunteers and organising Digital Literacy camps for underprivileged children and women
• Fulfilling wishes of orphans through 'Make my wish come true' programme where volunteers donated gifts to match a wish-list provided by children in two orphanages
Taken together, these initiatives mark a successful Global Week of Caring with eager participation from employees across all operations and a direct impact on improving communities around Ford's operations in India.