Some decades ago, the notion of corporate social responsibility (CSR) was remote to the operations of most corporate organizations in Ghana because of the seeming pressure CSR projects put on profit margins.
However, recent events within the business community in Ghana shows that the trend is changing.
Today, many Ghanaian companies are looking beyond profits and turning their priorities to making meaningful contributions to improving lives and communities.
There is now a more conscious and concerted effort that ensures the dedication of time and resources to causes that positively impact the socio-economic wellbeing of society.
In 2018, one of such CSR initiative that touched the core of human and social development was Stanbic Bank’s support for Hakim Aremeyawo and Peter Mbabil Dorum.
In March 2018, a story broke of a street lad who went on a cultural exchange programme in China as part of his award for being among the winners of an essay competition organized by Stanbic Bank Ghana.
Prior to the trip in China, Hakim had exhibited exceptional skills and intelligence regardless of his peculiar situation – living on the streets.
After his return to the country from China, the bank noticed that Hakim still roamed the streets. This caught the attention of the bank and its Chief Executive, Mr. Alhassan Andani, who committed to ensuring a secure future for Hakim. The bank engaged the SOS Village to adopt Hakim and enroll him at the SOS Herman Gmeiner School in Terma to facilitate his dreams of becoming a pilot.
Hakim is currently in his second year at the SOS Herman Gmeiner School receiving the best care and tuition he could only dream of a couple of years ago. Hakim, according to his teachers, is coping well in school.
“He makes sure he is regular and punctual. He takes active part in every school activity and class discussions. He is currently in his second year and his favorite subject according to him is Integrated Science. He enjoys learning in a group with his friends.
He attends extra classes in Mathematics and has improved significantly”, one of his teachers said about his performance in school.
Peter Mbabil Dorum, on the other hand, found himself on the streets after his family was ejected from a wooden shack in an uncompleted building.
Just as they did in the Hakim’s case, Stanbic Bank upon hearing Peter’s story intervened by engaging SOS International to take him out of the street and enroll him in school. Peter is currently enrolled in form two at Dora Memorial Boarding School in Ho in the Volta Region. The bank has committed to bearing the full cost of his education and general upkeep.
The inspiring story of Hakim and Peter has spurred staff of the bank to adopt children in similar situations. A model is currently being concluded to enable Stanbic Bank Staff ‘ adopt’ and take up the support of as many of such children from the VAG village in the Airport area. The bank, in addition, set aside GHS 50,000 as seed capital to help deal with the issue of streetism in Ghana.
Commenting on what motivated the bank to embark on such an initiative, Head of Marketing and Communications at Stanbic Bank, Mawuko Afadzinu said the bank, as a member of the Ghanaian society, considers it as part of its duties to ensure the wellbeing of the society and the people they serve.
“As a member of the society, it is our duty to contribute in whatever way that we can to ensure that both the society and the people who live in it are doing well.
Beyond providing the best financial services, we have also committed ourselves to ensure that our community feel the love and care that the brand stands for. We are of the firm belief that, it is in showing love and care that our humanness is brought to bear”, Mr. Afadzinu said.
This compelling act of kindness and CSR is a testament to how corporate entities can impact lives and affect society when they decide to invest in the lives of individuals and societies. It is within this light that we call on all corporate organizations to show love and care to their communities, especially in this season of showing love and care.