Some Corporate Social Responsibility, Social Enterprise and Charities are doing a great job in Vietnam
One of the things that has always made me feel good since arriving here in Vietnam 5 years ago is the number of businesses and business people among my friends that get involved in helping out those less fortunate than themselves. It can be anything from individuals giving up their free time to teach people English, right through to large companies involved in corporate social responsibility programmes.
Corporate Social Responsibility
Many large companies take corporate social responsibility extremely seriously. It is one thing taking advantage of inexpensive working conditions here in Southeast Asia, but this comes with a certain responsibility. There are so many less fortunate people in the region, responsible companies like to put a little back.
Social Enterprise companies work differently to Charities. Though the end game is the same, there are not dependent on donations but run as fully operational businesses in order to provide the best support for areas of need, for which they feel attracted.
There are many charities operating throughout Southeast Asia.The work they do has proved to be a major factor in the area’s development over the decades.
Here are a few businesses and individuals that I have the pleasure of knowing personally here in Saigon.
RGF Executive Search
RGF Executive Search is an international brand of the Recruit Group. This in turn is the world’s fourth largest recruiting and information services company. They are involved heavily with the Christina Noble Children Foundation who have done incredible work to improve the lives of many thousands of children’s lives for many years here in Vietnam. RGF provide equipment and spend time with the children as part of their corporate social responsibility plan.
Small Change Vietnam
Small Change Vietnam is a social enterprise company that works to improve the lives of young people, less fortunate than ourselves. Launched this year they hold events to provide scholarship funding for trainees. They are funding training programmes that last for 18 months. Their scholarships cover the costs of housing, food, basic financial support, active community and social support, and medical care for trainees.
Their first initiative was with Streets International, an American, non-profit corporation. It was founded to provide culinary and hospitality training for street kids, orphans and other disadvantaged young people here in Vietnam. A cooking exhibition and dining experience was held at Grain in Ho Chi Minh’s District 1, in April.
Clean Up Vietnam
Another group doing exceptional work here is Clean Up Vietnam. Their “Adopt A Spot” project that has recently received funding from the Danish Embassy. A friend of mine, Peter Cornish is a well known figure in Saigon and is involved in many projects. He got involved with Clean up Vietnam about three years ago. The environment is a huge area of concern for him; he has worked tirelessly to try and improve things. They get groups of people together at regular intervals to swoop on rubbish strewn black spots within the city. They then clean up the area. Any companies or organisations wishing to take part in their “Adopt a Spot” programme should contact them. You can find them through the their Facebook page, linked above.
I find all this extremely rewarding, in an ever increasingly cynical world. It’s nice to know that at least some people have genuine concerns and are prepared to act upon them. There are many more, these are a few that I just happen to know personally. Great work, people!