Samsung volunteers build classrooms, homes in Malawi

A group of volunteers from Samsung Electronics’ South Korean headquarters arrived in Lilongwe, Malawi, this week to build houses and other facilities for vulnerable families in T/A Tsabango.

The 28-strong team, including 24 Samsung employees, will construct three houses and paint 12 classrooms at Mchitanjiru Primary School, and set up a computer lab – known as the Samsung ICT Café – and a solar-powered cinema at Mchitanjiru Primary School, from 20th to 26th July.

They will also install additional lighting around Mchitanjiru Secondary School classroom blocks and conduct sessions on ICT education and HIV/AIDs education for community members. Housing beneficiaries are identified through a rigorous screening and needs analysis process involving community based organisations and leadership, in partnership with SOS Children’s Villages Malawi and Habitat for Humanity Malawi.

Samsung representatives building a house

Samsung representatives building a house

Samsung volunteers

Samsung volunteers

The initiative, carried out in partnership with Habitat for Humanity Malawi and SOS Children’s Villages Malawi, forms part of Samsung’s Employee Volunteer Programme (EVP), which encourages employees to use their vacation days to uplift and empower underprivileged communities.

The Tsabango initiative was one of a series of community development programmes implemented across Africa under Samsung’s EVP programme. Previous beneficiary countries include Cameroon, Tanzania, Senegal and the Democratic Republic of Congo, among others.

Kea’ Modimoeng, Public Affairs & Corporate Citizenship Manager for Samsung Electronics Africa, said community upliftment formed an integral part of Samsung’s conscience.

“Samsung is committed to creating positive change for people everywhere so that they may live better lives through new experiences. Samsung believes that modern corporate social responsibility (CSR) is about adopting a vested interest in the communities, being sensitive to and aware of their needs, challenges and potential, and developing solutions and technologies that will help those communities to become active participants in the economy.”

Samsung believes in responsible Corporate Citizenship where research, relevance and sustainability are crucial. The 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.

Consolata Kambani, Resource Development and Communications Coordinator at Habitat for Humanity Malawi, said: “Habitat for Humanity Malawi appreciates the partnership with Samsung through their employee volunteer initiative. We are proud to be associated with Samsung in uplifting the lives of many Malawians, especially here in Tsabango.”

Samsung hopes to positively impact the lives of five million Africans by 2015 through its global Hope for Children and Built for Africa initiatives by developing solutions that meet the challenges faced by Africa, with education and healthcare taking centre stage.

Samsung has discovered that by building a business case into community engagement, researching projects thoroughly and ensuring they are relevant, projects become truly sustainable and beneficial – both to the communities involved and to the enterprise.

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