CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY (CSR)
SINGER SEWING ACADEMY
Sewing Academy is an embodiment of Singer’s social commitment and it resolved to bring the company closer to the people and community. The Academy
- extends its services to the underprivileged women of the society for income generation
- keep the art of sewing through machine alive
- helps the teachers of Franchise Schools earn a reasonable income from the fees while they give hands on training on sewing, embroidery, stitching, and cutting to the students
- creates an opportunity for students who pass out successfully to open their own Franchise Schools in their community, thereby keeping the cycle of sewing -learning - income generation alive
On an average each year, the Sewing Instructors provide training to approximately 2000 students. A student, upon completion of a training course, is provided with a Certificate in a simple ceremony. This Certificate from the Singer Sewing Academy is held in high esteem by both the Government and Bangladesh Garments Manufacturers and Exporters Association.
This recognition helped Singer to undertake a joint partnership agreement with ILO for training the displaced under-aged garment workers so that they could develop the necessary expertise in sewing.
ILO Child Labor Elimination Program
In 2000 the European Union and the United States of America took a strong stance to stop child labor (age below 14 years) in the garments industry. Consequently, a huge number of children were laid off in many countries, including Bangladesh. These children were school dropouts and found employment in garments industries to support their families. The laid off children were picked up by the Geneva based International Labor Organization (ILO) which came up with a plan to develop their technical skill.
ILO decided to go for sewing, cutting and embroidery training. Reflecting the spirit of social commitment, Singer joined hands with ILO for improving the sewing skills of the displaced under-aged garment workers so that they could develop their necessary expertise in this area.
Under the partnership agreement, a training program was organized where there was virtually no dropout. This is quite an unusual phenomenon considering the past history of drop out of almost all participants. Care was taken to ensure that every student was present in the classroom. Even if some one did not turn-up on a particular day, the teachers investigated the reason, and helped the student to join the training the next day.
At the end of the program, Certificates was awarded in a function which was attended by ILO Officials. The Certificate of Completion is provided to all participants and is held in high esteem by the companies willing to recruit trained personnel in Sewing. And for the students, it creates opportunities for a better pay package.
Employment to the Underprivileged
UCEP (Underprivileged children’s Education Program) works with the underprivileged children for their betterment which is done by providing technical training on different trades.
On completion of this training the trainees are absorbed in different organizations. Singer can proudly say that all the assembly crew working at Singer Manufacturing Complex are from UCEP. Recruiting from UCEP is an on-going process.
MOTHER & CHILD HEALTH AWARENESS & DAILY CLINIC AT REMOTE AREAS
Down-trodden people residing in the far flung rural areas require basic health care facilities. The most vulnerable group in this arena are women as social norm favor early marriage for which adolescents becomes mother at a very early age. Owing to social taboo this pregnant mothers are attended by Traditional Birth Attended (TBA) who lacks the basic knowledge of using sterilized easy-to-use equipment like blades for safe delivery of new born babies. Home births, as such, are common but the lack of pre-natal care and treatment for complication increases risk for mother and children.
High level of malnutrition is also prevalent among mothers and children in the rural not because of inaccessibility of food but also due to poor feeding practices and infection or combination of the two. Water-borne disease is common in the flood-prone rural areas where diarrhoea claims numerous lives each year. However, the simple practice of washing hands with soap and water or ashes can reduce diarrohea by half.
Simple basic health tips like the above can bring a significant change in the mortality rate which in turn can improve the health of the helpless and vulnerable group of the rural people.
Considering the poor-scenario in the rural health sector, Singer Bangladesh has taken up an initiative for making a significant improvement in the lives of many rural people and bringing smile to many.
Singer Bangladesh have partnered with one of Fareea Lara Foundation’s project to provide Health Education and Primary Health Care to Rural Children and Women. Fareea Lara Foundation came to existence in 1998 to uphold the memory of a young women pilot by that name who died in a plane crash. The Foundation is a private organization which aims at serving and protecting the humanity.
The project area, so chosen is located 46 kilometers away from the capital city Dhaka, where there is no medical facility. It comprises of 45 cluster small villages and aims at providing health care facilities to helpless and vulnerable group with special emphasis on mother, child and adolescents through an existing Medical Centre which is in close proximity from the said 45 number of villages.
By 2009, Singer Bangladesh plans to expand the existing Medical Centre into a Five-Bed Hospital with a view to provide better service to mid level complicated pregnant mothers who can not be serviced by TBA’s but needs assistance from a Gynaecologist.
Singer Bangladesh provided Ultra Sonogram, X –ray and ECG machines to the hospital for proper diagnosis and treatment of the patients.Under the direct supervision of the medical centre, 12 Village Health Workers (VHW) and 12 Traditional Birth Attendants (TBA) have been recruited from 12 different villages. The Village Health Workers were provided basic training on health related issues and upon completion of their education were deployed in their place of residence. Similarly 12 Traditional Birth Attendants were trained in safe delivery of new-born.
From among these 12 health workers and 12 traditional birth attendants, 1 VHW and 1 TBA would be selected from each of the 4 village based on service regularity and merit at the end of the year. Eventually 3 VHW and 3 TBA would be provided six months advance training at an NGO KOINNIA by Singer Bangladesh.
The successful graduates will be provided with a certificate by the institute which will allow them to prescribe specific medicine for specific simple and common illness e.g. cold fever, influenza etc and refer patients with complicated illness to the Medical Centre.
Upon completion of the advance training they would return to their work place and train their fellow workers. In the long run they would be able to earn their livelihood by prescribing and suggesting treatment to the poor by charging nominal fees.
TABLE TENNIS DEVELOPMENT AT SCHOOL LEVEL
Table Tennis had been a very popular game in Bangladesh has gradually lost its glory due to many reasons and its golden days has now remained as only good memories. Lack of facilities, patrons and many other reasons have played a role behind loosing its popularity among with youth in eighties and nineties.
In view of scarcity of space for outdoor space in Dhaka city and many other parts of the country, table tennis can be a good option for sports enthusiasts as because it requires small budget and space. All these advantages make it an ideal sport in the school and household.
In this backdrop Singer Bangladesh Limited as part of its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) has teamed up with Bangladesh Table Tennis Players’ Society (BTTPS), a platform of past and present table tennis players who have played at different levels, to promote the sports among school students from April, 2010.
The first-of-its-kind campaign trains schools students with the basics of table tennis under the supervision of country’s top professional trainers and imbue passion for the indoor game among the future generation.
The aim of the entire effort is to not only popularize the game among new generation but also to find the latent talent among them. In the process the campaign is expected to inspire gifted players who will surely bring glory for Bangladesh from different regional and global platform of the game.
The broad outline of SINGER-BTTPS School Table Tennis Campaign is as follows:
i. Long term training at school by professional trainers.
i. Seminar and workshops.
Singer, as part of its social commitment, has been extending its support to a number of social projects in different forms. Singer also contributes to the promotion of sports and culture in Bangladesh.
The donation of Singer products to various institutions works for the betterment of the under privileged people, which Singer views as its corporate responsibility.
In addition to this, Singer has been donating its products to organizations that are engaged in social welfare activities.