By Sa Nyoung Kim
As a responsible and ethical corporate citizen, LG Electronics (LGE) has over the years invested in many social and community causes in East Africa touching on environment, education, health and sports.
In this, LGE is inspired by our sustainability commitment to create a better society by consistently delivering social value to communities where we do business, even as we strive to build a firm foundation for the company’s sustainable growth.
From supporting vaccination programs to promoting inclusive education, LGE pursues a sustainability agenda that balances our core business activities with the needs of society, environment and the economy.
LGE in East Africa has through its regional office touched many lives in communities with its expanded Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives in collaboration with its partners. We believe that in changing one life, we change the world.
In 2020, for example, LGE partnered with the International Vaccine Institute to roll out a cholera vaccination project in Ethiopia benefiting 40,000 people in areas that are vulnerable to water borne diseases like diarrhea.
This project is just one of several health initiatives supported by LGE in the region. In 2019, we concluded a successful ten-year partnership with PCEA Kikuyu Hospital in Kenya to revamp its orthopedic rehabilitation unit.
Besides alleviating the suffering of patients with orthopedic injuries and conditions, the project also highlighted the plight of physically impaired persons in Kenya.
Over 50,000 Kenyans are diagnosed with corneal blindness, majority of them children. LGE has supported an initiative to combat this debilitating illness through corneal grafting at the Lions Eye Hospital.
On the education front, LGE has promoted an inclusive approach in line with the global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) agenda of which LGE is an active champion.
Over 600 children including 225 with hearing impairments in Kenya, have benefitted from new and refurbished learning facilities in Machakos County supported by LGE in collaboration with Habitat for Humanity.
Promoting equal learning opportunities for children mostly from poor, under-privileged communities directly contributes to the SDGs on quality education, reduced inequalities, no poverty and gender equality.
The LG-KOICA Hope Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) College in Ethiopia is another example of how LGE is bridging inequalities in learning. The college offers hope to many young people in Ethiopia for a better future by equipping them with vital vocational skills to contribute to their country’s economic development.
The college is also equipped with the latest electronics technologies and special technical training from LG Dubai Service Corporate, and benefited from an exchange program with Yeonam Institute of Technology sponsored by LG Electronics, South Korea.
On environment, LGE has been at the forefront of promoting a greener, more sustainable Planet by helping restore damaged and endangered ecosystems. We have worked with communities to plant thousands of trees in key water catchment areas.
In 2016, LG staff were involved in conservation activities around Lake Elementeita, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and home to thirteen globally threatened bird species.
LGE’s principle on social contribution involves increasing social value by providing support to the underprivileged in the local community. Since 2013, LGE has been investing in communities in the region to uplift lives by donating some of its products and services featuring the latest innovative technology in consumer appliances.
In 2015, we donated solar equipment to a community in Kajiado County to access electricity and enjoy basic conveniences like charging mobile phones. The previous year, LGE had donated solar-powered refrigerators to health facilities in remote areas in Kenya that were unable to store vaccines thus forcing residents to travel long distances to have their children immunized.
At PCEA Kikuyu Hospital, LGE donated TV sets for use by patients as they walk their journey after surgery. In 2013, LGE provided equipment to help orphans in Rwanda access treatment.
Sports is one of the best ways of nurturing local talents and developing youth. LG Electronics has over the years partnered with the Sports Journalists Association of Kenya (SJAK) to recognize exemplary sporting talent.
The partnership was renewed this year to the tune of Kshs 6.6 million with the launch of the Sports Personality of the Month Award. Winners receive cash and LG electronic appliances. More importantly, rewarding performance is important in promoting sports development. As a company, we believe in actively supporting those striving to reach their dreams.
Last year, LGE unveiled the Social Impact Challenge in partnership with the NGO Korea Food for the Hungry International. The goal was to identify innovative and impactful community initiatives that respond to real problems in local communities, and support them financially to achieve the desired goals. Three projects addressing the needs of children and youth in Kenya have benefited from LGE support.
The impact of all these initiatives will be felt in the lives and communities transformed. LG will continue to its influence as a global brand to address the challenges facing local communities thus creating a better society.
(Sa Nyoung Kim, is the MD, LG Electronics East Africa).