Good corporate citizen: LG’s impact on education and empowerment

They have TVs, home music systems, speakers, dishwashers, refrigerators, cookers, washing machines, and Air Conditioners (or ACs). And up until 2014, they had been developing and selling some of the most innovative mobile phones.

For a brand that has been part of most families and households lifestyles for ages, it is even more exciting to find out that LG is not just about revenues and the ultimate bottom-line but also about lifting up and building the communities where it operates. And LG does this in various impactful ways.

As a brand guided by the belief that it should serve as a foundation for the prosperity of the nations where it operates and their citizens, LG East Africa has over the years initiated and engaged in programs and social activities that improve access to education and health. LG is also supportive of activities that aim to conserve the environment.

(TOP: LG Electronics MD for East and Central Africa, Sa Nyoung Kim – centre – is joined by Kanini Mbondo and Magdalene Kamene, Class 6 pupils at Machakos School for the Deaf. Hundreds of learners with disabilities will benefit from a project supported by the company in partnership with Habitat for Humanity Kenya. It aims to improve  learning infrastructure, water, sanitation and hygiene).

LG East Africa – in collaboration with partners – has impacted thousands of lives in the across the country through its various programs and initiatives. In March last year, LG announced that its most recent social activities would benefit over 25,000 people in Kenya’s Laikipia County, situated along the equator, about 300 kilometers away from the Nairobi.

Sa Nyoung Kim, LG East Africa’s then MD, said: “From an education standpoint, LG East Africa has had its eyes focused on supporting schools. By extension, school-going children benefiting from these social activities are seen as great assets for the country. In the long term, as a result of the current support, we hope that we shall improve their well-being while they will turn out skilled enough to contribute to national competitiveness and the economy.”

In Laikipia County, LG partnered with Habitat for Humanity (HFH) to unveil social impact initiatives valued at Kshs 10.3 million to benefit 3,683 primary and secondary school pupils based at Mbombo and Rumuruti region within the county. The LG and HFH partnership was also aimed to ensure that over 22,000 residents of the area receive medical care at Olmoran and Maundu Meri Dispensary.

The support includes product donations and construction of classrooms and ablution blocks at Mbombo Primary School. The school’s classroom is also furnished with desks and tables while upwards of 20 LG products such as refrigerators, washers, water purifiers, air conditioners, TVs and microwaves were also donated to the community institutions.

“Our brand philosophy is making Life Good for people. This guides us and inspires us to improve and help our customers live a better, more convenient, and more fulfilled lifestyle that they deserve. We have made it our responsibility to extend this promise to the communities around us through a mutual partnership with organisations such as Habitat for Humanity. Besides, our goal is to improve service quality and access for the residents and make learning easy for all the school pupils by creating a child-friendly and stress-free environment,” Sa Nyoung Kim said during the groundbreaking ceremony for the construction of classrooms and ablution blocks at Mbombo Primary School last year.

Regarding healthcare, at least two dispensaries and seven schools from the two regions were picked to benefit from the initiatives. Besides Mbombo Primary, the other schools earmarked to benefit from the LG and HFH partnership program are Githima Secondary, Ndunyu Primary, Rumuruti Special School, Kandutura Primary, Rumuruti DEB primary and Manyatta Primary school.

The LG and HFH program aimed to address several challenges facing the community in the two target regions such as insufficient access to clean water in the schools and dispensaries, increased cases of spoilt food and drugs, poor sanitation (as several latrines in schools have sunk and some are on the verge of collapsing) and missed classes in schools due to lack of equipment to conduct e-learning which is fast gaining adoption due to the introduction of Competency-Based Curriculum (CBC).

Laikipia was the second county to benefit from LGs and HFH social impact initiative following the successful donations to community facilities and construction of a new library and toilet block, renovation of student bathrooms and a borehole water plumbing system at Machakos School for the Deaf, in Machakos County in 2021. The support to the school was meant to improve the learning environment for 664 primary and secondary school students within the institution.

Apart from its partnership with Habitat for Humanity, LG – working together with Korea Food for The Hungry International – every year calls for submissions for its Ambassador Challenge that seeks to promote the growth and self-reliance of local communities by supporting various empowerment projects. Afterwards, the entries submitted from all of the country’s 47 counties are evaluated and judged before the 3 overall winners are picked and awarded prizes for their efforts.

This year, LG handed over complete projects to three social groups from Nairobi, Kiambu and Kajiado counties which had emerged winners in the Ambassador Challenge.

The three – Ghetto Evolve from Nairobi, The Eagles from Limuru and Mporokua Primary school from Kajiado – emerged as the 2021 winners of the LG Ambassador Challenge.

Giving his remarks during the handover ceremony, Sa Nyoung Kim, the LG East Africa boss, said: “This initiative allows us to contribute to the sustainable development of our society. As we continue to execute social contribution for all, it is our hope that these donations will not only have a long-lasting impact on the immediate beneficiaries but also their dependents to live a better life”.

In terms of prizes for their efforts, the Ghetto Evolve Mathare social group received 26 computers for a computer lab that would double up as a resource centre for kids, young men and women within Mathare.

“Many youths from this community are jobless, these computers will help us, especially the younger generation to start and access online jobs. Pupils from this school, Heidemarie Primary School Mathare 4A, will also greatly benefit from these machines” said Musa Luka, Ghetto Evolve Founder.

The second beneficiary, Mporokua Primary School from Kajiado County received a fully constructed classroom to benefit pupils who previously studied under trees, were congested in one class or studied in a nearby church. The school has a population of 250 pupils and a feeder school called Sangilel with a total number of 78 pupils. It has four permanent classes and three semi-permanent ones shared by all the classes.

“The classroom will offer more space for students as classes 8 and 7 will no longer share a class,” said Justin Osoro, a teacher at the school.

The Eagles from Limuru, Kiambu County, received seven motorbikes for its members, a move aimed to open up opportunities for them to work and provide for their families. Investment in the motorbike is part of their long-term plan to venture into the transport business and create a livelihood for their members.

“Through these motorbikes, our youths will earn a living and we shall also raise funds to invest in another project that will be beneficial to our community,” said Steven Muthusi, secretary-general of the Eagles Club.

Apart from the material and equipment donations, each of the three winners were also awarded Kshs 1 million to boost their projects financially.


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