All staff of Standard Chartered are encouraged to contribute to the local community and support them through Employee Volunteering. Under this programme, employees are offered three days paid leave to volunteer on projects aligned with our community. These involve areas such as environmental degradation, poverty and ill health, which have a significant impact on business performance.
Volunteering gives the employees the opportunity to use their skills to make a unique contribution to organisations and support their cause. The Bank encourage employees to undertake volunteering placement that are aligned to the Group’s Sustainability strategy which includes Seeing is Believing, Living with HIV, Diversity and Inclusion and Environment.
Employee Volunteering is one unique way in which the Bank brings its brand promise, Here for good, to life for the benefit of the communities. The number of employees volunteering continues to climb totalling more than 90,300 days in 2013.
Goal is a global programme aimed at empowering young girls from low income communities with the skills they need to make informed life choices. Firstly launched in India in 2006, the program is now present in twenty-three countries. The Bank organised a Goal event in Mauritius on 19th December 2015.
Roselyne Renel, Group Chief Credit Officer of Standard Chartered UK and Global Sponsor for Goal, was present on this occasion. Thirty girls from the underprivileged backgrounds of Mauritius participated in the event. Key stakeholders and selected media were invited to attend the program.
Games such as ‘Silent Ball’, ‘My Rights’ and ‘Career’ were proposed to the participants who were grouped into four teams. These activities based on educational modules, focus on the development through sports. The objective of the modules is to enable the girls to gain confidence, knowledge and skills which facilitate their integration in the society.
Employees of the bank acted as mentors to guide them in the different games. At the end of the event, the girls gave their feedback on the event. They were also rewarded with gifts for their participation.
Standard Chartered made a commitment at the 2013 Clinton Global Inititative to reach 500,000 girls through Goal by the end of 2018.
Standard Chartered Mauritius officially launched a Football Academy for the underprivileged youngsters of the northern region of the country. The Academy has recruited 20 young people aged 15 to 17, who are being trained since July 2014 by a professional coach and ex national football player. The Academy was inaugurated in the presence of the Minister of Youth and Sports and Mrs Donna Parks, Chief Risk Officer Standard Chartered Americas and Board Director of Standard Chartered Mauritius.
The Minister of Youth and Sports congratulated the bank for this initiative. He reiterated his belief in the development of professional football, which he believes, will recover its former glory and reputation in Mauritius if talented young people, especially those from underprivileged backgrounds, are provided with proper training framework, supported.
The creation of the Football Academy demonstrates the Bank's engagement for the youth of Mauritius, reinforcing its commitment to the socio-economic development of the country, as reflected in our brand promise Here for Good. Sridhar Nagarajan, CEO, pointed out that this platform for the promotion of football and its values, will support the talented young people by giving them the opportunity to realise their potential and achieve their ambition of becoming successful footballers and individuals.
Northern Pirates Sports Club is the bank's local partner in the project. The Association runs the Football Academy on a daily basis, providing coaching, facilities and equipment to the players.
The inauguration ended by a friendly match being played with the youngsters of the Football Academy against the bank's football team in a cheerful ambiance.
Seeing is Believing
Through Seeing is Believing, the bank has partnered with the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB) and leading international eye-care non-governmental organisations to improve access to eye care across Asia, Africa, the Middle East and South America.
The Bank has raised over US$63 million, and has helped more than 45 million people, since the programme’s launch in 2003. By 2020, we aim to fundraise US$100 million for Seeing is Believing.
In Mauritius, Standard Chartered Bank has partnered with the Ministry of Education and the Optical Association of Mauritius to set up a national vision screening program in all primary schools and special needs schools of the country since May 2012. The Bank has reached out to 45000 children throughout the program, saving the sight of 6000 children and donating free glasses to 500 needy pupils.
Our staff is driving the success of the vision screening program in Mauritius together with the officers of the Ministry as they perform vision screening on a daily basis in all primary schools of the country, targeting children of Standard 1 and 6. In the context of World Sight Day 2014, public awareness campaigns were also organised in the most popular shopping malls of the country.
In 2015, Standard Chartered Bank together with its local partners will sustain the national screening program in the primary schools of Mauritius and extend the initiative to the children of Rodrigues as well.
To learn more about Seeing is Believing, please click here.
Living with HIV
Our Living with HIV programme is celebrating its 15th year of existence globally. The program aims to reduce the spread of new infections by giving people the facts to make safer lifestyle choices. We run face-to-face workshops that cover the basic facts about the virus. We also work with external organisations to help them develop tailored workplace education programmes and we train volunteers inside the organisations to be peer educators.
In the nineties the HIV pandemic was having a devastating impact, with some countries declaring national disasters after seeing as much as 15% of their population affected.We responded and took action by launching Living with HIV in 1999 as a workplace education programme in Africa. We then extended this across our footprint in 2003 as we saw the effect of HIV and AIDS on the lives of our people, our clients, our customers, our suppliers and vendors in all our communities. The Bank has set a pledge at the Clinton Global Initiative to reach one million people with HIV education over three years, and exceeded this target in 2010.
In 2013, the Bank partnered with PILS to organise a Christmas party with 60 children living with HIV. Staff contributed to buy gifts as per the wish list submitted by the children and the Bank organised a lunch and a party at Domaine Les Pailles. On World Aids Day, staff of the bank benefited of a refreshed awareness session on HIV. During this same event, a person living with HIV gave a testimony that contributed to further sensitize the staff. Our Living with HIV Champion conducted a "Train the trainer" session with the AIESEC students, an influential and international student’s organisation, regrouping Mauritians and other nationalities.
In 2014, the bank kicked off its ‘Living with HIV’ education programme at Middlesex University with the aim to inform students about the difference between HIV and AIDS, the transmission of the virus and the preventive actions. In partnership with MEXA (Mauritius Export Association), the Bank conducted sessions with expatriate women workers of the textile factory, Star Knitwear. To celebrate World AIDS Day, Standard Chartered together with the National AIDS Secretariat and PILS launched a national campaign against the stigmatisation and discrimination linked to HIV/AIDS. The campaign focused on three positive messages namely, “Accept”, “Respect” and “Support”.
In 2013, the Environment committee designed an innovative programme for composting at the workplace and in the community, for which they were awarded an excellence award by the Group. This program was developed in collaboration with the professors and students of the Faculty of Agriculture of the University of Mauritius.
The staff also benefited of a "train the trainer" course on composting with the objective of extending the project in the community. The staff of Foyer Monseigneur Leen, an orphanage in the vicinity of Rose Hill, was also engaged in the training. In 2014, the employees of the Bank were actively engaged in raising awareness on recycling. Training sessions were organised with the children and team of the orphanage, Foyer Monseigneur Leen, to produce their own compost for sustaining a kitchen garden of the association. The garden named ‘Madiba’s Kitchen Garden’ was unveiled on Nelson Mandela Day with the collaboration of the South African High Commission.
For the environment week held in June, the committee organised a sale of compost in the office to encourage employees to recycle. In November, the team introduced compostage to the staff of the South African High Commission who are willing to set up a composter. In 2015, the team is planning to reach out more NGOs and associations to implement the program around the island.
Diversity and Inclusion
Standard Chartered takes a progressive approach towards diversity and inclusion in the work place. The Bank facilitated many support networks to provide employees with a vital source of contacts, information and guidance, which contribute to create a more inclusive environment for our people. Group has organized networks to include women, international employees, parents and caregivers etc.
In Mauritius, a Diversity and Inclusion Council regrouping men and women from various business functions and nationalities was formed to unanimously organise events for staff of the bank throughout the year. These events and initiatives were held within the workplace, promoting the values of the bank and inclusion of all the employees. These initiatives were recognised by Group.
Mauritius won an excellence award in 2013 for its role in promoting inclusion through then organisation of initiatives to promote disability awareness, gender diversity, and collaboration and engagement in the workplace.
In 2014, International Women’s day was celebrated in March together with the National Women Entrepreneur Council and an NGO for the rehabilitation of alcoholic women, “Etoile D’Esperance”. This event was followed by the celebration of Culture Day under the theme of ‘Working as a multicultural team’. In July, World Cup provided a platform which brought staff together in teams for several activities around the event. In October, Diwali was celebrated under the theme of ‘Unity in Diversity’, where staff participated in culinary and cultural competitions.
At the end of the year, to welcome the spirit of Christmas in the Bank, the D&I committee did an open day for the staff’s children, who learnt more about their parents’ workplace while being entertained with Christmas carols and games. The bank also provided a lunch and reacreational activities at a home care centre, next to the office’s premises.
Other Community Initiatives
The various departments of the bank also engage their staff in community initiatives. For instance, staff visited « Centre Pour L'Education et le progres des Enfants Handicapes » in Flacq in October 2013. They interacted with the children and spent quality time with them while donating articles, consumables, toys and books.The same group of employees, in partnership with the association Les Amis de Don Bosco, visited 30 families living in extreme poverty conditions in Sophia Lane, Vallee des Pretres . School materials and food articles were distributed.
The Finance department of the bank pursued its engagement of celebrating birthdays with the orphanage "Foyer Monseigneur Leen" on a monthly basis. The orphanage regroups girls aged 4 to 16. At the end of the year, a Christmas party was also organised for the children.
Birthday celebrations were also organised for the visually impaired children of Lois Lagesse Trust Fund, the school for the blind. The bank’s team volunteered and left no stone unturned to make the celebration a memorable one for the children present. Similarly, a christmas party was organised with them in December.