Supporting
communities

in Asia

The success of the Chairman’s
Challenge shines through the
wide range of projects it supports
each year, and the enthusiasm
of employees who participate.

With numbers rising each year, our Chairman’s Challenge volunteers have helped to build strong partnerships with charities to deliver tangible, sustainable projects supporting local communities.

Prudential Thailand’s close relationship with Plan International UK has been built up over five years and is one example of how effective these partnerships can be. Plan has been working in Thailand for 30 years, covering more than 600 communities in seven provinces.

In 2009, Prudential Thailand and Plan received the top Chairman’s Challenge prize for their projects, helping young children access education and healthcare. In 2010, the partnership with Plan involved more than 300 employees who gave up their time to teach school children basic financial skills, and promote environmental awareness and protection.

This project helped some 1,500 children from seven schools by setting up school and environmental banks. Saving was promoted through various methods, and linked to environmental aspects of the programme such as recycling, tree planting or producing organic fertilisers. Students taking part were able to make a profit which they could bank as savings.

The programme is now recognised by the Ministry of Education and will be integrated into the school curriculum.

Other volunteers took on more physical challenges such as building fish ponds, digging and planting vegetable gardens and sowing more than 3,000 tree seedlings as part of a reforestation project.

Plan

300 

employees in Thailand
gave up their time to
teach school children

Apithorn Amatyakul, Vice President, Marketing, Brand and Communications, Prudential Thailand, explains how the involvement of colleagues in community projects has grown every year, with volunteering now deeply embedded in the business’s culture.

“At the start of every year we involve our employees in discussing ideas about what we’d like to do, and we provide feedback on what we’ve done in the past. The response is always very positive and we get more and more people wanting to get involved each year. We make participation as inclusive as possible. For example, people with responsibilities that prevent them from travelling to do field work are able to undertake activities in the office, or at home, so everyone can feel proud to be part of the programme.” As well as demonstrating Prudential’s commitment to local communities and cementing its reputation, colleagues who volunteer gain other advantages, as Apithorn explains: “Volunteering opens up networking opportunities for colleagues, which is definitely something that people really value.”

Sunan Samrianrum, Plan Project Manager in Thailand, said: “I’m so happy that the projects have been taken on by local schools, village committees and local authorities. This ensures that the children will continue to benefit. They always refer to Prudential as their partner.”

In 2009, Prudential Indonesia was awarded a Special Recognition award from Harvey McGrath, Prudential plc Chairman, for the outstanding dedication and commitment of employees in response to the earthquake that destroyed the city of Padang.

In 2009, Prudential Indonesia also continued to partner with Prestasi Junior Indonesia, building on the four-year relationship to implement innovative education programmes for students across the greater Jakarta area. More than a third of the population of Indonesia does not complete their schooling. In urban areas, this rises to 40 per cent, and to 45 per cent in rural areas20.

“I’m so happy that the projects have been taken on by local schools, village committees and local authorities. This ensures that the children will continue to benefit. They always refer to Prudential as their partner.”

For four years, Prudential and Prestasi Junior Indonesia have worked with students from various socio-economic backgrounds with access to different levels of teaching resource and support. In 2009, some 262 Prudential volunteers visited 14 schools to run education programmes.

In 2010, efforts were extended to a safe house in Jakarta, benefiting more than 50 street children aged between seven and 20. For this project, more than 130 Prudential volunteers gave up four weekends to help raise the self-confidence and communication skills of young people at the safe house.

Nini Sumohandoyo, Corporate Marketing and Communications Director, Prudential Indonesia, explains how the Chairman’s Challenge has gained traction over the years: “People in Indonesia are very giving. But, when we first introduced the Chairman’s Challenge, the concept of giving up your time outside working hours, rather than simply raising funds, was a new concept for many of our colleagues. So, it took a certain amount of getting used to.”

Attracting volunteers was, according to Nini, made much easier by the commitment of senior management, who make their support for volunteering activity very clear. According to Nini, it is a major differentiator between Prudential and other life insurance businesses in the region. “It’s really important for a business like ours to gain the commitment of our leaders. I think the difference between us and local competitors is that our senior management is visibly committed to the philosophy of helping the community. It is really embedded in our organisation from the top down.”

The Chairman’s Challenge provides central funding for local projects, with the level of contribution increasing as more volunteers sign up. One of the major advantages of the Chairman’s Challenge, according to Nini, is the ability to work on programmes that have the most relevance locally, “because they have the most impact and these are the areas where we can achieve the most benefit.”

Robert Gardiner, Director, Prestasi Junior Indonesia, adds: “We are proud to collaborate and have the full support of Prudential Indonesia in implementing and carrying out our mission to create a young generation that understands the importance of financial education. Through this cooperation we hope to inspire young people to achieve their dreams and help prepare them for the future.”

262 

Prudential volunteers
in Indonesia visited
14 schools to run
education programmes

Local programmes have the most relevance because they have the most impact and these are the areas where we can achieve the most benefit.

“Local programmes have the most relevance because they have the most impact and these are the areas where we can achieve the most benefit.”

20 http://dds.bps.go.id/download_file/IP_Januari_2011.pdf), January 2011, Social Economic Data, Central Statistics Agency, Republic of Indonesia.

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