Volunteers may be behind-the-scenes unsung heroes; but they embody the value of “being there for others” – which is an integral part of the ethos of Sahara Group, a leading African energy conglomerate.
Whilst the world celebrates the International Volunteer Day (IVD), Sahara Group is delighted to express its gratitude to staff and volunteers across the globe for relentlessly giving part of their time, talent and treasure to promote sustainable development.
The IVD is a UN authorised event that provides a platform for volunteers and organisations to “celebrate their efforts, to share their values, and to promote their work among their communities, non-governmental organisations (NGOs), United Nations agencies, government authorities and the private sector.”
Apart from mobilising thousands of volunteers every year, the United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme contributes to peace and development by advocating for the recognition of volunteers and working with partners to integrate volunteerism into development programming.
In keeping with the 2017 Theme, ‘Volunteers Act First. Here. Everywhere’, Sahara Group committed over 1200 professional hours through volunteering activities on several Sahara Foundation projects. “This selfless support, commitment and dedication led to the delivery of life changing projects in various countries where Sahara operates and resonates with our conviction that volunteering a policy – it is what we do with much gusto,” says Bethel Obioma, Head, Corporate Communications, Sahara Group.
One of the core philosophies of Sahara Foundation is the involvement of staff members in the implementation of Personal and Corporate Social Responsibility (PCSR) initiatives. This reinforces the significance of ‘Personal’ in the PCSR mandate that guides Sahara Foundation’s interventions across the globe.
Sahara Foundation Manager, OluseyiOjurongbe, reports that in 2017, more than 20 students from different secondary schools in Lagos were mentored by Sahara staff via the I.N.V.E.N.T Mentoring platform. In addition, Sahara staff also presented career and life skills talks to over one thousand youths through the SaharaHub – Sahara Foundation’s online platform for promoting extrapreneurship.
In 2017, staff donated computers, educational materials and guide canes to students of the Bethesda Home for the Blind. Other cash and in-kind contributions have also been made towards various charitable projects.
“On this commemorative day, we salute all our staff volunteers whose commitment to the cause of empowering lives and giving wings to aspirations remains unwavering. Sahara is proud to celebrate our volunteers and their counterparts all over the world today and declare them the real heroes of 2017,” adds Ojurongbe.