Around 1,000 Ford in India volunteers are set to join an army of 12,000 Ford employees, retirees and dealers to conduct hundreds of community projects in six continents for the seventh annual Ford Global Week of Caring (GWC). Engaging in seven or more activities in seven days in Chennai, Coimbatore, Sanand and Delhi, the GWC will see volunteers from Ford India and Ford’s Global Business Services (comprised of Ford Business Services Center and Ford Technology Services India) work for betterment of the communities around Ford’s operation in India making the spirit of Go Further come alive.
From September 8 through 15, the Ford Volunteer Corps will be out in force with hammers, shovels and paintbrushes in more than 20 countries to tackle community projects. They will repair schools in Australia and South Africa, organize sanitation awareness campaigns in India, construct community water projects in China and Thailand and install water desalinization equipment in Indonesia. Many of these projects will be expanded and continued during coming months as part of Ford’s ongoing community engagement programmes such as Operation Goodwill.
With a focus on spreading joy and cheer by lending a helping hand to communities, around 1,000 Ford in India volunteers will fan out to engage in a variety of community development activities during the week. Drawn from across functions, the Ford in India volunteers bring to the table varied expertise in identifying, planning and executing projects, be it the construction of toilets in schools or the distribution of shoes to students, leveraging their strong relations with the community to go one step further in helping Ford become a responsible citizen in the community year on year.
“At Ford India, our volunteers are critical in helping us work with our community on an ongoing basis,” said Michael Boneham, president and managing director, Ford India. “This year, we are in a unique position not only to celebrate this wonderful volunteering spirit among our employees, but also to build on Operation Goodwill projects and Ford Driving Skills for Life to ensure we not only meet the community’s needs, but do so in a sustainable and enduring manner”.
“Ford is a special company. We not only have best-in-class products, we have best-in-class volunteerism,” said Joginder Singh, executive director of Ford’s Global Business Services. “Over the last seven years, our compassionate and enthusiastic employees have been making a difference to people in the local communities during the Ford Global Week of Caring. With every passing year, we go further and get closer to our vision of a better world.”
Ford in India’s community activities planned for the Global Week of Caring will include:
- · Conducting a Literacy Mela at Peramanur to showcase progress in the learning outcome of village children through the after-school tutorial project initiated as part of Operation Goodwill
- · Improving hygiene among school children by conducting an awareness campaign on sanitation and a mural painting exercise at two schools in Melrosapuram and Peramanur, where toilets are being constructed. Also, at a neighboring girls’ school, Ford India volunteers will help renovate toilets
- · Spreading the message of safe and responsible driving with Ford Driving Safe for Life sessions for nearly 700 Air Force personnel
- · Organizing eye check-up camps with Sanjeevi and other medical partner teams
- · The volunteers will also continue last year’s highly successful shoes donation by distributing school shoes to over 1,500 high school students in seven villages.
- · The events at Ford India will conclude with a grand Learning Mela in which children from for all seven villages around the Chennai Manufacturing Facility will participate to showcase the progress of Operation Goodwill projects and to engage the community
- · At Ford’s Global Business Services, volunteers will organize an inter-school quiz contest for over 1,000 students from nearby schools
- · Mentor girl students on the importance of pursuing education and organize a trip to the planetarium for about 150 children
- · Dispel the myths surrounding eye donation during a special awareness session conducted by doctors, and organize an eye donation camp at the office premises
- · Visit orphanages and other institutions to spend quality time with residents and donate medicines, ‘hygiene kits’, school bags and footwear
- · The volunteers will install water purification systems at three schools during the grand finale – ‘Water Smart’. As a part of this event, the team will stage a street play and organize an awareness campaign for around 2,500 children, along with teaching staff and the local residents on water sustainability and conservation practices
- · In Sanand, volunteers will conduct competitions for children and tree plantations at a school near the facility, among others.
As a reflection of Ford’s commitment to India, around USD 28,000 have been sanctioned to fund some of the projects during the week. This sanction is part of Ford’s global initiative to reach out to more than 25 nonprofits in the Asia Pacific countries of Australia, China, India, Indonesia, Philippines, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam, as well as South Africa, who will share for the first time more than USD 90,000 in grants for the tools and supplies needed by the volunteers to complete their projects.
“Around the world Ford employees have built a reputation of making a difference with strong hands and huge hearts,” said Jim Vella, president, Ford Motor Company Fund and Community Services. “We now have the momentum and resources to start taking the next steps toward realizing our global vision of year-round volunteer activities.”