Corporate Social Responsibility | Doing the Right Thing
Corporate responsibility in business today is no longer a trend; it is becoming a standard feature for large organizations to achieve sustainability. And while every company today is trying to be sustainable, but it is not always clear sometimes what it actually means. Should they become carbon neutral completely? Minimize the business impact on the environment? Care more about their employers’ well-being? Or have a good corporate social responsibility (CSR) like Fluke Corporation (Vietnam branch) had done on their recent trip?
What is Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)?
Corporate social responsibility (CSR) can take under many forms depending on a company or an industry. It is a broad concept, and it usually displays in public through philanthropic activities (charity, volunteering, etc.). Such actions will benefit both society and the organization.
A company that engages in CSR means they will operate in a way that minimizes the negative impacts of their business on the community and the environment. Besides, it also brings excellent value to the firm because such activities can form a stronger bond between the employers and the corporate.
Consumers today are not only aware of the impacts on the environment, but they are also very socially conscious. Therefore, they tend to spend money with businesses that prioritize CSR.
Volunteering with Scivi Travel in Vietnam
Scivi Travel recently had a chance to collaborate with Fluke. We organized a Corporate Social Responsibility trip for them during their combined business and volunteer trips in Vietnam, to be exact.
This time, we visited a charitable restaurant called Nu Cuoi (the name literally means a smile in Vietnamese) in District 7, Ho Chi Minh city. This place is built to support the poor in the community by selling their meals at a very low price. And with a generous donation from Fluke, they decided to make Pho for lunch and sold it as low as 5.000 Vnd per bow (5.000 Vnd is around $0.2)
We talked to the manager who is a man in his fifty with a friendly smile – Mr. Nhien. He had been managing this restaurant for over two years. He told us:
I am only a retired man who wants to give back to this life and help the poor. I found myself very lucky because my family supports what I am doing; they are always by my side. But what motivates me the most is to see the happiness showing on these people’s faces. Especially when they can be able to buy their meal at such a price.
At this restaurant, we do not give free food; we only sell them at a little cost because we do not want to make them feel bad. People who visit this place are not beggars; they are from all walks of life.
Some of them are students, workers, street vendors, they have jobs, they are not a disability, and they work hard to support themselves and their family. We just want to make their life a little easier. That’s why they still have to pay for their meal like every other restaurant.
On that day, more than ten volunteers, including abrand manager from Singapore, all took part in the preparation of making Pho, one of the famous traditional noodles in Vietnam. Pho is one of the quick and delicious breakfast choices for many Vietnamese. But as simple as it may, the making of Pho is rather a complicated and time-consuming job.
Another night passes by the city followed by morning sunlight torn through those high-rise buildings in Saigon. People bustling through traffic on their motorbike and waiting at the red light as if they are getting ready for the rat-race. Every day is the same in this city, except for today, we are on a mission.
All members assembled since early that day and got excited about what we were about to do ahead — arriving at the restaurant after a short journey from the city center. All members were standing by and waiting for task assignments from the group leader.
Time is precious; only a few hours to prepare before people flooding in to buy their lunch. So once tasks were given, everyone got to work quickly in excitement. Teamwork was played at its best and brought all the members together. It took the whole morning to prepare everything, but finally, we completed it on time. Now we waited for them to come, and meanwhile, we rewarded ourselves with a bowl of Chicken Pho noodle soup for everyone.
At a quarter to twelve, the first wave of people came in. We rushed into our assigned stations and got ready for the job. Men remained inside for the heavy tasks while women stayed outside serving people. In a short time, the restaurant was full, and there wasn’t any table left. Over 500 bows of Pho were served on that day, and everyone was happy with their meal.
Now we understand what makes Mr.Nhien so passionate about his job. The entire volunteer time was only half-day, but there was so much emotion in everyone. Things like this, we don’t really do every day in our daily lives, or perhaps, we are just too busy to care for each other.
There are many trips like this organized by Scivi Travel every year. They are all different in large and small scale. However, they only carry the same purpose, to make a positive impact on the society and bring everyone together to do the right things.
Sometimes, our CSR does not have to be a long-term goal that takes years to finish. We believe it is also important to focus on problems that are happening right now among us. Such this volunteer trip is a great example of an effective CSR effort giving back to society.
Please contact us if you wish to organize CSR activities for your company