Knowing that the organisation you work for does something to help people in need is exciting. To know that, as an employee, you can make a contribution to that effort is a reward money can’t buy.
The SMEC Foundation, a key component of our Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Program, has celebrated 16 years of operation. During that time, the Foundation has supported over 200 projects, delivering tangible outcomes to people in need.
Through the work of the SMEC Foundation, communities in over 30 countries where SMEC has operations have received grant support for development projects that improve people’s lives.
The thinking behind the SMEC Foundation has always been that to have a positive impact on those in need a big budget isn’t necessary. Our philosophy is that small amounts, spent wisely, can produce far-reaching social and economic impacts. This straightforward ‘hands on’ approach encourages the involvement of our employees who not only contribute through monetary donations, but also generously offer their time and technical skills to support local communitie
To deliver its mission, the SMEC Foundation partners with a range of charities.
One of our associates is So They Can (STC). This innovative charity works with communities and their governments in Kenya and Tanzania to educate and empower people, breaking the poverty cycle to help communities realise their potential and meet their own needs.
Keri Chittenden, Co-Founder and Director of STC, stressed the importance of the SMEC employee network in project execution “STC’s connection with SMEC employees on the ground in Kenya has added so much extra value to the donations from the SMEC Foundation. The involvement of SMEC employees has enabled us to tap into some excellent technical expertise when carrying out our development projects. SMEC understands the needs of our community. This has enabled us to deliver better project outcomes, whether that be for the Abadare Ranges School, the Miti Mingi Children’s Village or for the community generally. It gives us great comfort to know that SMEC Kenya is a trustworthy partner we can call on for technical advice when needed.”
‘SMEC House’ is a safe home that will provide a family environment for orphaned or vulnerable children in the Miti Mingi Village, developed by STC. These children are moving to family houses, accommodating only 8 children per house. These families will be headed by a permanent caregiver, and will enable the children to grow up in an environment of love, respect and security. The SMEC Foundation has funded the building of two of those houses – giving a better start in life and hopefully more opportunities to 16 orphaned or vulnerable children.
SMEC Foundation Projects
Low Income Housing, Water & Education
So They Can Residential Home
Habitat for Humanity is another charity that has joined with the SMEC Foundation to provide sustainable housing and shelter to communities in times of disaster as well as the provision of housing and shelter for people in need.
SMEC’s network of international offices is a key feature of SMEC’s work with Habitat for Humanity, according to Christine Franks, Chair of Habitat for Humanity Australia:
“SMEC’s international network is an invaluable partnership for a charity like Habitat for Humanity Australia, with operations in 70 countries and delivering safe and decent housing for vulnerable communities. Great results are produced when we know that employees across an organisation are committed to making a difference in disadvantaged communities. Habitat field staff have quickly developed sound working relationships with their SMEC counterparts to produce terrific outcomes.
Thanks to SMEC’s support, Habitat has provided temporary shelters to disaster-affected communities in Vanuatu, Fiji, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh; increased access to safe water and sanitation in Myanmar; and built homes and upskilled local masons in Vietnam.
SMEC’s employees have clearly demonstrated they fully support the Foundation’s efforts to deliver results that count in communities in need.”
The SMEC Foundation is often called on to provide emergency assistance when natural disasters strike. SMEC has developed protocols for the rapid disbursement of cash grants for immediate relief such as shelter, water supply, food and emergency medical supplies.
These projects demonstrate our breadth of activities:
- Donation of mattresses, gas cookers and kitchen items to communities affected by catastrophic flooding and landslides in Sri Lanka.
- Provision of a water supply and sanitation system at the Buguruni School for the Deaf in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.
- A donation to enable the purchase of 45 shelter kits for the Teouma Ranotapoa community which was left devastated after Cyclone Pam tore through Vanuatu’s southern islands.
- Financial assistance to support new houses and provide fishing boats after areas of the Philippines were ravaged by ‘Super Typhoon’ Haiyan in 2015.
- Funding for a housing, water and education project in Northern Vietnam, executed through Habitat for Humanity.
- Victims of catastrophic earthquakes in Nepal received A$28,000 through the personal contributions of SMEC Bangladesh employees in partnership with the SMEC Foundation.
- The Umoja Centre in Arusha, Tanzania, an education centre which supports poverty stricken young adults, received a donation to employ a local teacher for one year.
- Reforestation project in Borneo, Indonesia to ensure future habitat for endangered Orangutan.
Our employees, working alongside the SMEC Foundation, are making a real impact in providing vital support to communities at the grassroots level.
The introduction of SMEC Divisional CSR Committees in 2016 has provided a mechanism where employees at all levels can participate in delivering the company’s CSR program.
Our guiding philosophy is worth repeating. Small amounts, spent wisely, can produce far-reaching social and economic impacts. This straightforward, homespun approach ensures that SMEC and its employees will continue to achieve results that truly matter.