Nokia launches new initiatives to help young people affected by the Asian Tsunami
December 22, 2006 - Espoo, Finland - Two years on from the Asian Tsunami that devastated many communities, Nokia has announced the launch of several new projects to help young people in India, Sri Lanka and Indonesia with training and new skills. The initiative is designed to help young people find jobs or set up small businesses, building long-term livelihoods for themselves and their families.
Nokia provided immediate disaster relief aid and funding to the region affected by the Tsunami in December 2004. It also pledged EUR 2.5 million for longer-term recovery to help young people rebuild their lives through access to training and apprenticeships.
“With the Asian tsunami relief effort having moved from immediate humanitarian assistance to long-term reconstruction and recovery, Nokia is pleased to play a key role in rebuilding the communities affected by the disaster”, said Martin Sandelin, Vice President, Corporate Social Responsibility and Community Involvement, Nokia. “Through these initiatives, Nokia continues to promote long-term sustainability and livelihood in areas that remain deeply affected nearly two years after the disaster.”
Working together with the International Youth Foundation and the Grameen Foundation, the Nokia projects will help thousands of young people and their communities. Projects have been specially developed to meet the needs of each country.
Activities planned for 2007 include:
India - young people will be offered training in business enterprise and life development skills, through courses focusing on community mobilization, problem solving and negotiation skills. The training will also encourage them to take an active role in their communities and the decision-making process within their villages.
Sri Lanka - training will be provided in order to provide immediate employment opportunities for those affected. Besides management and business skills such as tourism management, accounting and sales, vocational programs such as sewing, weaving and carpentry will also be provided for longer-term livelihood sustainability.
Indonesia - young people with limited education who have been affected by the Tsunami will be able to sign up for training courses and apprenticeships where they will learn more about how to work and build careers within small business and financial management.
Thailand - Nokia will continue with its program of training schemes and support for young people in this country begun in 2005. Courses are available in a range of areas including, boat construction, boat motor and motorcycle repair, and apprenticeship courses in various aspects of the hotel industry.
“Young people were disproportionately affected by the tsunami which resulted in the deaths of many parents and family members, interrupted educations, and lost livelihoods,” said Bill Reese, IYF President and CEO. “As follow up to relief operations, there remains an urgent need for comprehensive programs that help young people regain confidence, acquire skills, and access either jobs or the loan funds needed to launch their own small businesses. We are pleased to be working with Nokia to address this critical need.”
Recognizing the different needs of the communities affected, training programs funded by Nokia have also been implemented for community leaders in all these countries, enabling them to work together to assess and address the needs of their community in preparation for future disasters and plan for their own ongoing economic development.
As some of the programs have a microfinance component the Grameen Foundation is advising on how to provide microloans to budding entrepreneurs across the affected regions, enabling long-term redevelopment of their small businesses. In addition to microloans, the microfinance institutions will include an array of financial services, including savings and loans to provide sustainability for these small businesses. “As these communities continue to rebuild, it is critical to nurture sustainable economic activities that will have long-term benefits,” said Alex Counts, President and CEO of Grameen Foundation. “We believe microfinance is already playing a critical role in promoting these activities and are pleased to work with Nokia in this effort to extend financial services to additional families in these communities.” A Grameen Foundation fact-finding team visited the region just weeks after the disaster and has been working with several microfinance institutions in Indonesia and India since 2005.
Together with local governments, NGOs and international aid agencies, the most appropriate and effective implementation is decided for each area affected by the tsunami. The total value of Nokia’s overall money and in-kind contribution to immediate disaster relief and long term reconstruction is estimated to be in excess of EUR 3 million.
About the International Youth Foundation
IYF believes young people possess the power to shape the future. To learn, work, thrive and lead, they need access to programs and resources that inspire and challenge them. IYF is a global non-profit organization that makes this possible. Today in 70 countries, IYF collaborates with businesses, governments and civil society organizations that share a common desire to improve the life conditions and prospects of young people. Together, IYF and its partners build effective, sustainable and scalable programs that positively impact the lives of young people worldwide.
About Grameen Foundation
Grameen Foundation is a global non-profit organization that combines microfinance, technology, and innovation to empower the world’s poorest people to escape poverty. It has established a global network of 52 partners in 22 countries that has impacted an estimated 11 million lives in Asia, Africa, the Americas, and the Middle East. Grameen Foundation was founded by Alex Counts, who began his work in microfinance with Grameen Bank founder, and recent Nobel Peace Prize recipient, Dr. Muhammad Yunus. Dr. Yunus is a founding and current member of Grameen Foundation’s board of directors. For more information on Grameen Foundation, please visit www.grameenfoundation.org.
About Nokia - Community involvement
Nokia is committed to having a positive impact on society that extends beyond the advanced technology, products and services it creates. It has invested in community projects supporting young people and education in 30 countries, benefiting more than 1 million young people. The company has an active employee volunteering program which last year saw its employees give more than 18,000 hours to local community projects. Nokia is also supporting innovative technology projects designed to bridge the digital divide and bring the benefits of mobile technology to communities around the world.
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