MTN leverages employee volunteerism programme to empower youth
Today, thousands of MTN employees in 21 markets across Africa and the Middle East launched the company's annual employee volunteerism programme, 21 Days of Y'ello Care. The programme, which runs from 1 to 21 June, will see employees lend a hand to contribute to this year's focus area, youth empowerment.
The programme will run under the umbrella theme: 'Creating a Brighter Future', and for the next three weeks employees will participate in projects including, but not limited to, skills development, access to information and content, and entrepreneurship support. This is all in aid of uplifting the youth in the countries the company operates in.
To amplify this year's programme, MTN will also hold a career day across all its operations on the same day, a feat it has never attempted before. MTN offices will host young people at designated venues and through various events and tactics, demonstrate what the world of work and employment will look like in a digital future. This initiative will give greater expression to MTN's vision to lead the delivery of a bold, new digital world.
MTN Group CEO, Rob Shuter, encouraged employees as they commenced this year's edition of the programme, saying: "MTN is passionate about the difference we can make in our communities, and 21 Days of Y'ello Care is no exception. We aim to leave a legacy and transform lives through this initiative." He added it is important for the company to be responsive to its stakeholders' needs, including working with local and national governments to address the socio-economic issues they face.
He added: "The purpose of MTN's youth empowerment focus is to ensure that youth, specifically those that are least advantaged, are afforded the opportunity to obtain the necessary skills, education and support to fully benefit from the opportunities that may exist in their countries, but are often out of their reach."
2018 Y'ello Care activities
MTN Business employees in Kenya will focus their efforts on empowering youth at a vocational institution within one of the urban slums in Nairobi, Mukuru Slums. They will help to address challenges such as high crime rates due to poverty, unemployment, lack of parental support and drug abuse.
In Rwanda, MTNers will provide ICT training for unemployed youth and bring technological solutions and innovations to residents in several villages to bridge the digital divide.
Employees of MTN Swaziland will construct a technical vocational training institution, which will accommodate children residing near the site.
One of MTN Uganda's projects will be to fund local enterprises to train local youth in vocational skills that include construction, hairdressing, metal fabrication, urban farming and carpentry.
MTN in South Africa will kick off the initiative on 2 June with the annual 21km half-marathon. Proceeds of the race will be used to establish multimedia centres at identified youth centres, in partnership with the Department of Social Development and Gauteng Department of Education.
MTNers in Cameroon will engage in capacity building for telecoms students by providing them with telecoms equipment such as laboratory infrastructure and fibre-optics, to mention but a few.
MTN Guinea Bissau's project is centred on youth entrepreneurship. The company will provide an opportunity for youth aged between 16 and 24 to participate in an entrepreneurship training course, following which 10 of them will stand a chance to win kiosks, kits for repairing mobile phones and a generator. This will enable them to start their own businesses.
In Benin, MTNers will use education as a tool to empower youth. They will provide unemployed youth access to information on entrepreneurship via various digital and non-digital platforms.
MTN Afghanistan employees will build a capacity building centre that will provide the following training: career development and communication skills, guidance on how to be a brand ambassador, and introduction to modern telecommunications systems.
In Sudan, MTNers will, through various channels, share expertise and knowledge with start-up businesses, new graduates and students who are looking to establish their own businesses.
This year, MTN Cyprus employees will continue with the Y'ello Digital Rooms, which were well received last year. This year, the Y'ello Digital Rooms will be created at remote villages in Cyprus. Volunteers will also fix, renovate and paint a room which will be identified by village residents.
MTN South Sudan employees will run an education programme that will provide career guidance to a select group of students, with a focus on how technology can enhance learning outcomes.
In Nigeria, MTNers will embark on an education programme focused on youth empowerment. Their programme will see members of their leadership team address students and teachers on various topics. During the visits, young people will be identified and invited to the career day.
MTN Ivory Coast employees will refurbish a youth centre that offers training and sporting facilities. They will also coach young people how to use social media safely and share tips on how to search for jobs.
MTN Syria will sponsor the annual Ramadan Iftar of "Said Koraish", one of the biggest orphanages in Damascus. The company will also present tablets with free Internet packages to university students based at the orphanage, and gifts for the younger children.
In partnership with Soronko Academy & Initiative for Youth Development, MTN Ghana employees will donate and install 15 computers at the complex. They will also assist with coding training and general ICT education.
Furthermore, operations will also have the liberty of running a project of national importance to them. This will range from healthcare interventions, support for refugees, to increasing financial inclusion among the unbanked or underbanked.
Prizes for the best campaigns
At the end of the programme, all MTN operations that participate in Y'ello Care stand a chance to win monetary prizes, which are to be invested into CSI or community upliftment programmes in their market. These include the Group President & CEO prize of US$100 000 and Vice-President prizes for each region of US$30 000.