Coffee for Cause
Your are here  »  Home   »  Corporate Focus
Sapient: Striving to be a serious global citizen
CB Bureau, New Delhi, September 14, 2011
The corporate website of Sapient states: ‘As a global company, Sapient takes its responsibility as a global citizen to heart. We view the giving of our time, resources, and money not as something we have to do, but something we need to do as fellow beings on this planet. To us, there is no more important, nobler obligation.’

Across its globally dispersed locations, Sapient’s people are involved with various charitable causes including AID Gurgaon, Butterflies, The Children's Inn, Daily Food Bank, The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, Parikrma Humanity Foundation, Sketch, and Teach India. As part of Sapient’s global CSR programme — Sapient Gives Back, each Sapient person can spend an entire working day in a year volunteering for community service.

The US-based outsourcing services company founded by Jerry Greenberg and J. Stuart Moore today has morphed into a marketing, business and technology consulting firm with a market capitalization of over $1.41 billion (http://in.finance.yahoo.com/q?s=SAPE). The company operates three divisions: SapientNitro, Sapient Global Markets, and Sapient Government Services. Sapient is associated with four charitable organizations: Millennium Promise, Children’s Inn (at NIH), AEIOU (Communication Shutdown), and One Hen.

Millennium Villages Project
Jeffrey D. Sachs, author of The End of Poverty (2005) and co-founder, Millennium Promise, outlined the grand thought: ‘Our generation can be the first in history to end extreme poverty. That's our good fortune, our challenge, and our responsibility.’

Non-profit organization Millennium Promise is so modelled as to redefine the approach to ending extreme poverty by building sustainable communities. Its flagship initiative, Millennium Villages Project (MVP), is aimed at helping some of the poorest rural African communities move from hunger to self-sufficiency by the year 2015. Currently reaching more than 500,000 people in village clusters across 10 countries in sub-Saharan Africa, the MVP is the flagship initiative of Millennium Promise and the Earth Institute, Columbia University.

Over the first three years, Millennium Promise claims that villages under the project have experienced successes such as: a 50 per cent reduction in malaria prevalence, a tripling of the share of people with access to improved water, more than 80 per cent of children benefiting from school meals, and more than a 40 per cent increase in child births delivered by skilled attendants. (Millennium Promise, ‘Harvests of Development’, 2010) Its eventual success hinges on the extent to which it delivers practical – and affordable – solutions that simultaneously address interconnected challenges such as health and nutrition, education, agriculture and environment, infrastructure, gender equality and business development. As a long-time sponsor of Millennium Promise, Sapient is among the top five corporate partners helping Millennium Promise achieve its goals and eradicate extreme poverty, one village at a time.

Children’s Inn (at NIH)
Sick children and their families stay and recuperate at The Children’s Inn at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). These children receive groundbreaking medical treatments at NIH, the world’s leading biomedical research centre. Since it opened its doors in 1990, the Inn has been open every day of the year, 24 hours a day, and has served about 10,000 sick children. The founders of the Inn describe it as a residential ‘place like home’ for sick children and their families.

Sapient Government Services is a key supporter of The Children’s Inn, providing hands-on services and time as well as financial support by sponsoring numerous fundraising events including the Children’s Inn Annual Gala ‘A Night for the Children’. Sapient’s involvement includes holding numerous concerts for the children and their families, featuring Sapient’s own people in the Jam Band, serving dinner, and raising money through a company-wide tennis tournament.

AEIOU (Communication Shutdown)
To encourage empathy for people with autism and to raise funds and awareness, Communication Shutdown was conceived by SapientNitro Australia while working with the Australia-based AEIOU Foundation, a non-profit organization that provides therapy for children with autism. Keeping in mind that social communication is one of the biggest challenges for people with autism, Communication Shutdown challenged social media users to go without Facebook and Twitter just for one day. As social media is not bound by geography, AEIOU partnered with autism organizations in over 40 countries to help drive the campaign.

Communication Shutdown asked social media users to make a donation and receive a charity app, or CHAPP, that signalled their support and intention to opt out of Facebook and Twitter on one day, which was 1 November 2010. The awareness message directly reached over 6 million people on Facebook and Twitter. The campaign will be an annual event.

One Hen
SapientNitro developed the website OneHen.org to support the launch of the children’s book One Hen: How One Small Loan Made a Big Difference by Katie Smith Milway. It’s the story of Kojo, an African boy from a village in Ghana, who receives a small loan to buy a hen and step by step comes out of the circle of poverty, becoming an entrepreneur and eventually a provider, creating opportunities for others. By using small loans to grow a business that changes his life, he teaches young readers about the power of microfinance.

The message is brought home through interactive games, stories, photos, and videos that let children play, learn, and participate in Kojo’s story. Perhaps the most helpful feature of OneHen.org is its ability to take visitors beyond book-bound lessons and actually implement action-oriented plans. Opportunity International, a non-profit micro-lender based in Illinois, and one of the site’s founding sponsors, backs kids’ simulated microloans and makes them count in real life towards microfinance projects around the world.

Since its launch in May 2008, the website has generated over $50,000 and received distinctive awards for its creativity and innovative use of technology to benefit society.

Prayaas and silent auction
In India—a strategic Sapient hub, with at least 6,000 of its about 9,000-strong workforce housed here—Sapient has been associated with Literacy India’s Pathshala (Gurgaon, National Capital Region), Shristi Special Academy (Bengaluru), and Parikrma Humanity Foundation (Bengaluru), and Infant Jesus Charity Home (Bengaluru).

At Sapient India, there is a special team called Prayaas that provides a forum where people can support the causes they care about. There is also a unique programme called the Sapient ‘Silent Auction’, held every alternate year. This is a community fundraiser programme that enables people to offer innovative services or products at a cost, which is open for a silent bid by others in the company. The items up on auction can range from a dance performance by the India Leadership team to someone’s personal art collection. The highest bid wins the service or product. A ‘loud auction’ follows this programme where the company bids for the most creative services or products. The amount collected by selling the services/products offered by people is donated to NGOs identified by the people of Sapient. In 2010 they raised close to Rs 10 lakh from the auction. Sapient contributed another Rs 5 lakh to the kitty.

Picture: Team Udaan at Orchid Garden. The team is a group of 20 committed people from Sapient’s Gurgaon and Noida offices who have worked closely with Literacy India, which runs ‘Orchid Garden’ – a school for the underprivileged in Sun City, Gurgaon



Print    Bookmark and Share


comments powered by Disqus

Thought Leaders at Coffee for Cause

----------------------------------------------------------

----------------------------------------------------------