Changing Tomorrow Day – Astellas volunteers in community service projects in the region
Working with charitable organisations, Astellas Middle East, North and Sub-Saharan Africa (MENA/SSA) employees spread hope and joy through community service projects across the region through its ‘Changing Tomorrow’ initiative
Dubai, United Arab Emirates; 21 February 2016: As part of its Changing Tomorrow initiative, Astellas MENA/SSA employees conducted community service activities across the region. Team members in Algeria, Egypt, Iran, Jordan, KSA, Lebanon, and the UAE spread hope and joy to the people within the establishments they supported.
Commenting on the collaborated regional community outreach, Mr. Markus Weber, General Manager Astellas Pharma, MENA/SSA said: “‘Changing Tomorrow Day’ is part of our global volunteer initiative that empowers Astellas employees to make a difference in their local communities. Just as we aim to provide significant therapies for the unmet medical needs of patients around the region, each country team has chosen a relevant cause to support within its community. Much in the same way, our regional efforts have been chosen to aid those with the perceived greatest need in each country.”
The Changing Tomorrow initiative involves employees taking time away from their day jobs to work with charities supporting children, vulnerable groups or the environment in their local communities. The initiatives involve helping communities overcome barriers to education, wellbeing, and healthy lifestyles. The annual initiative is embraced with a high level of commitment and enthusiasm throughout the organisation. This year, Astellas MENA/SSA has begun its regional Changing Tomorrow outreach, which was met with success in each country.
The Astellas team carried out initiatives that were relevant for each of its countries. The Algerian team chose to distribute food to the needy. An average of 300 food baskets were distributed every week for one month as action against hunger. With the support of some doctors, the staff was able to prepare and distribute meals for hundreds of people. The team in Egypt also undertook a humanitarian effort and aided needy children by distributing food, blankets, and basic medicines. They created and delivered a fitness and entertainment programme for the children to support their wellbeing. In Lebanon, Astellas spread hope to orphaned girls of “Cedar Home,” which houses girls aged five to 15 years. The local team renovated the basement of the orphanage by revamping the interior space. The staff distributed paint, light bulbs, lunchboxes, books, music players, tables, and chairs to make it an exciting activity area for the girls. Elderly were the focus for the team in Jordan; they elected to spend a day engaging in cultural and recreational activities and programmes in “Zahra Elderly Care Centre” in Amman.
The teams in KSA and Iran took on an environmental campaign to address water conservation and recycling. In Saudi Arabia, the team participated in the ‘Save Water’ initiative by spreading awareness on the need for water conservation. They reused water from leftover water bottles to water the trees in the neighbouring parks. The team in Iran collected all types of bottle caps from public places, restaurants, super markets, grocery stores and street vendors. The money received from the sale of the collected bottle caps was used to buy and donate wheelchairs for the disabled. They demonstrated how an environmental initiative can be used to help disabled people live better lives.
The Astellas UAE teams carried out many initiatives to help the community. Team members visited a hospital where they distributed flowers to patients. They donated blood and took autistic children to a water park. This activity was carried out in partnership with “Volunteer in UAE,” which focuses on taking out children with special needs for playtime. The team completed their initiative by preparing and distributing 800 boxes of meals for construction workers in Dubai. The charitable activities were all motivated by the theme of bringing hope to people’s lives.
By spending time and adding value to the people in need, the Astellas team members were able to realise the importance of the company’s CSR commitments and the need for more humanitarian initiatives in this region.