STANDARD Chartered Bank (SCB) will engage with communities across Asean in the month of October to help raise awareness of health and education issues that may have an impact on the region’s goal to foster sustainable economic growth.
Standard Chartered, which has 17,000 staff in the region, is the only international bank that has a presence in all 10 Asean markets, a press release stated.
The initiative will see its employees engaging in community development efforts across the Asean region.
The bank champions the importance of financial education for SMEs and youth, as well as the need to address health issues like avoidable blindness and HIV across its footprint of Asia, Africa and the Middle East.
When business owners and the young have limited access to finance and education, society suffers as economic and social opportunities are restricted.
Providing access to financial education to these groups can boost job creation, raise income and reduce financial vulnerability.
Similarly, health concerns like visual impairment and HIV diminish the quality of life for individuals and can negatively impact economic growth.
The bank has strived to help address these issues through Seeing is Believing – the bank’s global initiative to tackle avoidable blindness and visual impairment, Living with HIV – a global HIV and AIDS education programme that aims to reduce the number of new HIV infections and reduce the stigma associated with HIV. These efforts are driven by employee volunteering.
“Standard Chartered’s brand promise is to be here for good and we believe we can demonstrate that by playing an active role in communities by helping to tackle issues that may hinder sustainable social and economic development. This is important because we believe that the long term success of our business depends on the health and prosperity of the communities in which we operate,” said Lim Cheng Teck, Chief Executive Officer, Asean.
“For Standard Chartered here in Brunei, this presents an opportunity for us to reiterate our focus on the local community. Promoting sustainable social and economic development and truly committing to the betterment of the local communities is what it means to show that we are Here for good. Here in Brunei, we’re organising a variety of activities such as a staff charity auction where the proceeds will go to Seeing is Believing to benefit the visually impaired,” said Lai Pei-Si, Chief Executive Officer, Standard Chartered Bank Brunei.
Key activities taking place in the Asean region in October include:
Brunei: The bank will organise a charity auction to raise funds for Seeing is Believing; Staff will also be engaging with the elderly at a Senior Citizen Centre in Lambak.
Indonesia: The bank will organise a series of sporting events to spread awareness of eye health in the community. Around 2,000 staff, members of the media and the local Seeing is Believing partner will participate in the programme. Activities include a fun walk, a bike ride and ‘Lomba bakiak’, ‘lomba balap karung’ competitions.
Malaysia: The bank will facilitate the donation of 50,000 spectacle frames from Singapore Private Banking clients to the Ministry of Health. The eye glasses will be distributed to underprivileged communities across Malaysia.
Philippines: Staff volunteers will help build homes and deliver HIV awareness, Financial Education and eye-health sessions to children in areas around Manila; Seeing is Believing – the bank will partner with the Cataract Foundation of the Philippines to conduct eye screening sessions in schools.
Singapore: In collaboration with the Movement for the Intellectually Disabled of Singapore (MINDS), an old item Collection Drive will be led by the bank’s Environment Council. The items will be donated to the MINDS Thrift Shop, which provides employment and training opportunities for the intellectually disabled to learn retail and commercial skills.
Thailand: The bank will be organising Financial Education Train-the-Trainer programmes for school teachers in primary schools in Bangkok; Staff volunteers will conduct Financial Education and Living with HIV awareness training for youths in Bangkok; The bank sponsored Lampang Eye Foundation mobile eye care van will conduct eye checks at rural communities along the Thai-Myanmar border.
Vietnam: The most physically challenging fundraising event will see staff undertake a 444-km “Bike for Sight” challenge from Ho Chi Minh City to Nhatrang. The five day activity seeks to raise funds for Seeing is Believing. The volunteers will also participate in community improvement activities in villages along the route.