It was with enormous pride that I saw first-hand the impact of the invaluable work of Temenos volunteers in India – supplying school children with modern IT equipment and encouraging them to stay in school as part of our global CSR program, Adopt iT
As a chief executive, I have to juggle a lot of competing requests for my time and attention. But earlier this year one in particular stood out for me: an invitation to return to India’s Kannada Higher Primary School in Bangalore for the inauguration of a new computer lab that Temenos staff had been helping to build.
The school is part of Temenos’ corporate social responsibility (CSR) program in India – Adopt iT – and I’d visited it before. In November 2018, I saw first-hand the conditions in which more than 170 students were trying to complete their education. I saw boys and girls full of life, humour, energy, skill and with an insatiable thirst for learning. I also saw dilapidated unisex toilets and a complete lack of modern IT equipment, making their learning and their sanitary environments less than optimal.
Six months later, it was fantastic to see the difference our program was making to these children’s lives today – and to their future. When I visited in May, the school had a modern computer lab with new computers and interactive white-boards for the teachers. Restrooms had been refurbished and separated for girls and boys. There was also new art – all created by Temenosians.
The Kannada project follows two other successful Adopt iT school programs elsewhere in India. To date, we have assisted nearly 1,500 students with IT equipment, training and mentoring, and by helping create safe, clean environments in which they can learn. We are also encouraging gender equality and inclusive education for all – hence the dedicated restrooms – to help girls stay in school for longer and enhance their employment opportunities.
And our work’s not over. We plan to work with more government schools and install solar panels to ensure a reliable, affordable, sustainable energy supply to power computer labs and help them become self-sufficient.
We’re doing this because we believe in the communities that have welcomed us wherever we work. We believe in their potential and want to help their members live fulfilling and happy lives. It is something I have been closely involved with for a number of years, taking on responsibility for the CSR program at board level. I believe that being hands on, and offering practical support and solutions, contributes enormously to delivering on these goals.
All three schools in the Adopt iT program are close to Temenos’ offices and our staff volunteers. Our programs are still evolving – just last month our employees volunteered their time and their #Temenosity to provide ongoing fundamental IT skills as well as academic teaching and mentoring to the students. We will also soon be offering special tutoring for students struggling with their education in Kannada and are working on setting up partnerships with more schools in India. Ultimately, the goal is to expand the program to cover the full school age spectrum and also help university students gain digital skills and open up opportunities to work in fintech.
Our involvement with schools in India is just one aspect of our CSR work – work that is directed at supporting and enhancing the quality of life of the communities not just where we operate, but where our partners and clients live too. It is Temenosians who identify issues and local community needs, which are then adopted as CSR projects. To date they have included sustainable event planning such as measuring our Temenos Community Forum’s environment footprint in The Hague this year to make it our first carbon-neutral event, and as the CSR ambassadors for Sibos 2019, partnering with Eco Booth, Sibos’ first 100% recycled exhibit stand builders. We also have a Temenos Volunteering Day, when the company grants employees time off for volunteering at local causes.
By using our technology and resources, offering financial support and sharing our expertise, we are making a positive and measurable difference to people’s lives, maximising their opportunities and helping them to prosper in life. We are proud of what we’re achieving and proud of all the volunteers making it happen. And I am proud to have got to know a few of the children in India whose life prospects have been enhanced thanks to our volunteers. Thank you, Temenosians.