Imagine you are 17 years old, you live in Kenya, and you are deaf. In this part of the world, deaf and disabled people are considered “cursed.” Your family is ashamed of you. You can’t communicate with them or with anyone else. Nor can you go to school, see a doctor, get a job, or make friends. You are alone, with little hope that your life will ever change. Now, imagine being able to personally help teenagers like this, without even leaving your office building.
Karim Remu, a Cisco systems engineer in Toronto, is doing it — by mentoring a group of deaf students who participate in a Cisco Networking Academy program in Nairobi, Kenya designed just for them. If you aren’t already familiar with Cisco Networking Academy, it is a global program that teaches students how to design, build, manage, and secure computer networks. Networking Academy helps fill a mounting demand for network professionals worldwide, and also provides a path to a career and financial independence for participants.
Today, we released Cisco’s 2011 Corporate Social Responsibility Report. It’s our seventh and it covers our CSR efforts in the areas of governance and ethics, value chain, our people, society, and the environment.
Since the founding of our longest-running CSR program, the Cisco Networking Academy in 1997, our efforts have been authentically grown from the inside out with enthusiastic support from our employees. We believe technology is a powerful tool that can not only help our customers thrive, but bring people together to transform lives, build communities and preserve the environment.
Since its inception, Cisco has aimed to leverage its expertise, technoloy and partnerships for social good. In this year’s Corporate Social Responsibility Report, you will find compelling information about how Cisco addresses issues from the environment to health, from corporate goverance to economic development.
In 2006, then-President George Bush reached out to Cisco and other major corporations. He wanted to see how the business sector could help the Middle Eastern nation recover from a conflict that had displaced one-quarter of its population and destroyed entire communities.
Cisco CEO John Chambers traveled to Lebanon, and he was moved by what he saw. Tremendous structural damage was everywhere. Businesses struggled to recover from the crisis, limiting job opportunities. Lebanon’s slow and expensive information technology infrastructure cut off its residents from the rest of the global marketplace.
Even worse, its young people – known for being smart, creative, well educated, and energetic – had lost hope for the future. They felt they had to leave Lebanon to find professional success.
From this visit, the Partnership for Lebanon was born. Cisco and four other corporations – Intel, Microsoft, GHAFARI, Inc. and Occidental Petroleum – joined forces to help Lebanon improve its networking technology infrastructure and move its people toward long-term economic growth and stability. Read More »
Employees take Cisco’s corporate culture of environmental and social responsibility seriously. Some so seriously that they don protective gear and venture to the rooftops of Cisco office buildings in France and the United Kingdom to cultivate a greener world.
These Cisco employees are not modern day superheroes, but rookie beekeepers, intent on cultivating colonies of endangered bees to pollinate wild plants and food crops.
The European beekeeping project illustrates how people can use human and technology networks to multiply the positive impact of something they are passionate about. Read More »