Recently, I visited Arletta Jorgenson, an American single mother of three who relies on food pantries to help feed her family (see video below). Arletta, who lost her job as an administrative assistant three years ago and has survived on public assistance ever since, reminds us that financial hardship can happen to anyone – our neighbors, our cousins, colleagues…and us.
In the U.S., 49 million people are “food insecure” (families with at least one member who sometimes is hungry because they can’t afford enough food), according to Feeding America. These people aren’t necessarily homeless – or even unemployed. In fact, more than a third of them have at least one working adult.
Just a few days ago, Cisco received China’s prestigious “2011 Best Corporate Citizenship Award,” given by 21st Century Business Herald and 21st Century Business Review, two of the country’s major media outlets. The award recognizes Cisco’s corporate social responsibility work in healthcare and education in Sichuan province.
See how Cisco is a good corporate citizen in Sichuan, China
Cisco established the Connecting Sichuan program in 2008 — after a catastrophic earthquake left nearly 5 million residents homeless, killed 70,000 people, destroyed thousands of school buildings, and cut off mobile and land-based communications, including Internet access. Read More »
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.