Today – World Humanitarian Day – is dedicated to recognizing the work and sacrifices of humanitarian personnel. It is also a day to create awareness for the people and organizations that save lives, reduce suffering, and respect human dignity – to recognize those who are working to solve some of our most pressing global challenges.

Since 1945, CARE (Cooperative for Assistance and Relief Everywhere) has been doing just that. The organization delivers emergency relief that helps people withstand and overcome disasters such as the 30-year drought in Ethiopia and last year’s earthquakes in Nepal, or the plight of refugees. It also seeks long-term improvements in the world’s poorest communities by advancing educational opportunities for girls, improving health for mothers and their babies, and economically empowering women through CARE Village Savings and Loan Associations (VSLA). This U.S.-based, non-profit organization is one of the largest and oldest humanitarian aid organizations focused on fighting global poverty. Last year, CARE worked in 95 countries and reached more than 65 million people.

We wanted to take this day to consider, how can technology help accelerate this work? How can it help better even more lives?

At Cisco, we believe technology is a force multiplier in the hands of global problem solvers, such as CARE, who are working hard to address the world’s toughest challenges. We believe digitization can be a force for good; an enabler of inclusion, an equalizer of opportunity.

As such, we are honored to partner with CARE to help support their digital agenda and scale their efforts to fight global poverty. Cisco has a rich history of supporting CARE in its humanitarian efforts through employee disaster relief campaigns, board membership, and executive-funded product donations to both the national and field offices.

The initial phase of our latest partnership will focus on an early-stage concept to use mobile financial services tools to help women gain greater access to financial services and economic resources. It is part of CARE’s 2020 Program Strategy, which sets a goal to economically empower 30M women by 2020.

CARE’s VSLA program has helped women, like Gloria Nkohma, who was able to renovate her house and went on to start a small business with the program’s support. She is now a baker and owns a small grocery shop. “I never thought of starting a small business in my life, but the VSLA program has taught me how just a little amount of money can change the whole family,” said Gloria. Through our partnership, we will support CARE in their mission to digitize this approach and multiply their impact to reach millions more like Gloria.

Recently, Cisco Corporate Affairs announced a commitment to positively impact 1B people by 2025. To reach this goal, we strive to inspire, connect, and invest in opportunities that accelerate global problem solving. Opportunities that:

  • Develop digital skills to inspire people to become global problem solvers.
  • Invest in global problem solvers who apply innovative solutions and harness the power of the digital revolution.
  • Catalyze an innovation and entrepreneurial ecosystem that supports progress and inclusive growth.

Our partnership with CARE is all about harnessing the power of the digital revolution. We seek to work with them and other similar organizations to take advantage of the rapid digitization that is occurring worldwide, and to accelerate the impact of global problem solvers everywhere.

Corporate investments such as these drive demand for Internet-related products and services – empowering previously underserved communities and enabling them to participate in the formal financial sector and digital economy. They are part of our corporate culture to innovate everywhere and benefit everyone.

Discover more at csr.cisco.com and follow us on Twitter @CiscoCSR.


Tae Yoo

No Longer with Cisco