With this Project, Philips' aim is to help underprivileged children to improve their lives and teach them how to live a healthier live. Those children, who grow in undeveloped societies or underprivileged environments, may don't know how to have a healthy live, the benefits of a good diet or the sport virtues.
The program creates social value by educating school children and sponsoring their schools' energy saving lighting equipment. It also offers employees the chance to educate others and learn more about how we as a company see health and wellbeing. From a business perspective, the local community work with schools gives Philips' representatives the opportunity to meet potential customers and influencers of local opinion.
The overall objective of the program is to engage all our employees in giving something back to our community - in particular, to underprivileged children - whilst building on our health and wellbeing positioning.
The SimplyHealthy@Schools program was launched Q4 2009. Pilot countries included: Poland, Singapore, Thailand, India, Russia, Malaysia, the Philippines and Indonesia. Global activity in schools is scheduled for May 2010. In this year, China, North-America, Benelux, Germany, UK, France, Italy, Spain, Eastern Europe, Russia, Brazil and Argentina India others countries will follow to the ones that have already started with SimplyHealthy@Schools.
All Philips employees can be volunteers in three ways. They can volunteer in the classroom and help schoolchildren discover the secrets of a healthy lifestyle, using a toolkit with healthy tips related to water, air, oral health, exercise and environment, and a guide to use the tips with childrens within a contest/game called "healthy warriors". Or they can join the team upgrading a school's lighting with a more energy efficient lighting system. Both activities only require a single day of their time. The third way of volunteering is this: if they live in a country where there is no SH@S local activity in 2010, they can opt for the ‘voluntourism' option and join one of the SH@S teams in India, China or Brazil.
If someone is unable to volunteer for the events at the schools, he/she can still contribute. Instead of donating time, they can make a financial donation to specific UNICEF projects designed to help the underprivileged learn more about health and wellbeing.
The remaining challenges are to expand this initiative to other countries and gather more and more volunteers among our employees. Also, we expect to collect as much money as possible to this cause.
To this end, we will encourage our employees through internal communication campaigns and show other countries the achievements of the ones that have already begin to work in The SimplyHealthy@Schools program.
The SimplyHealthy@Schools (SH@S) got off to a flying start in 2009 with pilot countries setting up very successful employee and stakeholder engagement activities. Since then, eight countries have experienced this initiative and at least other 12 countries will do it in 2010. This initiative has helped our employees to feel useful for the community and has also helped to underprivileged children to be aware of the importance of health and well-being. Furthermore, this initiative helps Philips to be perceived as a company of health and well-being.