Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is a business practice that involves participating in initiatives that benefit society.
CSR is able to provide sustainability to not only the communities and areas involved but also to the businesses and organizations that practice it as well.
The Arab School (HEGIRA) Dormitory Rehabilitation project in Timbuktu, Mali is an example where our CSR initiative was successfully implemented. For this project, a total of 180 laborers made up of members from the local community were employed enabling them to earn wages, gain experience and skills. We speak to Sankoum Sissoko, Project Manager who took some time out to fill us in about the project.
Hi Sankoum. Could you give us a brief introduction on the project and the parties or organizations involved please?
Sankoum: “For this project we were involved in the Structural, Electrical, Plumbing and Façade rehabilitation works. Our focus was on the Dormitory Block II building located within the Hegire Timbuktu school complex. Apart from CADG, the project also involved MINUSMA and the regional school administrator.”
How long was the duration of the project and what were some of the challenges or problems that had to be overcome?
Sankoum: “The project was completed well within the proposed timeline, which was 30 days. I’m happy to say that there were no problems and everything went accordingly on schedule.”
What was the goal and impetus behind the project?
Sankoum: “The dormitory was in dire need of rehabilitation and improvements due to a crisis that affected much of the region in 2012. So the goal was to improve the living and working conditions of the institution’s students and staff members.”
How involved was the local community in the undertaking the project?
Sankoum: “A total of 180 laborers both skilled and unskilled were employed on this project. They were made up of members from the local community and it provided them the opportunity to earn wages. It also enabled the lesser or unskilled workers to learn and gain valuable experience from those who are more proficient and abled. The skills they picked up would definitely come in useful in the future maintenance needs of the completed project. The city’s Mayor, religious leaders and other Timbuktu stakeholders also provided timely advise during the course of the project.”
What other amenities were constructed or made available?
Sankoum: “We made several improvements for example, to dormitory and sanitation needs. These include the refitting of showers, toilets and ablutions units.”
With the ever-increasing reliance on modern technology, does the school have access to the digital realm?
Sankoum: “I’d have to say currently that it does not.”
Are there any other related-projects that CADG has completed or plans to?
Sankoum: “Well as they say, the horizon is as far as the eye can see and beyond even; so the possibility and opportunity for a similar or related project is always there!”
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