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Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)? is that what it’s called

We are a small tech company based in Dublin, all young people, working hard to be the next overnight success. We work hard and dream big. Well you never know!!!!

All the publicity over climate change, the damage plastic does to the environment and just recently the horrific fires that are destroying thousand of acres of forest (and animals) in the Amazon has ignited lots of chat amongst the team about how we could maybe do a little good for the World, make a contribution.  Larger companies call this their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) program though that’s probably a little formal for us right now. We just want to give some time to something that makes someone else’s life better and makes us feel we have done something positive for the world.

Corporate Social Responsibility 

Jack who works with us came up with the idea. His Mum (Finola) went to Cameroon last year with a group of 12 volunteers. They raised money for specific projects and sent over a container of medical supplies in advance which were of significant value to the hospital in Batoufam. They also installed a water supply, toilets and showers in the hospital (It was hard for us to register that a hospital wouldn’t have running water). They also refurbished a 3-room classroom (which has no toilets or electricity) and installed a computer room in the village to provide more modern educational support to the locals.

5 minutes with Finola and we were sold on supporting the Cameroon project with specific initiatives that were of most interest to us.

Finola in Cameroon last year with a group of 12 volunteers.

First up we thought about how technology is changing the world and its power in supporting education. That’s the world we’ve grown up in. We called up friends working in the tech space and were overwhelmed at the offers to provide us PC’s, printers, scanners and peripherals. All second hand and being replaced/upgraded though invaluable to an African community. We had so many offers that we simply couldn’t take all the equipment. We collected the devices we felt would be of the most value, brought them back to the office, gave them an overhaul and packaged them up for shipment to Cameroon. Some of the equipment will go to the computer room in Batoufam and some to local schools (that have electricity).

In addition to our little computer initiative we also donated a day of our time to help Finola and the other volunteers load the 40-foot container out in Nesta in Sandyford; wheelchairs, walkers, dressings, 45 hospital beds, an ECG machine, box after box of medicines, paint supplies, building materials and our tech stuff. It took us 6 hours to load it all. There was a great buzz in the team, super camaraderie. We reckon there was maybe €500,000 of goods in the container all generously donated by businesses, hospitals and private individuals.

And then it was off to the pub. Though tired from all the physical work we were all on a high, a great “team” feeling that we did good for people with pretty well nothing. Maybe, maybe some kids will get a better chance of beating the odds against them going to university because they will have some tools to self-educate themselves. We like to believe that.

Now our chats in the office are about doing more for our world than just talking about it. Our CSR program (even a small company can have an ad hoc one) cost us no money, just some time. And we all agree it was fun to give, very rewarding.            

Ehitsham Yasin and Derek Byrne founders of XLR8 Solutions 
Peace Over War