Social Contribution Around the World
Sojitz Group is working together with local communities to contribute to societies all over the world. We have named “personal connection” as one of the key concepts behind our CSR activities and are currently providing provide educational support and other assistance which directly impacts the people in these communities.
Education Support Projects in Tanzania and Mozambique
Since April 2010, Sojitz has been working to promote several education support projects in Africa together with NGO Plan Intenational Japan*. We have carried out a series of projects in the villages of Maliza, Mahina Kati, and Igombe B in Tanzania, as well as the village of Malaissa Bambela in Mozambique.
Creating a Better Environment for Pre-School Education
The learning environment of pre-school age children is deeply related to their mental and physical growth. Creating a better learning environment for them can greatly encourage personal independence in the long term. Unfortunately, many villages in Africa lack an environment where pre-school-age children can study in safety, leading to a rising need for improved learning conditions in the region. This project is helping to improve pre-school learning environments for many two- to six-year-old children.
Promoting Community Sustainability
Sojitz is improving pre-school education by doing more than just building kindergartens, installing playground equipment, and providing teaching materials, however. We are also aiming to help communities help themselves by providing training for local childcare workers and encouraging local residents to volunteer to participate in the project.
Through the training, childcare workers learn quality childcare techniques while community leaders learn about the importance of the pre-school learning environment. By putting into practice what they learn, the community leaders who participate in this training also share that knowledge with others in the community.
An Ongoing Initiative
The first phase of the project was completed in the year ended March 31st, 2011, and included facility construction, training, and supply of playground equipment and teaching materials in the village of Maliza in the Mwanza region of Tanzania.
In the following year ended March 31st, 2012, we built wells, conducted sanitation training and provided supplies for gardening and poultry farming. This has helped increase income among members of the community through the sale of garden-grown vegetables. That same fiscal year, we also constructed a pre-school building, provided playground equipment and teaching materials, and conducted training related to pre-school education in the village of Mahina Kati.
During the next fiscal year, we constructed three classrooms, provided furniture and fixtures, and conducted training on school operations in the village of Malaissa Bambela in the Inhambane region of Mozambique. We also built an additional classroom in the village of Mahina Kati.
In the year ended March 31st, 2014, we constructed a classroom and washrooms in the village of Igombe B in the Mwanza region of Tanzania, and provided them with school supplies and playground equipment.
For the fiscal year ended March 31st, 2015, we continued work with Igombe B to set up a water tank, level out the buildings, install a gutter for runoff and hold awareness training for parents. Additionally, we constructed a water tank in Maliza, as well.
In the year ended March 31st, 2016, we constructed an additional classroom, two washrooms, and supplied materials to improve reading and writing skills in the village of Malaissa Bambela, where we provided support in the year ended March 31st, 2013. (There is one boys’ and one girls’ washroom. By having private washrooms, we are expecting that the school attendance rate in particular of girls will increase.) In the Nhancoja village of this same region, we also supplied study desks with chairs for the middle school, as well as desks and chairs for teachers and the staff room.
In keeping with the spirit of this project, Sojitz has designed it to conform to the principles of the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC) which the company joined in April 2009. It stands as one of our efforts to meet the SDGs*, and we hope that CSR activities focusing on this kind of partnership with the local community will help raise awareness of social problems among all members of Sojitz Group.
(Left) Mahina Kati, Tanzania:New students gather
in front of the new pre-school building
(Center) Children at the village of Malaissa Bambela standing in front of the new school, excited to receive their school books
(Right) A training session on nutrients was held at the Elementary School in Tanzania. The participants listened eagerly and took notes
[Photos courtesy of Plan Japan International]
- Sojitz's partner in this project is Plan International Japan, an independent child rights and humanitarian organisation committed to children living a life free of poverty, violence and injustice working in over 70 countries.
- SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals): Goals set for 2030 regarding international social issues, adopted at the 2015 United Nations Summit as a continuation of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) established in 2001.
Educational Support in Vietnam (Scholarship Program)
In December 2016, Sojitz established a scholarship program in Hanoi
through Sojitz Vietnam Company, Ltd, as part of its social contribution
activities in Vietnam. The program provides an equivalent of 3 million
yen to 330 elementary and middle school students facing economic difficulties
from the four districts of western Hanoi, who have excelled in areas
such as academics, the arts, and sports.
The Sojitz Group has also been running a similar scholarship program from 2012 in Dong Nai Province, located to the east of the southern city of Ho Chi Minh. An equivalent of 3 million yen is provided annually to 150 academically outstanding middle and high school students in Dong Nai.
Sojitz has been involved with a wide range of businesses in Vietnam since becoming the first Japanese company to open a liaison office in Hanoi, in 1986. In 2006, Sojitz also became the first Japanese company to be awarded a goodwill award by the Vietnamese government, as recognition of its contribution to long-term amicable relations and to the economic development of Vietnam.
The Sojitz Group will continue to develop businesses together with local communities in Vietnam and participate in a variety of social contribution activities, including educational support.
|Award ceremony in Thach That, Hanoi||Award ceremony in Dong Nai Province|
Donation of School Supplies for Girls in Afghanistan (July 2010)
In July 2010, Sojitz donated school supplies* to support the education of 250 students at the Deh Boghundak Girls' Middle School in Lal Wa Sarjangal district in Ghor Province, Afghanistan. This donation was made in cooperation with the Embassy of Japan in Afghanistan.
- Supplies donated were picture books in the local language (Dari), notebooks, ballpoint pens, globes, colored pencils, pencil sharpeners, sewing kits and origami paper.
School Visit Report by Third Secretary Hisako Ishizaki of the Embassy of Japan in Afghanistan
Students offered to read from the donated Dari-language picture books to show their appreciation, so we had them read for us. The books were handed out to the students, and they read aloud in clear voices. Education of girls was prohibited in Afghanistan until 10 years ago. Even now, the female literacy rate in Ghor Province is only 3 percent according to provincial statistics. I felt I could see a bright future for this country in these female students, who read so smoothly and confidently from the first picture books they had ever held in their hands.