While we may be entering into the season of giving typically synonymous with the year-end holiday period, employees of the QI Services Group around the world have demonstrated why they are the group that keeps on giving, whether it’s in season or not.
The QI Group is a multinational corporation whose company philosophy, ‘Raise Yourself to Help Mankind’ or RYTHM, was built upon the foundation of Mahatma Gandhi’s teachings which have been inculcated into the genetics of the group. So deep are the roots of social consciousness within the group and its companies, that employees regularly participate in staff-initiated social responsibility activities.
To the team at Global Lifestyle Lanka (GLL), a branch of the QI Group family, the concept of RYTHM is more than a mantra. It is regarded as their corporate heartbeat and the centre of what drives their sustainable philanthropic projects across the country, including the tree-planting initiative they embarked on in July.
The staff felt it was their responsibility to revitalize the area around Colombo and the suburbs where development has drastically destroyed nature and left her bald and barren. So, they came together to organize the event that also contributes to the green initiative currently endorsed by the nation’s president.
“The green initiative has already impacted many communities and our contribution will make a difference to the surrounding communities made up of low-income families who can benefit from what is grown in the years to come,” said Angelo Barnabas, business development manager at GLL.
The staff collectively cleaned up the area and planted 25 fruit-bearing tree saplings covering an entire vacant area of the grounds around the Milton Liyanage Reception Hall in Wanathamulla. This staff social responsibility initiative was held with the support of local authorities including the Thimbirigasyaya Divisional Secretariat and Hulfsdorf Community Correctional Office.
On the other hand, 62 employees of the QNET Hong Kong division also embodied the RYTHM philosophy. They commemorated the end of summer by pooling their resources to put together gift bags dubbed ‘blessing bags’ that were donated to ethnic minorities in Tung Chen in August. The blessing bags distributed to 80 children and adults contained essentials such as anti-epidemic products, food, snacks, toys, and supplements.
When sharing insight into the selection of beneficiaries from the initiative, Arti Asawa, Global Operations Coordinator of the local office said:
“Hong Kong has a large population of ethnic minority groups and we have been engaging with their government centres since 2020. Since we are a company that embraces diversity in all forms and we wanted to help the people and children from the underprivileged minority backgrounds who need our support the most.”
Ethnic minorities have dwelled in Hong Kong for generations, yet many continue to struggle with the high cost of living and lack of access to education. These minority groups also face language barriers and cultural differences which can limit their job opportunities and incite social division. Thus, the decision to bring a little cheer to them during the summer holiday.
The distribution of these ‘blessing’ bags was organised in collaboration with the TOUCH Support Service Centre for Ethnic Minorities, which promotes holistic support and development for all ethnic minority families while working towards a socially inclusive society that respects differences and appreciates diversity.
Meanwhile, a little north of Hong Kong, employees of QNET Russia too displayed their commitment to social responsibility as they organised the fourth instalment of the Absolute Living Run in the city of Novosibirsk this past September.
Amir Asanov, the regional communications officer for the Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States (RCIS) department of QNET shared, “The event was designed to draw attention to living a healthy lifestyle and to cultivate a culture of helping others. In keeping with the philosophy of RYTHM, we believe that every person should start making these positive differences to others for their own personal development.”
The Absolute Living Run was first initiated in 2017 by the Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States (RCIS) department of QNET to promote healthy lifestyles and eating habits regardless of age among the locals. It has since then become a much-anticipated annual event organised with the support of the Novosibirsk City Hall and the Siberian Run Festival Directorate.
While the COVID-19 pandemic halted any plans for the run in 2020, the QNET Russia team bounced back this year with over 1,000 participants of all ages signing up for the run. Participants included residents of Novosibirsk and independent representatives (IRs) of QNET as well as guests from nearby regions.
One resident shared, “The run has become a good tradition and every year the event gets bigger and bigger. They focus on a higher goal, where running together becomes more than a sport.”
In addition to raising awareness about healthy living, the proceeds from participant registration fees are channelled towards children organisations. This year, the IV Absolute Living Run raised over 352,000 rubles (USD$ 4,800 / MYR 20,000) which were funnelled to The Helping Hand Foundation that supports orphanages, low-income families, pensioners, families with disabled children and other at-risk groups in the city of Novosibirsk through rehabilitation services, food aid and emergency assistance.
With the event such a success, the RCIS team of QNET have plans to extend the event to other countries within the region with active IRs.
“Such RYTHM-spirited events create a positive atmosphere and energy, which automatically establish a link among global communities within a certain region, but also echoing those positive waves worldwide. It raises awareness that people can turn their lives into positive lifestyle anytime and within their own groups,” said Asanov.
While studies have certainly found that corporate social responsibility initiatives have a positive impact on employee motivation and well-being, these social impact projects driven by the employees themselves seem to bring a deeper sense of fulfilment. The QI Group has also established its own staff social responsibility (SSR) committee to encourage and facilitate the planning of these initiatives. With headquarters in over 30 countries, employees of the QI Group and its subsidiaries around the world are able to actively make an impact in their communities.