Employee volunteerism is an important part of our culture. MTN’s 21 Days of Y’ello Care programme is structured to allow employees to give back to their communities, it takes place annually, usually within the month of June.
Guidelines on how our employees can engage in community development work are provided and structured around a theme. Our 2011 volunteering theme focused on environmental sustainability. This was in line with United Nations General Assembly declaration of 2011 as the ‘Year of International Forests’. The graph below depicts the number of MTN employees who participated in the 21 Days of Y’ello Care Volunteering Programme.
The reason we selected this theme was to create awareness and contribute towards habitat diversity, help create carbon sink in rainforest areas, improve shelter and emphasise the social, economic and environmental value of forests. Since weather conditions were unbearably hot in some of the countries in which we operate (for example, Afghanistan and Cyprus) during June, our volunteers could also elect to implement other projects that could improve their local environments while not working outdoors for extended periods of time. Examples of such projects included computer literacy using existing resources, cleaning water streams, plastic recycling, education and public health.
Each of our operations were asked to plant 1 000 trees. Over 66 000 trees were planted by MTN employees during this time.
We exceeded our target of planting 21000 trees across all our operations by 214%
From setting ambitious goals, showing the most enthusiasm, running secondary campaigns such as cleaning water streams and recycling, which supported the main campaign of tree planting, to local television quizzes to create environmental awareness amongst the public, and providing alternatives to people who rely on trees for fuel and other uses, MTN Ghana won the 2011 Group President and CEO trophy and US$100 000. Commendations for leadership and spirit, relationships, can-do, innovation and integrity were received by MTN Swaziland, Sudan, Rwanda, Nigeria and Côte d' Ivoire respectively.
To get active, enthusiastic, strategic and high-impact employee volunteerism, the group president and CEO offers an incentive to all MTN operations. Even though the personnel motivation of our employees is evident, the value of the prize, which the winning operations reinvest in their community effort the following year, is also proving to be an excellent motivator for our operations, which compete with each other for the best volunteer programme. In 2011, MTN Ghana proved the most worthy Group winner. MTN Congo-Brazzaville, Sudan and Uganda each won US$30 000/ZAR240.000 for the highest-scoring volunteer initiatives in each of our operating regions (WECA, MENA and SEA respectively).