At Samsung, one of our most important values concerns our connection with people and society. That’s why we enjoy bringing you stories on Samsung Village about the social contribution activities of Samsung affiliates around the world. Recently, our electronics affiliate published an update on its CSR initiatives in the company’s annual Sustainability Report. Tackling social challenges in areas from education to employment to health care, here’s an overview of the five representative citizenship programs of Samsung Electronics –known as Smart School, Solve for Tomorrow, Tech Institute, Nanum Village and Care Drive.
Samsung Smart School has been designed to foster the creativity and abilities of young people in different parts of the world. Samsung Electronics operates Smart School to offer students an Internet-connected educational environment driven by the latest IT technology. By providing classrooms with smart devices, such as the Samsung Galaxy Tab, the program enables both students and teachers to more proactively participate and interact in their classes. Especially for those living in disadvantaged regions, Samsung Smart School can widen educational opportunities by providing access to information resources available through the Internet. Since 2012, Samsung Electronics has introduced 1,209 smart schools in Europe (460), Southwest Asia (201), the Middle East (137), Latin America (114), Asia (97), Southeast Asia (85), Africa (55), CIS (39) and North America(21), while ultimately benefitting more than 245,000 people in need.
Solve for Tomorrow
Believing that young people, as future leaders of our society, can offer novel ideas to present day issues in our communities and environments, Samsung Electronics’ Solve for Tomorrow contest offers an opportunity for students to turn their ideas into reality. Every year, the company holds a Solve for Tomorrow contest which focuses specifically on STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering and math). Since the project started in the U.S. in 2010, 24 contests have been held to meet the needs of each participating region. These regions included North & Latin America (Brazil, Mexico, Argentina, Columbia, Peru, Chile, Panama and the U.S.) and Asia (China and Singapore). Last year alone, more than 2,300 schools participated to help solve local community issues in the U.S., and students from more than 1,000 schools in China took up the challenge of finding scientific solutions to issues related to energy conservation, environmental protection and health and safety.
Samsung Tech Institute
To support young students in pursuit of future careers in IT technology and engineering, Samsung Electronics created Samsung Technology Institute, which not only aims to bring young students opportunities in their dream fields, but also hopes to satisfy the specific IT technology and engineering needs of countries in which the program is practiced. After a series of consultations with educational partners and local governments, the company offers tailored job trainings – software development and web designing in advanced countries, and electronics project installation and after-sales service engineering in developing countries – to young people in their transition from education to employment. As of 2014, around 15,800 students have benefitted from 116 Samsung Tech Institutes. These are located in Europe (35), Latin America (20), the Middle East (10), Southwest Asia (19), Southeast Asia (14), Africa (6), Asia (5), North America (4) and CIS (3).
Samsung Nanum Village
Named after a Korean word ‘nanum,’ which means ‘sharing’ in English, Samsung Nanum Village aims to improve the economic independence of people in low-income and underprivileged areas around the world. Working together with local governments, the program provides basic infrastructure to each identified society, while engaging with people in these local communities. By 2014, Samsung Electronics completed Samsung Digital Villages in six African countries – Gabon, Congo, Ghana, Nigeria, Tanzania and the Republic of South Africa – to provide solar power generators, schools, mobile hospitals and remote clinics in underdeveloped areas of each country that lack electricity. In the Republic of South Africa alone, about 50,000 people are estimated to use Samsung’s mobile hospitals and solar-powered internet schools each year. Two additional Nanum Villages are planned to be built in Kenya and Zimbabwe in 2015.
Samsung Care Drive
Last but not least, Samsung Electronics operates two types of Samsung Care Drives – Sono Schools for training diagnostic medical experts and Mobile Health Care Centers for basic health check-up services. In order to improve health and quality of life for people in developing countries, the company has made continuous efforts to develop medical devices that are user-friendly for the citizens of these targeted countries. By 2014, 10 Samsung Care Drive Mobile Health Care Centers were introduced in China, and were all equipped with ultrasonography devices and other education medical equipment. About 2,000 medical staff of local Chinese hospitals received practical trainings in gynecological and fetal ultrasonography as a result of Samsung’s Sono Schools. In other countries in Asia – Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia, the Philippines and Malaysia – Sono Schools have supported around 1,500 local medical staff.
In 2013, Samsung Electronics set five major corporate citizenship initiatives – Smart School, Solve for Tomorrow, Tech Institute, Nanum Village and Care Drive – and has expanded each of their corporate social responsibility programs to various regions of the world. Please stay tuned for future updates from Samsung Electronics, as the company continues its efforts to connect with more people in need.