Bouygues UK send volunteers to work with Emergency Architects in Haiti using their skills to help local people rebuild services and their lives.
- Bouygues has assessed and evaluated work needed on 3,360 homes, re-housed 1,378 families and refurbished 15 community centres.
- It also refurbished ten health centres, giving 574,500 people access to healthcare.
- Upskilling of local people has left a lasting legacy, providing them with the help they need to rebuild their houses and public buildings, as well as develop new skills necessary to their future – 520 local brick layers and carpenters and seven engineers have been trained, for example.
- By investing in their workforce, Bouygues improves loyalty and staff retention, providing an immediate cost-saving to the business.
- Volunteers return with a new perspective and are able to undertake tasks using a different approach, which keeps them motivated.
- They also acquire new skills, increasing their contribution to the business and building their self-esteem.
Bouygues’ international programme supports and responds to crises as they occur. This includes assisting the recovery of Peru, Indonesia and Haiti following their recent earthquakes.
Their programme is in collaboration with Emergency Architects. By partnering with an NGO they are able to ensure their contribution to the recovery process is timely, providing what is required to those most affected.
“ We are proud to support Emergency Architects. Our employees are some of the most highly trained and skilled people in our industry, and our partnership with disaster relief enables us to share our knowledge with those most in need. This is a very beneficial partnership for all involved.”
– – Madani Sow, Bouygues UK Chairman
This international programme has seen Bouygues UK volunteers predominately volunteering in Haiti after the earthquake of 2010.
Bouygues volunteers assist in the rebuilding and reopening of much-needed facilities such as schools, hospitals, health centres, service buildings, homes and shelters which have been destroyed and are considered disaster areas.
By sharing their knowledge and expertise, Bouygues UK volunteers are able to support affected people to rebuild not only their communities but also their lives.
The volunteers undertake their placement for three months, all costs being covered by Bouygues and Emergency Architects. This approach has been popular in Bouygues UK with a third of overall Bouygues volunteers participating in the programme being UK employees.
Volunteers receive two-day training at Emergency Architects which gives details of the disaster and those affected and highlights the aims and objectives of the mission and their role. Bouygues meets with Emergency Architects twice a year to organise the potential volunteers according to need, demand and value added, as well as review and audit previous programmes.
Over the coming decades it is expected that both the frequency and intensity of international disasters will continue to increase due to multiple factors including climate change, urban migration, population growth and increased scarcity of natural resources. In the aftermath of a disaster, working closely with governments and the humanitarian community, business expertise, products and services can be utilised to reduce risk, build resilience and provide essential relief to communities affected.
The International Disaster Relief Award, supported by DFID, was created this year to recognise the positive action and relief provided in the immediate aftermath of international disasters by businesses.
The companies awarded a Big Tick in this category confirm that businesses have an important role to play in international disaster relief, risk mitigation and preparedness.
Beyond cash donations, each Big Tick company is using its core business resource to respond to international disasters. Collectively these businesses have helped over 2 million beneficiaries, provided 800 skilled volunteers and given 250,000 working days to support international disaster relief. The following examples demonstrate the significant value and impact businesses have made by working in partnership with humanitarian agencies, governments and disaster prone communities.
The case studies profiled in this series with Business in the Community, provide more detail about the programmes that achieved a Big Tick and those shortlisted for the top accolade.
This blog was previously published on Business in the Community and is reproduced with permission.