The COVID-19 pandemic has brought disruption, emotional and physical suffering and financial hardship to many millions of people worldwide. People have required extensive help and support to help them get through the crisis.
We are conscious of the important role we can play in tackling some of the problems presented by the pandemic. As a global network we have many resources we can call on, and we are able to share insights and guidance from our projects from one part of the world to another.
We have been working to help both our own staff deal with their well-being during this stressful time, and also helped wider communities where we think we can offer useful services and advice. Below are some of the ways our teams have collaborated internally and externally to the challenges brought about by the crisis.
Read more about some of the innovative ways we helped support communities
Focusing resources and pairing partners in India
At the start of the outbreak in India, the country only had an estimated 5-8 ventilators per 100 hospital beds and a massive shortage of isolation centres with only seven hospital beds per 10,000 Indians. State governments urgently needed support for PPE kits, N95 masks, ventilators, pumps, beds, and medicines in large volumes.
Via our Indian social impact platform InDeed we focused resources and connections on areas such as supporting frontline workers with materials and supplies, aiding vulnerable sections of society and highlighting donation opportunities for brands that could have a real impact in communities. We also sourced delivery partners to help overcome the hurdle of the ‘last mile’ for delivery to locations where aid was desperately needed.
To date we have implemented more than 30 social impact projects in multiple regions across India. We have coordinated and connected organisations to support many NGOs and hospitals. Through building up strong relationships with the Governments of Maharashtra, Gujrat, Tamil Nadu, Delhi, Haryana and the police forces of Maharashtra and Karnataka, we were able to support aid delivery to where it was needed.
We have helped brands like British car-maker MG Motors, HSBC, Chinese technology company Vivo Communication Technology Co. and the conglomerate L&T to supply PPE kits and N-95 masks to frontline health workers and police. We also set up an online community awareness programme in partnership with auto and truck parts maker Bridgestone where industry leaders from different sectors could give insight and perspective on the pandemic.
Pro Bono in your pyjamas
Our Legal & Compliance team are always keen to provide free advice and COVID-19 saw their services in demand, with 21 team members from nearly a dozen offices volunteering to help the UN/Consortium for Street Children with the Legal Atlas for Street Children.
The Legal Atlas provides homeless children and their advocates with information about laws that affect children and this is especially important during the current crisis; street children are at higher risk of being exposed to the virus alongside the many other risks that they already face.
Our teams have been writing content for nine countries of the digital atlas to map the legal contexts of homeless children. They have also been researching and analysing each country’s progress towards the UN CRC’s expectations on the treatment of street children.
MKTG Help frontline NHS staff with Easter morale-boost
The hard work and sheer bravery shown by medical professionals and all their support staff globally during this time has been recognised and applauded. But small gestures of kindness can help their morale and give them a boost.
During Easter weekend our MKTG team in the UK delivered 184,000 Cadbury’s Easter Eggs to frontline NHS staff at selected hospitals and then followed this up with organising delivery of 1.7m Cadbury’s chocolate products to a wider body of hospitals. The team also delivered bottled water to staff at some of the same hospitals, enlisting help from Coca Cola, who is one of their clients.
The working from home with kids’ kit
Parents who have had to work from home have been thrown in at the deep end when it comes to child-minding and home schooling. Many are finding it incredibly stressful and draining while also trying to stay on top of their workload. A group of parents within our own network collaborated to produce this kit, based on their own experiences and the best resources they could find online, to share across our group and beyond.
The kit contains useful advice on the approach to trying to work from home with family around. It suggested a range of activities for kids of different ages with relevant online links.
The Code and Coronavirus hackathon
'The Code’ is Dentsu Aegis Network's flagship schools programme designed to equip the next generation of talent, drawn from diverse backgrounds, with the skills and design thinking needed to thrive in the digital economy.
In addition to making The Code entirely digital to enable young people to access learning tools from home, we also set up an online hackathon alongside award-winning plastic pollution campaigner Dhruv Boruah, with a remit to tackle the challenges created by Covid-19 in shaping a positive future for all.
It brought together almost 1000 contributors from 70 countries, and by involving students from the Code (which stands for Creativity, Opportunity, Diversity, and Empowerment ) we delivered a double benefit – our students had the opportunity to practice leadership and collaboration, while also bringing a young, diverse perspective to help solve some of these big issues faced by the world.
Our teams will continue to offer help where requested and proactively come up with ideas and suggestions. Collaboration facilitated by technology means we can keep drawing on a huge range of skills to help tackle the challenges posed by the pandemic.
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