“Digital will be the new normal” is something that we always heard of in the past few years, little did we know that it will be this soon. The COVID-19 pandemic has shown us how interdependent we are on each other and that we can connect with people and content across the globe within a few clicks.
These digital resources are easily accessible to us and have emerged as a powerful catalyst for affecting change, faster communication, networking, and making people live in a boundaryless world. Having said that, we have realized a majority of India’s population does not have complete access to technology, with 32 crore children (According to UNESCO Report, March 2020) having limited or no access to digital education. Even in the few that own smartphones with viable connectivity, there is a great need to be taught how to use these devices for educational purposes.
Corporate organizations have stepped up during this time to support these under-resourced communities by donating their CSR funds towards Digital Literacy by donating towards phone donation and distribution drives, funding NGOs that provide digital access to remote communities, and more. They have shifted their focus to causes like Digital Literacy, and have started realigning and redesigning their CSR initiatives and Employee volunteering programmes around the same.
We at ConnectFor, have devised various virtual volunteering engagements for corporate organizations who wish to engage their employees by lending a hand towards enabling these communities to be digitally enabled through teaching basic computer skills, creating guides to use modes of online payment, etc from the comfort of their homes. These virtual volunteering engagements vary from long term to one-time volunteering engagements and can benefit various cause areas like Education, Women Empowerment, Social Innovation, and Community development.
This is the best time for organizations to leverage their employees to volunteer for Digital literacy-based volunteering opportunities that will empower the underprivileged students and adults to learn to use digital devices. This will provide them with a horizon of learning and business opportunities that these difficult times have made challenging to access. Through these volunteering opportunities, we hope to expand our potential to create impact and truly empower our beneficiaries in the coming year.
Virtual volunteering is now a necessary avenue to explore. Not only does this increase engagement, but it is also one of the ways that a corporate can support grantees, beyond just disbursing grant money. During the lockdown, we observed many employees volunteering virtually as teachers, mentors, story narrators, and strategists, among many other roles. Engagements pertaining to digital skilling can be sustained and built upon to become an integral part of a corporate entity’s CSR strategy in the coming months.
As the global and national situation continues to remain uncertain, it has become increasingly imperative that Corporates share the load, and do their piece for our communities. Digital Literacy and virtual volunteering are perhaps the most rewarding, and best investments to make during this time.
If you are looking to understand more about the trends that are driving Employee Volunteering for organizations across India, sign up for our webinar on Current Trends in Employee Volunteering on 15th July 2020 here.