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Cloudsmiths’ year of building a ‘Better World’

Sunday, 18 July 2021 22:16
Cloudsmiths’ year of building a ‘Better World’

CloudSmiths’ ‘Better World’ social investment policy permeates throughout the company’s culture, its ongoing staff engagement, and very importantly, to the wider – disadvantaged, vulnerable and marginalised – world. Over the past year, with the pandemic affecting life at every level for South Africa’s citizens, the CloudSmiths team increased their efforts to support communities in need.

CloudSmiths, which is part of the Dynamic Technologies’ group of companies, has consistently delivered social investment campaigns that cover a broad spectrum of causes, including two that address the United Nations’ global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Jason Timm, CloudSmiths’ MD, says care is a core value of the company, and is evident in the willingness of their people to contribute towards a ‘Better World’ for all. “Care is the culture and heart of CloudSmiths, which is reinforced by the compassion of our staff. Supporting causes and getting involved in initiatives that help the vulnerable in our communities reflects our true spirit of Ohana and is seen in our team’s continuing efforts to create an inclusive family of staff members, and an adoptive family of partners, customers and community.”

Since the start of the pandemic in South Africa in March 2020, CloudSmiths’ initiatives have included:

  • Raising awareness around world hunger, and the extreme hunger created by the Covid-19 pandemic. Staff contributed funds to Mould Empower Serve (MES) to provide 60 food parcels to George Goch Hostel and Hillbrow residents. This is also a response to the United Nation’s SDG 2, ‘End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition, and promote sustainable agriculture.’
  • The Salesforce team’s work with non-profits and education institutions included hosting a webinar to highlight how digital engagement can benefit non-profits in their efforts to be more connected to all their stakeholders.
  • Providing a range of non-profits (including Medecins sans Frontiers / Doctors without Borders, Afrika Tikkun, African Leadership Academy, Guide Dogs Association SA, Amnesty International, and Corruption Watch) with Salesforce’s Non-profit Cloud to enable the organisations to capture, store, and manage their data and thus improve their outreach programmes. The platform helps non-profits with tracking donor and donation data in one place; marketing and engagement with constituents; automating manual processes; and streamlining programme delivery.
  • Inviting nine learners who had come through Dynamic DNA ICT training to participate in CloudSmiths’ intern programme, of which, six were placed in full-time positions in the company. CloudSmiths is a Salesforce Talent Alliance member, and as such, is committed to hiring net new Salesforce professionals to promote inclusive hiring practices.
  • Playing a part for Nelson Mandela Month, themed #actionagainstpoverty, in July 2020, which saw the Joburg ‘Smiths’ contributing towards 177 meals-in-a-bag (one bag provides food for four people) to feed 708 people living in poverty, while the Cape Town ‘Smiths’ raised funds to feed vulnerable and orphaned children in Samora and Phillipi townships.
  • Sponsoring ingredients for close on 2 000 nutritious meals at the #Feed5000 initiative, which aims to feed vulnerable people through the months when most soup kitchens and feeding schemes are closed.
  • Response to SDG 5, ‘Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls’. As a sign of solidarity with women across the world, CloudSmiths staff members joined the #WomenSupportingWomen black and white picture campaign, which symbolised the struggle against gender-based violence and femicide, wherever it occurs in the world. On the same theme, in Women’s Month, August 2020, the ‘Lady Smiths’ – the women of CloudSmiths – were celebrated with a lunch and an inspiring talk about authenticity and purpose.

The raising awareness of women’s issues continued with participation in Breast Cancer Awareness Month 2020 in October, and again in December through the #16DaysOfActivism against violence against women and children, with a call to fund, respond, prevent, collect.

  • A focus on prostate cancer with the ‘Suit Up September 2020’ campaign. CloudSmiths employees were encouraged to participate in the challenge to buy tickets to run, walk, swim, or cycle in suits between 24 and 27 September, to raise both awareness and funds for the Prostate Cancer Foundation of SA.
  • Mentoring nine young women from the Faith Mangope Technology and Leadership Institute, a non-profit that aims to develop young women into digitally savvy leaders, who were hosted for a day at CloudSmiths’ home at Dynamic Technologies House building. The CloudSmiths team spoke to the attendees about trends in the tech industry, women in tech, and building a career in the Salesforce ecosystem. Six of the young women who have graduated have since been paired up with a CloudSmiths employee to be mentored throughout the year.

Timm says that staff engagement in initiatives where they give time, resources, funds, and hands-on involvement has gained momentum over the years, and is an integral part of the CloudSmiths’ team’s daily life. CloudSmiths is a proud member of Pledge 1% – a philanthropic movement aimed at encouraging businesses to make giving back a priority.

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