Specifically, Accenture in Spain has pledged 20,000 hours of pro bono support and US$1.68 million in financial assistance, and the Accenture Foundations contributed an additional US$2 million. These commitments reflect Accenture’s global corporate citizenship initiative, Skills to Succeed, which aims to equip 250,000 people around the world by 2015 with the skills to get a job or build a business.
Spain country managing director Vicente Moreno says the initiative aligns perfectly with Skills to Succeed.
“We have great enthusiasm about this project because as well as contributing to one of the largest humanitarian organizations in the world, we are providing people in the wake of disasters, or otherwise, with the training they need to succeed,” Moreno says. “Accenture’s support of the Red Cross and its Livelihood Resource Center is helping bring new hope and opportunity to people around the world.”
In its initial phase, the Livelihood Resource Center project aims to share information and best practices in skills development strategies, based on the experiences gleaned from four pilot country programs. Specifically, these will:
• Facilitate access to employment for 500 disabled people, ethnic minorities, and women in China
• Help 80 families/individuals start up small businesses and engage 170 people in salaried work in Peru
• Improve the means of economic productivity for 300 families in rural areas in the Philippines
• Help 1,000 people re-establish production and economic activities post-earthquake in Haiti
The project also aims to train 275 “international cooperation experts,” from 40 Red Cross/Red Crescent national societies in these skills and deploy those people so they can provide their skills wherever they are most needed.
The next stage of the initiative will involve using the Livelihood Resource Center online platform to deliver project information to technical personnel across all 186 Red Cross societies, so they can form their own local programs to enhance job creation, business growth and the earning potential of disadvantaged people.
Volunteers from Accenture Spain will help the project by supplying software products, e-learning courses and management services, including development of the Livelihood Resource Center online platform. Since 2003, 75 Accenture Spain employees have worked on over 20 projects for the Spanish Red Cross, providing more than 40,000 hours of pro bono support. The Livelihood Resource Center project will provide additional Accenture Spain employees with opportunities to engage in pro bono work.
Traditionally, the Red Cross has focused mainly on providing support during emergency situations, but now, it will also help communities recover in the long-term by developing economic initiatives that aid job and business creation.
A mutual commitment
Moreno, who serves as client partner and sponsor of the project, joined International Federation of Red Cross (IFRC) Secretary General Bekele Geleta and Spanish Red Cross President and Juan Manuel Suarez del Toro Rivero in November 2010 to make official their mutual commitment to establish and support the Livelihood Resource Center.
In a video interview
, Geleta emphasized the importance of the Livelihood Resource Center to the Red Cross’ efforts to improve the lives and opportunities of people around the world.
“The world economic crisis has brought about huge unemployment, and people now have to retrain and rebuild their lives,” he said. “The younger generation, even those with a university qualification, require specific skills to enter the job market. The Livelihood Resource Center—the first of its kind for the Red Cross—is going to be a very important knowledge hub for the entire Red Cross.”