Vision to help the community
Okia, a Hong Kong-based eyewear service provider, has integrated corporate social responsibility (CSR) with the company culture, and has engaged in various community services through the years.
The company's 'free eyewear service' programme, introduced in July last year, has provided eye examinations for more than 1,000 people and new glasses for more than 300 people. 'Our staff saw the need for such services in the community and we decided to launch the programme,' says Arthur Cheung, chief operation officer at Okia.
Working with non-profit groups and schools in Hong Kong, Okia provides assistance to people with financial difficulties and accessibility problems that have made visiting optical shops difficult. The company delivers services through a mobile optical shop, offering eye examinations for colour vision, stereopsis and macula lutea, to providing glasses without any charge.
Okia collaborates with charities such as Orbis, a non-governmental organisation dedicated to blindness prevention and treatment. It is also involved in charity sales, donation days and marathons. The activities aim to fulfil the five core elements of the company's CSR initiatives: engagement, commitment, participation, involvement and motivation.
'We participate in most of the activities organised by Orbis because we have a similar vision,' says Orwell Wan, Okia's human resources and administration manager. 'We try to raise public awareness of the importance of protecting their eyesight.'
More than 90 per cent of Okia's employees have participated in the company's charity activities, and more than 50 per cent of staff have taken part in vision-friendly community services.
'We aim to arouse people's awareness and encourage our staff, their families and friends to contribute to society,' Cheung says. 'We want to use our knowledge to help others.'
The company's CSR initiatives include using environmentally-friendly materials for its products, promoting environmental protection in the office, and encouraging employees to participate in charity programmes.
Staff volunteer Jacqueline Chow finds the programme enjoyable and meaningful. 'Okia encourages us to participate in community service programmes,' says the senior sales and marketing executive. 'We are given the opportunity to take part in different community services and help those in need.'
Ronald Tong, supply chain co-ordinator at Okia, says the 'free eyewear service' programme helps enhance collaboration and communication among participants. Okia's CSR initiatives need more volunteers, Cheung says. 'We are looking for new members and we believe that through promotion and participation, we will be able to spread the message of the importance of corporate social responsibility, as well as protecting one's vision,' he says.
The 'free eyewear service' programme has served individuals from five-year-old children to elderly people aged over 90
Staff volunteers involved in the programme are trained in the operation of eye-examination machinery and procedures
Okia was awarded the Orbis Volunteer Gold Award in 2009