Charity work a bridge-builder to community

PUBLISHED : Friday, 09 December, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 09 December, 2011, 12:00am


Corporate social responsibility builds a bridge between companies and the wider community they serve, according to Dumith Fernando, the managing director and chief operating officer of Credit Suisse Asia Pacific.

Speaking about the philosophy driving the financial institution's philanthropic commitments as it returns as a major sponsor of the Operation Santa Claus fund-raising drive after a three-year absence, Fernando said charity efforts allowed the bank to show it cared and provided opportunities for it to learn.

Credit Suisse first sponsored the South China Morning Post and Radio Television Hong Kong's joint holiday fund-raising appeal in 2000. It returns because of the campaign's continuing commitment to children's welfare.

Since it was set up in 1988, Operation Santa Claus has supported more than 100 charities. This year, money raised in the holiday appeal will go to 16 Hong Kong-based charities that provide assistance to the needy here and on the mainland.

'Globally and regionally, one of the primary focus areas in our philanthropic and volunteering initiatives is the welfare of underprivileged children,' Fernando said.

'In Asia, for example, Credit Suisse promotes numerous education projects that have benefited more than 28,000 students of different ages to date.'

Early this month, the bank's volunteers visited children benefiting from the work of the Children's Heart Foundation, one of the target charities of this year's Operation Santa Claus.

Credit Suisse's commitment to children's education includes funds and grants for children from underprivileged backgrounds to receive education. It also builds schools and libraries on the mainland, in Vietnam, Indonesia, Laos and Pakistan, and pays teachers' salaries.

'By engaging the community through our charity partners we show that we care about those who live alongside us in less privileged circumstances,' Fernando said. 'In return we are able to learn about the issues affecting those communities and how we as a corporate can address them.'

A good corporate social responsibility programme also helped the bank to attract and retain high-calibre staff because it could instil a sense of pride among the staff in their workplace, he said.

More than 2,400 Credit Suisse staff volunteer for charitable works each year, doing everything from cleaning up beaches to providing strategic advice to charities.

'In this challenging environment, it is important to us that we continue to support local organisations that are doing such vital work in disadvantaged communities,' Fernando said, referring to Operation Santa Claus.

How you can give

Donate online by credit card at

Donations can be made at ATMs or at any branch of HSBC: account number 502-676299-001 for SCMP CHARITIES LTD-OPERATION SANTA CLAUS

You can make a donation by cheque, payable to 'SCMP CHARITIES LTD-OPERATION SANTA CLAUS' and mail to: Operation Santa Claus, Morning Post Centre, 22 Dai Fat Street, Tai Po Industrial Estate, New Territories, Hong Kong

Donations of HK$100 or more are tax-deductible. If you would like a tax receipt, please send the completed donation form and original bank receipt with your name, address and phone number to the address above.

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