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Helmet donation ceremony held in Kessararam Primary School in Siem Reap sponsored by Manulife Cambodia. Photo supplied

Uplifting employees and communities

Manulife Cambodia may be focused on protecting its customers by providing crucial insurance packages, but the insurance firm also knows the importance of looking after the wider community. Robert Elliott, CEO of Manulife Cambodia, told Post Plus why the company remains passionate about CSR and discusses some of the company’s most recent CSR-led initiatives.

Corporate social responsibility, or CSR, is very much a buzzword in the corporate world. How does Manulife view CSR and how does CSR intertwine with the company’s vision and ethos?
Developing a long-term relationship with the local community is the most important part of our business, and our Corporate Social Responsibility programme plays an important role in helping us to achieve this. Giving back to the communities in which we operate is embedded in our culture and has been throughout Manulife’s history. It’s an important part of delivering on our commitment to help people achieve their dreams and aspirations. Rather than being passive donors, we seek to create shared value by collaborating with community partners and engaging our employees to uplift our communities.
In Cambodia, our vision is to build a better financial future for the families here. As corporate citizens, we have a role to play in improving the well-being of our employees and their families, as well as for the local community and society at large.

What notable CSR ventures has Manulife undertaken over the last few years?
Since entering the Cambodian market, we have been serving our local communities through our CSR activities. In fact, we have donated over half a million US dollars through these activities. This includes donations to Angkor Hospital for Children; Kantha Bopha Children’s Hospital; bicycle and helmet donations to underprivileged children; parents and teachers; our sponsorship of the Angkor Wat International Half Marathon and many more.
Road safety is one of the areas that we are committed to since we began operations in 2012. We have worked with Asia Injury Prevention Foundation (AIP) to promote and contribute to the reduction of death, injuries, disabilities and damages caused by traffic accidents. We also provide education on the importance of helmet usage and road safety knowledge in the Cambodian community.
Over the last five years, throughout our collaboration with AIP, road safety education and skill have been delivered to five schools, 3,122 students, 176 teachers and 6,301 parents, and 4,000 helmets have been donated.

Does Manulife plan to increase its commitment to CSR in monetary terms over the next few years and how will it go about this?
Addressing broader social needs and supporting local communities when they need it most is something we remain passionate about. We are always looking for opportunities that align with our values and help to promote health and wellness and empower the underprivileged communities. CSR encompasses economic, environmental and social undertakings.

How does Manulife ensure it evenly distributes its CSR funds across these spectrums?
As one of the world’s largest life insurance companies, we believe strongly in the importance of promoting health and wellness and supporting the prevention of disease through active, healthy living. We are committed to the health and vitality of the communities where we operate. Manulife Cambodia supports a wide range of social and educational programs aimed at empowering children, youth and families, building social inclusion for all, and fostering economic and environmental sustainability. The CSR and sponsorship activities I mentioned above are the evidence of what we have done in Cambodia.

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