In its vision to help underprivileged children in India, the OM Foundation has constructed an inspirational schooling model for the amazing children of the community. OM Foundation provides a platform where children can receive free education on par with private schools.
We could not have made this progress without the especial help of a few key individuals, who have shown phenomenal dedication to support the future education of the children. One individual is Ian Peters, COO, British Gas. It has been an honour to have Ian contribute to the arduous journey of making education accessible to underprivileged children. Some of the outstanding contributions that Ian (and British Gas) has provided are as follows:
- Sanctioning funds to support and develop the secondary school wing.
- Sanctioning of tutoring program for the children after school hours. This will help the kids to complete their homework under good guidance.
- He has been instrumental in getting his local partner EXL involved in the project.
- He has ensured that charitable giving should not be restricted to corporate donating, but should involve as many employees as possible through employee volunteering to support the children.
The Foundation salutes his tremendous dedication towards the cause of underprivileged children. Ian makes it a point to visit the school whenever he is in India, despite his time constraints. Additionally, he makes all possible efforts to keep himself updated on all the activities of the school. To feel their joy & see their smiling faces, Ian personally carried sports goods for the children last year.
Some of his comments are listed in the following Q&A session:
How important is Corporate Social Responsibility to British Gas?
CSR is an essential part of our strategy. We operate in communities and our support for them is consistent with being a responsible employer. We are helping look after our world (in line with our brand strategy) and developing our people through their opportunity to volunteer and exposure to different environments. We also believe in leading our industry - and our CSR work is genuinely ground breaking.
What do you think makes the OM Foundation stand out as a charity cause?
The OM Foundation stands out because everything is about the children. There is a passion for sustainable change of people's lives through providing the opportunity of education, which is one of the greatest gifts. It is a genuine partnership, with extraordinary leadership, and a track record of delivering on its promises. The Foundation's willingness to embrace our volunteers with such welcome is a particular positive.
What is the long term goal of British Gas with the OM School charity?
The long term goal is to build a sustainable model for bringing education to those who would otherwise not receive it. Not just in Noida, but hopefully beyond. I think we are well on the way to making that a reality.
How do you feel about the progress the school has made since BG become involved?
Whenever I visit the schools, especially the new combined site, I come away with four feelings. Pride in what has been achieved by us working together for a shared goal of such ambition - and my small part and privilege in making it happen. Secondly, Humility, from meeting the team who have poured so much energy and commitment into bringing it to life, with no sense of "self". Thirdly, Hope (and excitement), that this really will be a growing and sustainable model. Finally, a simple Joy in watching and listening to the way the children have developed their skills and confidence - and what this education should bring to them and their families when they eventually leave.
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