Mobile phone service provider company Tigo Guatemala provides a fine example of how corporations can balance economics with positive change for the greater good with its social arm, the Tigo Foundation. Committed to improving the quality of life for Guatemalan communities, the foundation operates in three areas of work: education, special projects and transparency. Using funds allocated from the Tigo parent company, the foundation creates, develops and executes programs and digital solutions that have a real beneficial impact in the country. Let’s take a closer look…
Through their Education Programs: Digital Schools, ABC Schools, ABC / Digital Schools and Millennium Schools, at the point of July 2018, Tigo Foundation has delivered a total of 328 schools in the 22 departments of the country to the Ministry of Education, achieving their goal of national coverage and helping more than 93,100 children.
For example, the facilities of El Molino School, where 199 boys and girls are enrolled in pre-primary and primary school, were renovated with the support of the Tigo Foundation and International Esperanza Project. The support consisted of the construction of three new educational classrooms, one of which was for a digital space, with 17 computers and new furniture, a new kitchen and a bathroom module. The roof of existing salons was also renovated. The painting work was supported by a group of more than 50 volunteers, including Tigo employees, members of International Hope Project and media, who visited the school to make a day of rejuvenation.
In the area of Special Projects they carry out programs such as: Blue Footprint (recycling of common waste), Recycling with You (recycling of cell phones in Tigo agencies of the capital city), and recycling of electronic waste. In addition, they carry out Health projects, supporting Guatemalan children by bringing drinking water to schools and communities, in partnership with Ecofiltro, and supporting children suffering from cancer through the annual "Join AYUVI to Save Children with Cancer" raffle ", which is the largest private collection project in Central America.
More recently, in partnership with female empowerment body SHEVA, Tigo launched the Mujeres Conectadas program, with the aim of improving women's access to mobile services. Aimed at young women and adults aged 15 to 40, participants acquired tools and knowledge about how to use the mobile phone and the internet to improve their personal and professional lives.
But transparency is also prioritzed. In 2015, with the objective of promoting transparency in government administration and the private sector in Guatemala, the foundation signed a cooperation agreement with the Seattle International Foundation (SIF), an organization which they have supported with funds and technology and civil society organizations that fight against corruption. They have funded and promoted projects, such as "Camino al Voto" of the Transparent Congress Association (Guatecambia), and "Dilo Aquí Guate" of Acción Ciudadana, among others.
Considering the savvy organization, generosity and hugely impactful programs the Tigo Foundation has exhibited in a small developing country such as Guatemala, the organization serves as a model to emulate, and can perhaps ought to be replicated in other parts of the world.