First Bank of Nigeria, has kicked off the Fifth edition of its Corporate Responsibility & Sustainability (CR&S) week today, in furtherance of its continued commitment to impacting the lives of individuals in its host communities across seven countries, including Nigeria, United Kingdom, Ghana, DRC, Guinea, Sierra Lone, Senegal and Gambia.
Themed “Kindness… A Way of Life”, FirstBank said, the week long event reflects the single-minded purpose to make a difference in the world by inspiring and institutionalising kindness.
SPARK is an acronym for Start Performing Acts of Random Kindness and it is a values-based initiative designed to raise consciousness that we can choose to be kind.
The FirstBank CR&S Week is a dedicated week designed to offer opportunities for employees to give their time & resources to defined causes in line with the Bank’s CR&S strategic approach. The CR&S Week will offer employees opportunities to give their time & resources to defined causes.
The Week’s activities are an aspect of the Bank’s Employee Giving & Volunteering Programme, which was instituted to encourage employees to give back to the community as well as inculcate in them the integral corporate culture of giving.
The bank held the maiden edition of the CR&S week in 2017 with a focus mainly on three key initiatives/activities which were giving and visits to orphanages/less privileged homes/IDPs; career counselling day; and Staff Promoting Acts of Random Kindness (SPARK) initiative – which is now Start Performing Acts of Random Kindness. The CR&S week has become more successful in subsequent years and it is fast becoming a household name in the Bank’s host economies.
According to the bank, there are five main activities to be implemented during this year’s CR&S Week in Nigeria, FBNBank UK and across the SSA markets. These activities include SPARK APP, Kind Comments Day, Visits to orphanage/less privileged homes, SPARK School Engagement, and Women Economic Empowerment. The major highlight of the Week will be the launch of the SPARK APP. The app is strategic in the bank’s journey to institutionalize “A Day of Kindness” on a national level, and globally position the Bank as a Corporate Citizen in leveraging new media to drive sustainability practices.
The SPARK App is a sensational application designed to have individuals abreast with the act of kindness through various kindness-based quotes and inspirational phrases that will be displayed on one’s phone screen, especially when the phone is idle.
Kind Comments Day is an initiative that focuses on inspiring and encouraging everyone to be deliberate with the use of kind words in relating or interacting with anyone.
In addition, with Women Empowerment, the Bank will support, VVF patients in need of surgical operations and also empower them with vocational skills as they integrate back into the society.
The SPARK Schools Engagement will be implemented through the National Competition of JAN SPARK School Integration. The activity is aimed at rewarding the various participating students, following their SPARK activity,
Through the partnership with JAN, SPARK is integrated into the JAN Company Programme, where students are taught the values of SPARK. The SPARK schools’ competition has been tied with Company programme regional competition,ensuring they imbibed the values taught during the training. One of the highlights of the event is the visit to orphanage homes and the less privileged, across various cities which will be carried out by volunteers from the Bank.
Speaking on the week, CEO, FirstBank, Dr. Adesola Adeduntan, said: “the CR&S Week is another opportunity to strengthen our commitment and extend our reach beyond the communities where we operate in Nigeria and across our subsidiaries. Over time, our goal has stayed the same, to create platforms through which our positive impact is felt.”
“For us in the FirstBank Group, beyond saying that we care, we take a step further and show it,” he concluded.