An essential component of our corporate social responsibility is to care for communities in which we are both directly and indirectly involved. We aim to develop and strengthen communities worldwide, investing financial resources in inspirational, innovative programs that serve diverse populations. The two areas in which we make significant contributions are education and health promotion.
Schools in Ghana
The Savannah Education Trust is a British NGO that provides disadvantaged rural communities in Northern Ghana with education programs. With the help of u-blox funding, the Trust completed a new school building in 2012 with over 100 children in education by the end of 2013. The school provides education and a daily meal for 170 children. In 2014, u-blox funded solar lighting at another school to enable children to study for their national exams during the dark evenings, and also funded the purchase of a large number of textbooks to improve the quality of the education provided.
The availability of books in this remote region is a major challenge, and an e-reader program was launched in June 2014 with u-blox funding and in partnership with an international NGO, Worldreader (www.worldreader.org). The program provides 10 000 e-books and 50 e-readers and has generated enormous enthusiasm locally. Teachers already report much greater pupil engagement and noticeable improvements in their reading and general academic ability. www.savannaheducationtrust.org
Sunshine School, Nepal
This project gives children in a poverty-stricken area access to education, from which they would otherwise be excluded because of their families' limited financial resources. By providing a basic education, the program has an immediate and long-term impact on their lives. Today, 150 youngsters have access to education through the Sunshine School. The goal is to increase the number to 250 and enable them to attend school through to 10th grade and earn a diploma. We believe that education is the primary vehicle by which poor children can lift themselves out of poverty. www.sunshine-school.ch
Helping children with long term illnesses
u-blox has donated 500 4G modules to Norwegian company, No Isolation, as part of an ongoing Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiative. No Isolation is a connected healthcare start-up, pioneering an avatar for children with long term illnesses who have to stay in hospital or at home over an extended period of time. Their robotic avatar, AV1, represents the child during school classes, field trips or birthday parties, enabling them to participate in everyday events where their medical condition means that they can’t be physically present.
Bringing electricity to a hospital in DR Congo
Lack of electricity is one of the major problems facing hospitals and health centers in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Lukala is a poor township some 200 kilometers from the sea. An NGO in the town has set up a hospital to offer affordable medical services to all, including the poorest people in the community. Conditions in the hospital are dire. Without a reliable power source, it is unable to store blood or medicines under suitable conditions, sterilize equipment or even guarantee continuous light during operations.
The most obvious and practical answer to the central problem was for the hospital to have its own back-up generator. As a result of u-blox’s support, the hospital now has a reliable power source and the resulting improvement should have a direct and noticeable effect on the community, such as increased life expectancy. www.graf-afr.ch
Internet of Things brings home treatment to critically ill patients
Longer life expectancy and the increase in life-threatening and terminal diseases puts an ever-greater strain on finite healthcare and hospital services. One way to ease the pressure is to use technology and remote monitoring to allow severely ill patients to remain at home. itACiH (IT support for advanced cancer care in the home) is a Swedish research program examining the feasibility of such an approach. u-blox technologies are ideal for this purpose. We therefore welcome the opportunity to participate in a “professional” project that makes use of our products – between a patient monitor and a home hub, for example – in the Internet of Things.
Providing disaster relief
When communities in which we have operations are hit by natural or manmade disasters, we sometimes provide immediate practical support in the form of funds. We have also built a strong relationship with the Red Cross in Switzerland to facilitate rapid response to such disasters.