Citi highlighted its ongoing and long-standing commitment to helping communities by marking its 200th anniversary last June 16, with its 7th annual Global Community Day. In 92 countries around the world, more than 100,000 Citi volunteers – the largest number of participants ever – have gathered in the days leading up to and including Global Community Day to participate in 1,300 service projects that benefited local communities.
In the Philippines, the volunteer events started in May and over 4,500 Citi volunteers nationwide signed up to build homes, spend time with street children, host sports clinics, teach kids, repaint public school classrooms, plant trees, and clean up beaches.
Global Community Day serves as an annual opportunity for Citi employees, alumni, family and friends around the world to gather as one to demonstrate a shared commitment to its communities – a commitment that is carried out year-round by many employees who regularly volunteer their time. This shared commitment has been embodied in Citi employees since the company was established in 1812. It’s that spirit of Common Purpose that Citi proudly celebrates on its 200th anniversary.
“For two centuries, Citi colleagues have worked to enable economic progress and support our clients on their journey from ambition to achievement,” said Citi CEO Vikram Pandit. “There is no better way to celebrate our 200th anniversary than by honoring our history, embracing the future, and working together to strengthen the communities where we live and work.”
“Volunteerism has always been a strong virtue among Citi employees and this year, reaching out to various communities is made even more meaningful as we commemorate Citi’s legacy in the communities where we live and work,” said Citi Country Officer Sanjiv Vohra.
Over 2,000 employees in the Philippines worked hand in hand to finish 200 homes in Tanza, Navotas, in partnership with Habitat for Humanity. Their goal is to provide decent housing and better communities for deserving families displaced by Typhoon Pedring. Volunteers have planted trees in this area and repainted the public school classrooms here, as well as engaged the children in arts and crafts activities.
Meanwhile, hundreds of volunteers have also done the same at the Citi-Gawad Kalinga Marcelo Village in Parañaque City, with employees mixing cement, laying hollow blocks and installing floors for more homes. Citi employees also spent time with the kids teaching them to create puppets for storytelling, and to play basketball and soccer.
Volunteers by the hundreds joined street children in T-shirt painting and arts and crafts sessions. In partnership with Childhope Asia, Citi employees and their families and friends gave joy to these kids who live in or ply the routes of Metro Manila to make a living. More volunteers signed up to spread cheer to these children last June 23.
Together with the Philippine Business for Social Progress (PBSP), groups of Citi employees also repainted desks and cleaned classrooms in Citi-adopted public school including Tipas Elementary School in Taguig. The school was a beneficiary under Project B.L.U.E. (Buildings for Literacy, Understanding and Education), where Citi Foundation funded the construction of classrooms to help augment the shortage of educational facilities in the country.
Employees in other parts of the country also chose to celebrate Citi’s 200 years by serving the communities. Volunteers involved themselves in cleaning up beaches in Batangas, building more homes in Pampanga, and working with farmers in Davao.
Citi volunteers throughout Asia Pacific, Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Latin America, and North America also lend their time, skills and expertise to concentrate on local community needs, including financial inclusion, college and career mentoring, neighborhood revitalization, housing, disaster relief and environmental protection. Throughout the world, anyone interested in staying up-to-date on the latest Global Community Day news and events followed #200YearsCiti on Twitter. Highlights of Citi’s volunteer projects around the world include:
Maintaining its place at the top of the annual volunteer leaderboard, Asia Pacific again had the largest turnout of volunteers across Citi’s regions. In Hong Kong, 4,000 volunteers partnered with 13 NGOs to host a wide range of community service and fundraising activities for the elderly, underprivileged children and families, and other underserved groups. Approximately 2,000 volunteers in China participated in a walkathon to raise funds to improve the nutrition of more than 3,400 children from some of China’s most impoverished communities. Under the theme of ‘Green Citi, Clean City,’ South Korea’s 50 activities involved 4,000 volunteers in environmental protection efforts in botanical gardens and eco parks. In Thailand, 2,000 volunteers supported those affected by the floods in 2011 by fundraising to help five damaged schools and 200 underprivileged students.
Europe, Middle East and Africa
In Spain, close to 100 people ranging from 4 to 99 years old took part in a fundraising event called the Citi Mini Olympics. More than 1,000 volunteers in Pakistan took part in the Citi 200 Community Carnival benefitting patients of a local cancer hospital. In Kenya, volunteers in Nairobi partnered with Habitat for Humanity’s Maai Mahiu Internally Displaced Persons project at Naivasha, which seeks to provide decent, durable and permanent houses. Citi Nigeria volunteers in Lagos worked at the National Museum to restore storage rooms for Nigeria’s historical artifacts
Latin America and Mexico
In Guatemala, more than 2,000 volunteers worked on various neighborhood revitalization projects including repairing playgrounds, schools and sidewalks, painting murals, planting trees and installing streetlamps built with recycled materials. In Argentina, 1,600 volunteers worked with local schools, hospices, and homes in 18 cities across the country and held a Sustainability Fair to benefit local non-profit partners. 1,300 Citi volunteers in Panama remodeled classrooms in the capital and cleaned up beaches to celebrate World Oceans Day. In Mexico, more than 5,000 volunteers across 62 cities, including Mexico City, came together to plant nearly 25,000 trees and improve green areas in the local communities.
Across the New York tri state area more than 4,500 employees were engaged in various community projects, including teaching financial skills with Junior Achievement, revitalizing Hudson River Park, cleaning city beaches, preparing disaster cleanup kits with the American Red Cross, preparing summer camps for underprivileged children, building bicycles for children of military families, and restoring historic landmarks. Citi volunteers in Los Angeles and Fresno utilized their skills to provide financial literacy classes at Financial Family Days. In Tucson, employees were involved in various community development projects and assembled care packages for families of military service members. In St. Louis, under the banner of “200 Acts of Kindness”, more than 600 volunteers reached out into the local community and volunteered their services to various causes including literacy, food distribution and revitalizing community spaces. Across Canada from British Columbia to Montreal, more than 500 Citi volunteers worked to provide food to the hungry, shelter to the homeless and green public parks.