July 11, 2012… The Safaricom Foundation has today launched the 3rd phase of a unique Corporate Social Investment initiative dubbed a World of Difference.

The World of Difference, whose 3rd phase was launched today, is a unique programme aimed at extending the ways in which we can all give back to society.  It provides individuals with a unique opportunity to share their skills and expertise with community based organisations for a period of between three to six months

The initiative was established in 2002 by the Vodafone Group Foundation and there are now over 20 Vodafone Foundations running the WOD programme among them South Africa, Ghana and Egypt.

“Someone once said that it is easy to make a shilling, but a lot tougher to make a difference and that is the exciting thing about World Of A Difference; the fact that it is more than just writing a cheque or donating a shilling. It is about asking what one can do as an individual to make a difference using their skills and talents,” said Mr. Collymore.

In a departure from tradition, this year will see 10 members of the public join 20 Safaricom employees in this initiative which is aimed at taking corporate social investment to the next level. So far, 31 staff members and 3 university students have participated in the World of Difference PROGRAMME since its inception in 2009.

“World of Difference is designed to enhance engagement and involvement of the volunteers and partner organisations by promoting community work and volunteerism amongst participants. It enhances knowledge and skills in community-based service through first hand-hand experience and helping partner organisations implement life-changing PROGRAMMEs,” added Mr. Collymore.

In previous phases, over 20 community based and NGO partners took part in the World of Differenceprogramme including the Kenya Red Cross Society.  Close to 50 organisations have already expressed their interest to participate in this year’s initiative.

“Safaricom encourages her employees to take part in Corporate Social Investment activities as a way of giving back. In the last financial year alone, more than one third of our 2700 employees participated in a Corporate Social Investment activity. Our goal is to grow this number to 50% of our employees participate in community projects this financial year, “said newly appointed Foundation chairman, Joseph Ogutu. Mr. Ogutu took over from long serving Foundation chairman Les Baillie who will continue serving as a Trustee.

“The success of this programme is largely attributable to the strong support we have received from our partner organisations. Through them we have developed strong synergies and this occasion further serves as an opportunity for us to strengthen these bonds to make even greater change and impact,” he further noted.

Application for public participation in the 3rd phase is now open and will run until the 10th of August this year. The shortlisting and interview process will be conducted by an independent body.  The application forms are on the Safaricom Foundation website www.safaricomfoundation.org/worldofdifference