In the month of December 2023, Make The Change, together with M.A.D School, made a trip down to Bogor, Indonesia, as part of the organisations’ Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) efforts. The main objective for our trip was to visit a Refugee Learning Centre located there. Visiting the centre also means meeting some refugees who have worked with MTC in person.
During the three-day trip, training sessions were held for the refugees to equip them with digital marketing skills and different teaching approaches. As there has been a rise in demand for digital marketers – this has made digital marketing an essential and in-demand skill, especially for companies looking to expand their brands. As refugees are not allowed to work in the country they have sought refuge in, equipping them with up-and-coming skills can give them opportunities to find employment online, as digital marketers only require a laptop to get the job done. With employment, the refugees can send their children to schools and reduce their dependence on their families in their home countries for monetary support.
Trainers from M.A.D school led the digital marketing workshops, teaching the refugees all aspects of digital marketing, including SEO, Google algorithms, keyword planning, and backlinks. Even though it was new to the refugees, they still put in their utmost effort to digest the information and readily asked questions to clarify doubts.
On the 2nd day of the trip, a social media marketing workshop was run in continuation of the digital marketing workshop. Trainers from MAD taught the refugees how to run ads on Facebook to reach out to a larger audience as well as how to analyse and measure metrics that would give them an overview of their social media marketing performance. Similar to day 1, they were eager and fast learners and quickly adapted to the new terms introduced. When content marketing was introduced to them, not only did they learn how to create blogs and videos, but they also learned how to develop their self-branding. This is especially important for the refugees as having a well-curated personal branding can open up much more employment opportunities as well as leave a lasting impression on their potential employers.
Simultaneously, workshops on different teaching approaches were also run during the trip. Teachers of the Refugee Learning Centre who participated learned about alternative approaches that they can use to engage students during their lessons. Conversations were also encouraged during the sessions to allow the teachers to share their experiences and discuss the best methods possible with trainers from both MTC and MAD.
In addition to the workshops run for adults, programs were offered for the children at the centre. With the limited time, the program's focus is to encourage creativity and get them to try their hands on creative digital tools. They were introduced to applications such as Keynote and Procreate and were taught the basics of creating digital artworks, gifs, etc. The students enjoyed the session, and this was made apparent by the increase in the number of participants on the 2nd day of the workshop!
MTC also did not just stop at workshops, and there’s more! Before the trip, an initiative was started to provide reading glasses to the community's seniors. The sponsor for the initiative, Essilor Luxottica, kindly donated 150 pairs of glasses for the trip. MTC staff were briefed on ways to check for the correct prescription, and all glasses were given away during the journey. A pair of reading glasses might not seem much, but it does affect the quality of one’s life. Therefore, this contribution will significantly help and improve the seniors in their day-to-day.
In conclusion, CSR trips like this can make a significant impact on the lives of the people in the community. The trip has allowed MTC and MAD to give back and contribute to society. CSR trips like this will hopefully serve as an excellent example to other businesses on how they, too, can make a positive difference in people's lives. It is a reminder that everyone is responsible for contributing to the betterment of society and that anyone can make a difference, no matter how small the contribution may seem.