It is time for you to help

Our class (ESMT MBA 2013) has numerous links to the Philippines, and we are all very concerned with the recent news surrounding Taifun Haiyan. The impact of the storm in the region has been catastrophic. In the Philippines alone around 10 thousand people have died and over 4 million have been left homeless. The efforts to return to a life somewhat close to normal are underway, but it will take a considerable amount of time before the people in this region recover. International help is coming from different destinations to the Philippines and we as members of the ESMT community want to contribute to this cause as well.

Recently we were reminded of how powerful nature can be when we were visited by Xaver, one of the strongest storms to fall on Germany in the last decades. Luckily for us, the country’s infrastructure and organizations were well prepared. Despite winds exceeding 150 km/h, the damage, as well as the number of casualties Europe-wide, was relatively limited.

As you may want to see it, we are either blessed or lucky to be living in cities and countries with limited natural disasters and with well prepared infrastructures that offer protection when required. However, given that 7 billion people are living around the world, it could have easily been the case that we wouldn’t be where we are today. If we were at the other side of this story, we would be the ones needing the help of others more fortunate than us now. The fact is that we are the more fortunate ones today, and we therefore want to jointly make an effort to help our brothers and sisters in the Philippines.

How will we do it? The ESMT Social Impact Club is organizing a donation drive.  At our graduation event we will display boxes that attendees can use to make donations. Furthermore, we will use our networks and the networks of our school to broaden the reach of our undertaking.

With whom will we do it? We have selected a reliable partner who is involved in micro-financing for the poor. They are called Opportunity International Deutschland, and they are a Christian-motivated non-profit whose goal is to provide micro-financing services for the poor at large to support their sustainable development. They have a strong presence and network in the Philippines with over 30 years of local history and a total of around 1 million micro finance clients. Approx. 50.000 of their clients were significantly affected by the storm. Branches and employees of OID were impacted as well. OID is now supporting reconstruction efforts, and they will be a major vehicle of financing for the poor as they try to get back on their feet. All the funds we collect will go to OID.

How can you help? If you want more information you can write us at: social_impact_club@esmt.org. If you identify with our cause you can make a donation by following this link: www.oid.org (please enter the payment reference: “Taifun ESMT”). We thank you for your interest and potential support!

Warm regards from Berlin, the ESMT Social Impact Club.