Over a lakh employees volunteered to reach out to students, even in remote areas, to teach and guide them.
Making an impact in the areas of education, community welfare and environment, Cognizant has successfully completed 10 years of its employee volunteering programme, ‘Outreach’. During these years, it has been able to bring a change in the lives of more than 4,50,000 people. More than 1,00,000 Cognizant employees volunteered in this initiative and completed two million hours of volunteering across 20 countries.
The initiative is designed and derived by employees who seek to make a difference in the lives of people. Cognizant provides financial and administrative support to run this initiative.
The programme aims to alleviate disparities in educational access and provide equal opportunity to all students. In India, Outreach has partnered with more than 169 schools— government and government– aided—in urban and rural areas to conduct additional classroom sessions in science, computing, mathematics, English and other subjects.
The volunteers under this initiative teach nearly 100 classroom sessions in India every week. Outreach uses innovative and new teaching methods, which have helped take the pass percentage to 100 per cent in the board examinations of classes X and XII.
In India, Outreach has partnered with more than 169 schools— government and government– aided—in urban and rural areas to conduct additional classroom sessions in science, computing, mathematics, English and other subjects.
Apart from teaching these subjects, the volunteers also provide them career guidance. They conduct career-awareness sessions to help students passing out of school to make informed career choices.
They also run the Outreach Scholarship Programme to help the meritorious students further their education and career. Over 1400 students have been given this scholarship based on merit, since 2012. Around 72 per cent of these are girls, and more than 90 per cent are fresh graduates. This scholarship has been able to get them jobs in top companies, including Cognizant.
More than 1,00,000 Cognizant employees volunteered in this initiative and completed two million hours of volunteering across 20 countries.
For the visually-challenged students, the Outreach volunteers conducted life-skill sessions, coached them for competitive exams, recorded audio books and assisted them as scribes in exams. Learning sessions were also conducted to help children with learning disabilities.
The programme employed advanced technology to reach out to students in the remotest of places, through video-conferencing, making a significant impact across the globe.
The programme has also helped in community welfare and environmental sustainability.
Giving his views on the initiative, Francisco D’Souza, CEO, Cognizant said “What sets Cognizant apart is the quality, the character and the dedication of our employees. Our purpose, our values, our passion for volunteerism are just as important to us as the solutions and services we provide to our clients. Outreach will continue to drive human betterment into everything that we do as a Company,”.
Commenting on the programme, Deepak Prabhu, global head, Cognizant Outreach said, “The cornerstone of Outreach is the collective passion and might of Cognizant’s employees to serve the society. The success of Outreach is largely because of its grassroots structure—where the volunteers are the real leaders. This structure gives volunteers a greater sense of ownership and allows us to create a deeper impact on society as witnessed over the last ten years”.