Social responsibility in times of crisis

The current pandemic affects all of us – acknowledging this, the Boehringer Ingelheim Athena Program was formed. This cross-functional effort across different departments ensures the understanding and anticipation of the needs of our company’s customers in the uncertain times of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Due to COVID-19, this year’s GTM (go-to-market) summit had to take place virtually. The global GTM cross-functional team took the opportunity to use funds that would have been used to cover the travel costs of delegates and divert them to those communities who needed it most:  40,000 EUR were donated to two of our local partners, SOLWODI (Kenya) and Karl-Kübel Foundation (South-India). 

With the support of the donation, our local partner SOLWODI/SOLASA was able to finance the construction of a health and meeting center in the slums of Eldoret. This house will become a place of encounter where women and young people can take part in health awareness and vocational training courses, give their children to day-care, or meet other people for exchange. The construction phase has already begun - besides several rooms and a small kitchen, there will also be a library with computers available to the community.

The donation also benefited our projects in India: In cooperation with the Karl-Kübel Foundation -supported organization NMCT (Native Medicare Charitable Trust), MMH has already started offering health and income training in Coimbatore a few years ago. NMCT is committed to supporting disadvantaged and HIV-affected families in health care, which lead to the foundation of the community-based Vimuktha Federation. This women self-help group was involved in our training on soap manufacturing and tailoring, which paid off in the COVID-19 crisis - the women utilized the training to produce masks, soap, and disinfectants. They were able to support around 1000 families in their community by distributing those and grocery kits, which were also financed through the donation of the Athena program. Besides, the Vimuktha Federation women offered their own hygiene training to train other people in virus prevention and soap production.

We thank our colleagues from the Athena Program and the global GTM cross-functional team for their exceptional commitment and for finding new ways to exhibit social responsibility in these unusual times.