Intel Supports Post-Earthquake China

Today BCLC is focusing on the business role in disaster response (In one hour from now, we are hosting a FREE webinar, “First Step in Disaster Response: Employee Assistance” — there’s still time to participate).

In this spirit, I have two “Business Gives Back” stories to share today. Both stories illustrate the role companies can play in post-disaster communities. For their commitment to strengthening communities and individuals during hard times, both companies were honorees in the U.S. Chamber BCLC 2009 Corporate Citizenship Awards.

First, Intel. In a few hours, Nationwide with its nonprofit partner, the American Red Cross.

Intel Corporation and the iWorld Project Sichuan, China

When a devastating earthquake struck China’s Sichuan Province in May 2008, immediate relief support was just one part of how Intel responded. The company’s Chengdu assembly and test facility is located in the disaster region, so helping advance recovery was top of mind for Intel. The extent of the earthquake’s damage meant that long-term support would be critical. 

In the wake of the disaster, a team at Intel began working to identify ways that Intel could apply technology innovations  to help to address ongoing recovery efforts. Just 10 days after the earthquake, while many were still preoccupied with sending relief materials, Intel launched a comprehensive post-quake recovery plan called “iWorld,” focused on rebuilding and restoring services in the areas and leveraging Intel’s technology expertise and competencies. (In Chinese, “i” means love — iWorld means “spread love around the world.”)

On June 23, 2008, Intel’s Craig Barrett (pictured), the first chairman from a multinational corporation to visit the affected area, unveiled the details of the project. The project placed a heavy emphasis on getting students by establishing 200 state-of-the-art “e-classrooms” and extending Intel education programs to teachers and students across the eight severely affected counties in the province. The goal was to bring some normalcy back to their lives and create a long term sustainable environment where children can get a quality education and pursue their dreams.

Key elements/actions for the project included:

* Intel and the Intel Foundation made $5 million financial grant for the schools and iWorld project

* Intel led the effort to equip 200 e-classrooms, lining up other original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and other companies in the region  

* Intel extended the impact of the PC donations with Intel education programs, providing Intel® Teach and Intel®  Learn resources across the province

* Intel expanded their volunteer program to affected schools, including school selection, e-classroom set-up, and roll-out of mentoring, teaching, and on-line programs to connect employees with the students

On May 12, 2009, Intel employees across China came together to remember the 90,000 victims of the Sichuan Earthquake and reflect on Intel’s response through the iWorld program. Intel’s commitment to improving the lives of the impacted members in the community continues. To date, the project has:

* Built 150 e-classrooms in the disaster areas (four e-classrooms were up and running just 6 weeks after the intel-e-classroom_blogearthquake)

* Contributed more than 40,000 volunteer hours by 2,800 Intel employees in 100 schools, reaching 100,000 students

* Trained 3,200 teachers in 78 schools on integrating technology in the classroom, enabling thousands of students to gain key 21st century skills such as problem solving, critical thinking, and collaboration.

* Built a Web 2.0 platform (created by employee volunteers in Intel’s Software Solutions Group) to connect students with Intel employee volunteers

The success to date has also inspired several other companies and foundations to expand the iWorld project beyond the 200 schools that Intel originally targeted.

Intel hopes that its continued investment, combined with the commitments of these other organizations, will allow them to continue to scale the project’s impact and reach more students and teachers in the region.