BT Weekend published an article on Vital's CSR activities with our customers:
VITAL, a shared services department under the Ministry of Finance, is into its second year of corporate social responsibility (CSR) programme with a new twist. Seven of its staff had paired up and returned from Siem Reap with six of its customers from the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS). Together with VITAL, the direct working counterparts of IRAS, built over 50 bio-sand water filters for the villagers and a 500-metre long metal fence on two sides, hoisted by 80 wooden logs outside the Dan Run Health Centre to ward off menacing cows.
Last year, VITAL went solo on its maiden CSR trip Siem Reap, in support of Singapore International Foundation (SIF)’s Water for Life project. This year, the addition of its customers on the trip had a two-fold mission. “It is not common for a CSR programme to be extended to the customer side, but VITAL believes that through sharing common values with customers, we can build better understanding and stronger ties with them, which are key to problem-solving and conflict resolution. More importantly, there is a larger purpose of creating social impact for society collectively,” explained Ms Ong Poh Poh, 45, VITAL’s Director of Service Management.
Over the one week in Siem Reap, the duo team toiled under scorching sun in two villages, and travelled to as far as a few kilometres in search of water supply, in order to wash sand and gravels over three rinses before bio-sand water filters could be built to supply clean drinking water for the villagers. The Government officers also knelt down to dig half-metre deep holes using heavy improvised tools like chungkat and coconut husks, to scoop up all the sand, before inserting 80 wooden logs over a towering 2 metres, and lining them up on both sides of a road to fence off cows from a Dan Run Health Centre.
This is believed to be the first time a government department has extended its CSR programmes outwards and invited its customer agencies to bond over common causes. At home, VITAL’s CSR activities with customers, had including a half-day morning exercise with less mobile elderlies at the St. Hilda’s Community Centre. Nearly 25 staff from VITAL and the National Talent & Population Division under the Prime Minister’s Office, took time off to participate in this VITAL-initiated project, called “VITAL-customer mesh up”.
Vital-Agency mesh up is an initiative under CRM Customer Engagement that seeks to build emotional relationship with our customers beyond the boundaries of work through activities that are meaningful and has a social impact.