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Tuesday, June 18, 2024

VNG with creative CSR initiatives for the community

By Tuyen Quang

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VNG, a well-known unicorn technology startup founded in 2004 in Vietnam, has over the years committed itself to enhancing the community’s well-being through its corporate social responsibility initiatives. The company, well-known for its strength in digital content, online entertainment, social networking, and e-commerce, has leveraged technologies in a creative way to support the community, especially in the areas of education and health.

Dream maker for students

On April 16, 2024, disadvantaged students in Ben Tre and Tien Giang provinces received scholarships from VNG’s Dream Maker Foundation and the Vu A Dinh Scholarship Fund. Specifically, a total of 150 regular scholarships, each worth VND1 million, were awarded, including 20 Vu A Dinh scholarships and 130 scholarships from the “For Beloved Hoang Sa – Truong Sa” club.

Additionally, there were 24 scholarships from the Vong tay nhan ai (Compassionate Arms) program, each worth VND6 million. The total scholarship value was VND294 million, which is part of the funds received by the Vu A Dinh Scholarship Fund through collaboration with the 2023 UpRace event initiated and technically supported by VNG. The Dream Maker Foundation has partnered with the Vu A Dinh Fund, committing VND500 million to provide regular scholarships for ethnic and island area students for the 2023-2024 school year.

At the scholarship award ceremony, Ms. Truong My Hoa, former Vice President of Vietnam and Chairwoman of the Vu A Dinh Scholarship Fund, announced that the fund received VND1.7 billion from UpRace 2023, enabling the provision of meaningful scholarships. She also encouraged the community to participate in UpRace 2024, highlighting that each step taken by participants contributes to helping students confidently pursue their education.

VNG has created the annual running program UpRace, which not only promotes health but also brings significant humanitarian value to the community.

The Dream Maker Foundation is the successor of the Vietnam Internet Users Community Charity Fund (VNIF) established by VNG in 2010 with the mission to support humanitarian activities, education, and improve social quality. After over a decade of effective operations, including donations of computers to poor students, helping them access technology and knowledge, VNIF was renamed the Dream Maker Foundation in 2023, with a broader vision and a stronger mission to spread love.

The Dream Maker Foundation focuses on three key areas: healthcare, education, and technology, aiming to create positive and sustainable changes in the lives of Vietnamese people.

Over the years, the foundation has joined hands with individuals and organizations across 63 provinces, creating solutions in health, education, and technology, enhancing the quality of life for many. The foundation has provided nearly VND110 billion in community funding, supporting reforestation, urban tree planting, job creation and livelihood support for disadvantaged people with disabilities, and giving Tet gifts to needy households.

UpRace – a highly influential community running project

As a major Vietnamese startup, VNG leverages its technological strengths and human resources to develop CSR initiatives, creating sustainable value for the community. One notable CSR initiative is UpRace, the first model in Vietnam combining technology, a running movement, and charity.

UpRace is not only an app for tracking sports activities but also a community charity project initiated and technically supported by VNG since 2017. Participants can run anytime, anywhere, recording their distances with devices like smartphones or smartwatches.

The goal is to accumulate as many running kilometers as possible during the event period. Each kilometer logged equates to a donation commitment from VNG and other sponsors, with a minimum donation of VND1,000 per kilometer, ensuring funds for social organizations. This encourages participants to maintain a healthy lifestyle while contributing to charitable and social goals.

Starting as an internal VNG run in 2017, UpRace has become Vietnam’s largest community running project. For over six years, it has attracted over 620,000 participants in Vietnam and from more than 50 other countries and territories, with over 25 million kilometers logged, and nearly VND32 billion contributed to benefit social organizations.

The 2023 season ended with remarkable achievements, logging over 7 million kilometers and raising VND7 billion. This funding enabled the Dream Maker Foundation to donate over VND4.5 billion to three partner social organizations.

Funds from UpRace have supported various initiatives over the years, including aiding Newborns Vietnam in ensuring safe births, providing surgeries for children with cleft lips and palates through Operation Smile Vietnam, and offering cataract surgeries for the poor and orphans via the Vietnam Association for the Support of Disabled People and Orphans.

For six years, VNG has built a network connecting over 1,400 businesses and 100 sponsors, engaging with seven social organizations and a community of over 620,000 UpRace participants.

VNG CEO Le Hong Minh stated, “UpRace is not just an event or competition owned by VNG. Instead, UpRace is built as a community project, a common home for running enthusiasts and those who wish to spread a humanitarian spirit to society.”

Many businesses are now actively promoting virtual running events, especially through the UpRace app, to contribute to the community and social partners. This allows employees to engage in sports activities and voluntarily participate in their company’s community initiatives, fostering a positive and responsible work environment.

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