TBL – Triple Bottom-Line, a sustainability advocacy platform working to promote CSR in Pakistan since 2007, is now launching a unique initiative, the National Volunteer Programme (NVP), initially in Karachi, and later expanding it nationwide. NVP’s Vision is “to strive for a just and prosperous society in which the marginalized will emerge from distress through the caring support of other, more privileged and compassionate people serving as volunteers”.
While volunteerism does take place in society, the NVP is unique in terms of a structured platform and service that optimizes the benefits of volunteerism for both the volunteers and the beneficiary institutions. The NVP achieves this by matching the specific skills and interests of volunteers with the matching needs of beneficiary institutions, through a customized software and dedicated portal, www.nvp.com.pk. Focusing particularly on corporate executives as volunteers in the first phase, the NVP will act as a facilitator and a medium, providing corporate volunteers meaningful opportunities to serve in Beneficiary Institutions working in a range of focus areas. As such the NVP will be constantly monitoring and filling the ongoing demand for skilled workforce requirements at Beneficiary Institutions, and will be working together with volunteers, the corporate sector and others to build a more just and benevolent society.
Millions of marginalized in Pakistan – the poor and the uneducated, the physically and mentally challenged, widows and orphans and others – are deprived of even basic necessities. A number of NGOs and other institutions are working tirelessly for their uplift, but their efforts are hampered owing to lack of regular funding and insufficient workforce. The NVP seeks to address the lack of qualified human resource, by bringing together compassionate volunteers giving their time and skills to beneficiary institutions which need these the most.
Through the work of the volunteers, the impact of the welfare institutions can be substantially enlarged. Globally, the corporate sector too has come forward, allowing and encouraging their executives as a part of their CSR outreach, to do volunteer work for a certain number of hours every week during their work hours. There is ample research to show that corporate volunteerism is highly beneficial for all 3 stakeholders – the company, the volunteer and the beneficiary institution.
The NVP Project has received start-up support and funding from Coca-Cola Pakistan, and its soft launch took place at the Karachi Literature Festival 2016, being held from February 5 to 7. Coca-Cola has been a supporter of KLF as well for the past 4 consecutive years, sponsoring the Award for the Best Non-fiction Book in English language by a Pakistani author, as well as offering complimentary bottled water and soft drinks to thousands of visitors to the KLF over its 3 days run.