As a responsible corporate citizen, Avarga believes in contributing towards driving positive and sustainable changes for the benefit of the local communities where we operate and the society as a whole.
At present, our Corporate Social Responsibility efforts are largely focused in Myanmar, where we see room to help improve living and education standards.
We identified a government primary school near our power plant, No. 16 Basic Education Primary School, Ywama, Insein township. In 2015, we replaced two-thirds of the school’s old furniture with new desks and chairs to accommodate some 200 pupils per session.
In 2016, we took a major step to further improve conditions for the school. We spent US$50,000 to construct a new 900 sq ft air-conditioned multi-media hall, and equipped it with 31 sets of new computers, accessories, desks and chairs. We hope to equip the pupils with better computer and literacy skills and at the same time, help cultivate a stronger learning culture.
The multi-media hall has become the pride of the school and the community. With this, the school also has one of the most advanced facilities among government primary schools, despite being located in one of the economically poorer townships in Yangon.
We gave each of the 830 students of this school, a set of uniforms, books and a school bag in 2018. We also donated US$8,000 for the construction of the school hall and meal area for the students, which has been completed.
In 2017, we identified another government school that was in need of funds for repair, No.149 Basic Education Post-Primary School in Kanyatgyi Village, Kanma Township, Magway Region. This school is located some 400 miles from Yangon. We completed the construction of a new 2,700 sq ft school building in 2018 and donated a set of uniforms, books and a school bag to each of the school’s 203 students.
In 2018 and 2019, we focused our CSR efforts back on the school in Insein, Yangon. In 2018, we constructed a school hall and meal area measuring 1,800 sq ft for the school. We also donated a set of uniforms, books and a school bag for each of the school’s 830 students. We constructed a new 605 ft length perimeter concrete wall and contributed towards the establishment and furnishing of a library in the school in 2019. That same year, we donated school uniforms and books to all 887 students of the school for the 2019 to 2020 academic year. Having made substantial improvements to the school’s infrastructure and facilities over the years, it did not need further funding in 2020-2021.
With the Covid-19 pandemic, we shifted much of our group CSR efforts to focus on combating the spread of the virus in 2020-21, supporting our dedicated frontline healthcare workers and helping the affected communities in areas where we operate in.
In Myanmar, we repaired an overhead water tank that was supplying water to the housing area near our power plant. We contributed 48 million kyat (or US$37,200) in 2020 to repair the tank with capacity of over 50,000 gallons and weighing over 200 tonnes.
In 2021, we donated 2 units of oxygen concentrators to Electric Power Generation Enterprise (EPGE) for the use of residents in Insein township. We also put in an additional new container home at the power plant for the plant operators, to minimise travelling.
In Malaysia, UPP Pulp & Paper (M) Sdn Bhd contributed towards The Edge Covid-19 Equipment Fund in 2020. The fund aimed to raise donations from the corporate sector to buy medical equipment such as ventilators, protective suits and masks, to assist Malaysia’s medical facilities and healthcare workers. We were one of the first donors to the fund, which has since gone a long way in procuring medical equipment for government hospitals and healthcare staff in the critical early stages of the pandemic, when the healthcare system was under severe strain and medical supplies were limited.
We have also donated RM60,000 over 2020-21 to Persatuan Kebajikan Amal Da Ai Malaysia, a non-profit charitable childcare centre looking after mentally and physically handicapped children.
In Singapore, we have pledged to donate a total of S$250,000 from 2018-2023, comprising annual donations of S$50,00 per year over 5 years, to the Singapore National Gallery to support and promote Singapore’s arts and cultural heritage.
In Canada, Taiga Building Products created the Taiga Community Fund to support customers and organisations in need through difficult times. The fund has made donations to recipients in every province in Canada, including Abbotsford Food Bank, Kelowna’s Women’s Shelter and Coast Mental Health in British Columbia, the Arthouse for Children and Youth and Children’s Aid Foundation of Halton in Ontario; and the Big Brothers Big Sisters Foundations in both Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island. We also provide scholarships to the children of our employees.
Taiga Building Products had made some significant donations in 2022 to various projects and initiatives in its communities, including C$30,000 to the Canadian Red Cross in support of the Hurricane Fiona recovery efforts in the Atlantic Region, C$10,000 to the Vancouver General Hospital Foundation, C$10,000 to the BC Children’s Hospital Oncology, and C$8,000 to the Blind Beginnings Gala, a local charity for blind youth.
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