KUALA LUMPUR, August 19 – Each year, thousands of staff from across the global offices of Swiss pharmaceutical company Roche will put on their walking shoes in support of children in need who deserve a helping hand towards a brighter future.
In Malaysia, the scenario is no different, but is marked by an additional ‘achievement’ this year. After two years of raising funds virtually due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the staff from Roche Pharmaceuticals, Diagnostics and Services and Solutions divisions came together with renewed fervour to successfully raise the highest funds to date of RM63,200 for disadvantaged children.
These funds are being equally channelled to Rumah Kanak-Kanak Triniti and Shelter Home for Children to help them continue to provide food, shelter, clothing, guidance, and care for vulnerable children.
“It’s been great to witness the energy, excitement and enthusiasm of staff rallying together to support needy children in Malaysia. As a community of colleagues, we have found much joy in meaningfully doing our part to make a difference, backed by the knowledge that we are all part of a heart-warming global movement to drive betterment and empower change in society,” said Deepti Saraf, general manager of Roche Malaysia.
“It has also brought us closer together as a team,” she added.
For two months, Roche Malaysia employees have been organising various fundraising initiatives, from bidding events that saw leadership team members showcasing their talents to booth sales that included sales of employee designed T-shirts, caps, and umbrellas.
It culminated with a walk involving more than 400 Roche employees from the Roche office in Sunway Pinnacle to Sunway University. The physical walk was held after a two-year hiatus, although other fundraising initiatives continued during the pandemic.
Roche Children’s Walk is the company’s largest employee driven fundraising event to give back to society by supporting projects through the legally independent global charity Roche Employee Action and Charity Trust (Re&Act), as well as local projects in over 60 countries where it operates.
“During the Covid-19 pandemic, our expenses depleted our funds and we ran into financial difficulty. The funds from the 2021 Roche Children’s Walk was a lifeline for us. We are appreciative of Roche’s contribution as we are not regular recipients of public donations,” said Mary Moses, administrator of Rumah Kanak-Kanak Trinity.
“We have significant monthly expenses which include rental, food supplies and other necessities especially now that schools are reopened. Roche’s contribution enables us to carry on our work in providing a safe and comfortable home for the children. Our biggest wish is to get a permanent home instead of paying a hefty rental, so that the children can have a secure place to stay.”
Each year has seen an uptake of involvement by Roche staff globally, with 2021 surpassing previous records with 26,000 people from 138 sites across 60 countries involved. In 2020, 18,000 staff took part.
With Roche’s 125th anniversary happening this year, the company expects to record significant involvement to mark the milestone celebration.
Jerry Choo, public relations executive at Shelter Home for Children, said Roche’s initiative has also spurred the welfare organisation in fulfilling its mission of providing shelter to abused, abandoned, neglected and at-risk children, and in developing them into mature and responsible members of society.
“The Roche Children’s Walk initiative serves to motivate us to work harder to achieve the mission of ensuring that these children are given a chance in life through proper sheltering and nurturing. This allows them to become effective and productive members of society in the future,” he said.
Choo added that the home was grateful to be selected as fund recipient for the second year. “Last year’s funds helped pay for tuition for the children to improve on their weak subjects. We also supported two residents to pursue a vocational course to study culinary arts and a Foundation course.”
Since the first Roche Children’s Walk in 2003, more than 274,000 Roche employees have raised over CHF21 million (RM98 million) in donations for children’s projects relating to education, nutrition, primary healthcare and social development around the world. All funds raised are matched by the company.