CSR, Corporate Social Responsibility

Halifax runs a CSR programme, through which it seeks to provide a contribution to the community in which it lives. Some recent activities have focused on helping our municipality to enhance the capacity of its civil society organisations, by providing training in planning and project design. We have also supported a local children’s theatre in an environmental awareness raising campaign. We try to find ways to use our particular expertise to further good causes in our local environment.

NALED (National Alliance for Local Economic Development) is an NGO that brings together organisations from all three sectors – private, public, civic – to promote reforms that will improve the environment for doing business. NALED has some 200 members, Halifax among them. We take an active part in NALED’s work. Halifax partner David Lythgoe currently chairs NALED’s ethics committee.

The municipality of Čukarica is the municipality where Halifax has its Belgrade  office. In concert with the municipal administration, Halifax took the initiative to support local civil society organisations. The goal is to help them produce good project proposals and improve their ability to fund their activities.

Halifax has been operating in Čukarica for over 6 years and it was only natural to start in our own community. With the support of the municipality we invited NGOs to take part in a series of workshops. An exploratory session was held to map out the organisations present and their needs. This was followed by a series of interactive workshops that specifically addressed their needs – strategic planning, project design, communication – taking into account their capacities and resources.

The organisations are remarkably diverse, showing a rich cultural life covering themes like ecology, sport health, children and art. Most are small organisations, with few sources of financing and no employees, but with good ideas and plenty of drive and enthusiasm.

Positive feedback from the participants encourages us to offer this model to other municipalities. It shows that local government, the private sector and civil society can work together for the benefit of the local community.

Children’s Theatre Čarapa – Children learn by seeing what we do, not by hearing what we say. As adults we have to show why it is important to look after our environment, our trees, our waters… We were pleased to be part of this wonderful initiative of the Children’s Theatre Čarapa in environmental awareness raising among young children. Old newspapers for a free ticket for the theatre play! Old cans for a free ticket for the theatre play! It was great fun for all of us!