In 2015, a group of SeaLanders, touched by a community activity that had been organized by SeaLand, asked our CEO Craig Mygatt if we could become more involved with communities. Inspired by this, we set out to design a focused community giving program that would support local expression. We partnered with The Collaboration Vector Inc., whose approach was transformative and one in which SeaLanders became engaged with non-profit partners to generate innovative solutions to community challenges. Along the journey, 33 SeaLanders provided input into the design of our policy as we proactively engaged in discussions with non-profit partners in our various countries. We aligned with 3 of the UN Sustainable Development Goals and went on to secure multiple partnerships that we intend to nurture over the long-term.
Our program is about engagement, action, and impact. Following an intensive engagement phase, SeaLanders led multiple relationship building initiatives to help secure partnerships. They designed creative volunteer activities during the action phase. Now in the impact phase, measuring social and business impact is supporting long-term adjustment and informing maintain, divest, and invest decisions. Employee engagement with the company is highly favorable in relation to the program. On the social impact side, we completed one social impact study and have 2 more underway. All non-profit agreements, to the extent possible, are based on progress on social impact parameters. With our partner in Panama, we catalyzed an office recycling movement that we are happy to report, has the potential to extend well beyond SeaLand’s reach!
We proactively researched and partnered with non-profit organizations in communities within which SeaLand operates. SeaLanders believed that these organizations had the potential to significantly impact at least one of our three prioritized sectors. Each partner qualified on a series of additional project-related parameters.
SeaLand and its partner Costa Recicla, with the help of SeaLanders commonly referred to as “The Green Team” and “The Green Heroes”, implemented a recycling program in the office in Panama that has gained momentum through exposure to additional businesses. The initiative supports Costa Recicla’s efforts to create the first green project in Costa de Este by reducing large amounts of garbage that now go into streets, rivers and the sea.
SeaLand is working with FEM International to transfer trade and logistics expertise to WAYUU women from 10 artisanal communities in Northern Colombia’s Guajira region. The program aims to promote trade of these indigenous women’s unique products that carry the rich, colorful cultural heritage of the country. In doing so, SeaLand and FEM International aim to strengthen the economic and social conditions of WAYUU communities.
SeaLand and The DREAM Project are building a library in Virgen de Carmen school in Santo Domingo where reading will be emphasized as an instrument of change. SeaLanders will participate in the implementation of the school’s reading programs and work directly with students lacking in basic reading skills. The partnership is in direct response to the critical state of literacy education in the Dominican Republic.
SeaLand and its partner Humanity & Hope United Foundation are supporting a thriving pig business led by women with passion and vision in La Coroza, Honduras. Previously unemployed or marginally employed women from this small community work full time to build this sustainable business to support their families and enrich their community. A formal study is measuring the return on investment of the pig project as well as its impact on the women and on the community.
In Mexico City, SeaLand is supporting EDUCA’s quality improvement program in SEDAC school. EDUCA measures the school’s performance before and after program implementation for each academic year and compares it with state-wide benchmarks. The program aims to improve much needed access to quality education in impoverished regions of Mexico. SeaLanders will attend annual benchmarking events and are assessing the feasibility of in-school volunteering.
Working with Outreach360, SeaLanders went to Jinotega to deliver creative educational activities that engaged children’s active participation in learning about shipping and logistics, customer service, and sales. Plans are in place for long-term engagement with the children who often do not have the privilege of “a life of choice” nor the opportunity to stay in school and graduate high school well qualified to attend college or obtain gainful employment.
Working with LEEO, SeaLanders aim to connect educational with economic opportunities for students attending Plantation High School by preparing them for the workplace or higher education. SeaLander volunteers developed an 8-session project case study to guide students through a simulated business case where student teams worked on a logistics supply chain challenge. The program incorporates career skills development, including coaching on the creation of an effective resume, interview skills, and presentation skills.
SeaLand and His House Children’s Home partnered in Miramar, Florida to create the BEYOND mentorship program. Carefully designed with expert advice and based on research, the program aims to reduce school drop-out rates among foster children by helping youth succeed and thrive in school and in life. Now officially launched, a formal business and social impact study accompanies it.
Engaging with our communities in a transformative way is helping us become a better company. It provides a purpose-filled channel for extending SeaLanders’ can-do attitude beyond the doors of our organization and promotes leadership and problem-solving skills that can be translated to client and other stakeholder interactions. We are delighted to be engaging, acting, and impacting our communities in a way true to our core values and meaningful for our non-profit partners, communities, employees and our company.