Scripta is an advertising agency that works closely with Belgium's daily press. Scripta would often invite its clients on leisure excursions to distant, sunny and expensive destinations.
Applying SCRIPTA's expertise to aid development efforts in Senegal
1. Organizational Governance
Relations with stakeholders
Scripta decided to "break the rules" by introducing a real added value as part of these trips. The goal is to apply the firm's expertise as a professional in the world of communications to benefit the underprivileged populations of Dakar.
After months of evaluation and daylong collaboration sessions spent with NGOs partnering in the initiative (Frères des hommes in Belgium, Enda Graf in Senegal), the first reconnaissance trip was organized in February 2003. In all, 80 clients volunteered to join the effort. Each participant was hosted by Enda Graf, which explains through a series of 4 workshops its fight against urban poverty. Upon their return, all volunteers were keen on advancing to the next action phase.
In June 2003, they created a nonprofit association called "BAOBAB" to provide a durable framework for their action plan. For these communications experts, the goal was to draw upon their creativity, energy and resources to raise the profile of development projects through, for example, designing comic books, producing plays on stage.
BAOBAB is fueled by its 43 members and both rallies support for initiatives and collects funds. An evening gala and a newspaper specially published for the occasion helped raise €50,000 to finance these initial projects. The association's first tangible accomplishment consisted of purchasing a parcel of land to build a house serving as a welcome center and source of income for Enda Graf. Other trips followed, focusing in 2004 on distributing microloans and in 2006 on establishing "food sovereignty".
In support of these projects, the "Last Hour of the Year" operation generated some positive fundraising; according to this operation, all professionals in the communications sector were invited to Belgium to contribute the wage equivalent of one hour's worth of work to benefit BAOBAB, based on the notion that the year's last working hour is rarely spent productively.
CONTRIBUTION TO COMPANY PERFORMANCE
- Revamped corporate image: an innovative and efficient ad agency.
- Promote North-South exchanges
- In Belgium, communications professionals are given the opportunity to experience a unique form of action
- Scripta employees get a sense of renewed purpose and return with a different perspective.