Niveda practises writing the alphabet at her school in the village of Chinnangudi. She is one of 232 children from remote areas who benefit from both the teaching and the nutritious free meals on offer here. Her school is called The Samsung School of Hope, in honour of the company whose employees financed its foundation. Chinnangudi is located in the district of Nagapattinam in the South Indian state of Tamil Nadu, one of the country’s most severely affected areas during the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami. As part of its CSR initiatives, Samsung’s staff raised US$ 2 million for United Way International’s South Asia Tsunami Response Fund. Phillips and SAP Labs also lent their support to the school’s establishment, which has been under the guidance and management of the Indian non-profit, HOPE foundation.

Within just a few hours of the tsunami striking that year, HOPE foundation’s staff were on the ground in Nagapattinam. Since then, they’ve worked tirelessly to help communities get back on their feet by re-establishing education for children, offering vocational training for young people and providing access to microfinance to the fisherfolk who urgently needed alternative income sources.

Niveda’s favourite subject is Science. She says she will strive to become a scientist one day, so that she can help humanity in her own way. Behind this image lies real aspiration and the positive transformation of a devastated village, now capable of producing excellent students. With the right combination of words, text and colour, visual storytelling holds the power to really bring home the impact of the efforts of Samsung’s workforce. Images like this one not only convince other employees to participate in CSR initiatives, they also remind us of the humanity beyond corporate labels.


Businesses respond to natural disaster

CSR, disaster response, education, children

HOPE foundation

Nagapattinam, Tamil Nadu, India

Camera settings
50mm, ISO 320, 1/125, f/2.0


Robin Wyatt