Douglas OHI’s Ghala Village Revitalisation programme was named Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Initiative of the Year at the Construction Week Oman Awards 2018.
The gala ceremony was held at the Grand Hyatt Muscat hotel on Monday, 12 March, 2018.
Douglas OHI was recognised for benefiting 15,000 residents in one of Muscat’s oldest villages.
The Sports Fest organised by Douglas OHI to involve employees and raise funds for the project was also commended.
Finalists under the category included the Sustainable Architecture of Oman programme by Oman Radio, and Water Preservation Pond Cleaning and Blood Donation Camp by Larsen & Toubro (Oman).
Our corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiative has been to revitalise Ghala village, as part of our sustainability plan to achieve our outcome of having a positive social impact and going above and beyond in communities where we live and work.
Ghala village has a population of circa 15,000 nationals and is one of the oldest villages in Muscat. It is considered a tourist destination due to its hot spring which is said to have healing properties. Over the years, the village has however lost much of it lustre with buildings and surrounding areas falling into disrepair.
We identified this project through our approach to engaging with communities close to where we work. Through collaborating with the community, we undertook a thorough assessment of the work that would be required to revitalise the village and developed a plan to address this.
Whilst we were able to provide our expertise and manpower, it was also clear that some funding would be required to undertake the project. We applied for and secured a grant for OMR 1,600 from the Employee Foundation of our parent company (Interserve) in the UK and set about organising a Sports Fest as a way of involving our employees and raising further funds. Sports competitions took place over a period of a month with over 200 employees participating.
The work undertaken included civil work, electrical work, repair work, painting and tree planting, with our suppliers donating materials such as paint, cement, bricks and sand.
This initiative has contributed to the welfare of the wider community by creating a better environment for both villagers and visitors alike. The well-maintained facilities will enhance the local economy, with biodiversity also being enriched. Participation of our employees in the Sports Fest has also helped to ensure their health and wellbeing.
This initiative has contributed to the development of our employees by them gaining new skills and finding participation in both the restoration and the Sports Fest particularly rewarding, developing team spirit providing solid foundations for successful delivery of our projects.
This initiative has enhanced our reputation, bringing business benefits, including positive publicity and increased employee pride. Furthermore, we are continuing to build a long-term community relationship with ‘Together we build’, the youth organisation which we worked closely with on this project, and plan to work together with on future initiatives.
The deliverables of this initiative were to meet the needs of the community by revitalising Ghala village. This was successfully achieved over a period of 4 months with 314 volunteer days having taken place and positive feedback from the local community being received.