Our engagement for SDG 1: No poverty
With Sustainable Development Goal 1 No Poverty, the first of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the UN aim to end poverty worldwide. Even though SDG1 is considered to be one of the most difficult SDGs to contribute to as a company, at Johnson & Johnson we are trying to make a difference. We do so through our partnership with the organization ArmenTeKort, which is dedicated to counteract disadvantaged poverty in society.
Peggy van Casteren (Head of Community Impact J&J Benelux), Mathias Crab (Lead Fundraising and Organization Development ArmenTeKort) and Theo Vaes (Co-initiator ArmenTeKort) explained about this unique partnership.
Disadvantaged poverty is that part of poverty that prevents social mobility. ArmenTeKort wants to remove the structural obstacles that prevent someone from climbing the social ladder. By mobilizing volunteers, called the opportunity providers, the opportunity seekers are stimulated to strengthen their self-esteem and create more opportunities in securing housing, learning, and employment. Peggy explains the link with Johnson & Johnson: "Missing these factors has a huge impact on a person's health; in our pursuit of health equity and sustainable health for all, there is no place for poverty".
For people living in disadvantaged poverty, it is imported to feel included in society and to be seen as a person in their own right. Theo explains why our colleagues are particularly suited to make disadvantaged people feel that they do count: " An innovative company like Johnson and Johnson employs many exceptional talents. We are always looking for people with these kind of talents, because we know that these people have another dimension within them. If we can address that dimension, we create a gigantic lever"! In the collaboration with ArmenTeKort, we make optimal use of the competences within our company. We call this competence based volunteering. Our IT department, for example, is helping ArmenTeKort to expand their online platform.
Focus on self-esteem and self-respect
‘Buddies should not 'offer help'’, that is the message ArmenTeKort is giving the opportunity providing people who follow the buddy training. This training is completely focused on empowering underprivileged people and letting someone's self-esteem grow by giving unconditional attention. Peggy has also followed this training: "In comparison to the numerous amount of training courses that I have attended in the field of leadership, I have never received such a good training as that of ArmenTeKort, because it is really about empowering people. If you can do that, by looking at others equally and without judgement, then you can really lead a team, and if we do more with empowering people, both professionally and personally, then we can really make a difference"!
Other sustainability initiatives
The collaboration with ArmenTeKort is only one example of the many sustainability initiatives of Janssen. Curious about other initiatives? Discover more about how we are committed to the other Sustainable Development Goals!