Two years ago, one out of every four children born in Cross River State, Nigeria, did not reach the age of five. The cause was not an incurable disease, but instead a health care system ill-equipped to serve the basic needs of Cross River’s mothers and children. What began as a short-term volunteer project has helped to cut the region’s mortality rate nearly in half; a cross sector-partnership between IBM and the Cross River government is saving lives of mothers and children across the state, and providing education and financial assistance to those who need it.
The volunteer project that sparked this partnership is IBM’s Corporate Service Corps, a program in which IBM sends select employees into emerging markets on short-term pro bono assignments to build capacity for international NGOs in areas such as IT, finance, marketing, human resources, and project management. In the case of Cross River, the Corporate Service Corps (CSC) teams were asked to assist in carrying out Projects HOPE and Comfort, a state-driven initiative designed to address the crisis.
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