In recent years, ILAC has continually expanded its Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives, developing a business practice in which success is measured not only by customer satisfaction but also by positive social impact.
“The reason we have done this is that we feel we are leaders in the industry,” said ILAC Executive Director Jonathan Kolber. “Being a great company is not about maximizing profits, rather it means understanding that we have to respect and give back to all stakeholders. For ILAC, stakeholders include customers, employees, the environment, the community we live in, our homestay families, and supporting education in general.”
ILAC’s Corporate Social activities include:
ILAC supports Daughters for Life (DFL), a charity founded by three-time Nobel Peace prize nominee, Dr. Izzeldin Abuelaish. The foundation was born out of the loss of three of his daughters in the Israel-Gaza War of 2008-2009.
The DFL foundation is committed to bringing disadvantaged Middle Eastern women to Canada on scholarships.
“ILAC shares Dr. Abuelaish’s vision of promoting change and tolerance through education, especially for women,” said Jonathan Kolber. “The greater role women have in a society, the greater that society is.”
DFL Scholarship candidates are young women who live with hardship and have high academic achievement. Exposure to Canada and its cultural diversity broadens their outlook and helps them develop into comprehensively educated women who will give back to their own communities.
ILAC initially donated $200,000 in education, accommodation and cash scholarships for academic achievement and has continued to contribute each year as the Platinum Sponsor of the DFL Annual Gala.
· Raising Awareness of the Political Process in Canada
ILAC regularly organizes events for their alumni and various cultural groups in Canada, inviting them to meet with important political figures. Last year, World Student Day attracted hundreds of international students, and ILAC invited Toronto’s Mayoral candidates and government ministers to address the gathering.
ILAC has also sponsored and hosted numerous events for the large Russian and Latin communities in Toronto.
“It gives our alumni a chance to be part of the democratic process in Canada and to trust that our democracy can work for them also,” said Jonathan Kolber.
· Scholarships and other relief efforts
Remaining focused on educational causes, ILAC has also donated money to relief efforts in Japan and Colombia, and offered scholarships to Japanese students who needed them.
“A final point: I think when a company chooses CSR, they should choose one cause and stay focused on it,” Jonathan Kolber said. “That way it can be sustainable and managed well.”
More on Corporate Social Responsibility read an article on Study Travel Magazine.