As Experian expands into a new geography, we identify the local community issues we can engage in. Eventually we provide a focused approach, supporting financial education and entrepreneurship, but often the starting point has to be a more immediate community need.
In Mumbai, this support was for a school for slum children in the largest slum in the city, Dharavi. The letter below from the Managing Director of Experian Emerging Markets, Richard Fiddis, to the Head of Global Corporate Responsibility, captures the essence of our project, which was completed in January 2010:
We had an amazing visit to the slum school last week and saw how the Experian money had been spent. It was most impressive to see the changes made since I last visited in February 2009: new toilet facilities, water purifier, washing facilities, tiled floors in the class rooms, secure storage in all the classrooms, chalk and notice boards, lab equipment, new desks, a fantastic computer suite, sun shades for the playground, playground equipment (slides, climbing frame etc) and musical equipment.
We had the red carpet laid out for us with dancing, singing, speeches, gifts and a big poster saying thank you from the children. I have sent you another email showing the before and after pictures — I hope it gets through the firewall. Worth noting that the new PC equipment is now in use more than 12 hours a day as they are running computer courses for the parents in the evenings!
Hopefully you can share with the Board the immense pride we all feel in the difference Experian has made.