Vikas Mehta, Chief Executive Officer, Ogilvy Africa. [PHOTO -COURTESY]

 Ogilvy Africa, through its ‘Give’ initiative, has partnered with Terumo Blood and Cell Technologies to embark on a humanitarian initiative through Coalition of Blood for Africa (CoBA) to support adequate, safe and sustainable blood donation in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The CoBA coalition, convened by Terumo BCT, will be rolling out an information, awareness and education campaign via traditional and social media to rally safe and sustainable blood donation across Sub Sahara Africa.

According to Terumo, most blood donors across the continent are college and university going students but with the onset of Covid-19 pandemic this year and the subsequent closure of learning institutions, the levels of blood available for patients is significantly low. This campaign is targeting to inspire healthy adults in South Saharan Africa countries to donate blood during this critical time and even thereafter.

Ogilvy Africa, one of the largest communications agency network in Africa, has been supporting several organizations across the region by offering its services and counsel, pro-bono and on humanitarian pricing. Since the onset of Covid – 19 pandemic earlier this year, the agency has significantly scaled up its initiative – Give – to support more initiatives in several countries in Africa.

The Ogilvy Give was created in 2019 and first implemented by their offices in Nairobi, Kenya. The aim of the initiative, at the time, was to support and equip young talents from underprivileged communities with various creative skills through Give Time and Give Space

“With the world in crisis, we need to find new ways to serve the societies that have contributed so much to our business over the years. We’ve accelerated the Give initiative this year to help non-governmental organizations (NGOs), private companies and other bodies doing humanitarian work across sectors, markets and countries in Africa. Communication strategies are often a need-gap in community programmes. We do enjoy doing marketing and communication strategies for businesses and corporate organizations  that help them succeed, but when the same skills come in handy for a humanitarian purpose, its significance feels far more satisfying,”  said Vikas Mehta, chief executive officer, Ogilvy.Africa.

“It was heartening to see so many of our colleagues put their hands up and offer support to these great causes. We are delighted to be a part of CoBA and welcome them to the Ogilvy Africa family. Having built this momentum, our intent is to make Ogilvy Give, an ongoing programme  and continue supporting people fighting the good fight,”  he added.

Since the start of the pandemic in March 2020, Ogilvy has accelerated The Ogilvy Give initiative to several countries across Africa and has partnered with different bodies. The agency has been providing its partners with its expertise on communication strategy, behavioural-science consulting, creative, public relations and influence, digital marketing, media planning and buying.

Some of the notable partnerships under Ogilvy Give include:  Jenga Jirani Festivalin partnership with the Jonathan Jackson Foundation .This was a festival that brought  together over  fifty  local artists to perform in a vision of raising funds to help communities affected by the Covid -19 pandemic. Secondly is HBCCthrough a partnership between UK Aid, Department for International Development (DFID) and Unilever, with the aim to limit the spread of infections by improving hygiene practices in over thirty countries across the world, including Kenya.

Thirdly, the National Business Compact on Coronavirus(NBCC) in partnership with Amref Health Africa, a coalition that  mobilizes  action and support  of corporates in countering the Covid-19 pandemic. In the same vein,  The Ministry of Health Zambia where Ogilvy Africa partnered with local media houses to sensitize and educate the public on hand washing and social distancing as a way of helping the government drive awareness and consumer education towards adopting pro-social behaviour. Ogilvy Africa has also supported initiatives of Africa CDC and Bill & Melinda GatesFoundation. Ogilvy Give initiative now spans Ogilvy Africa’s offices in Nairobi, Dar-Es-Salaam, Accra, Lagos, Lusaka and partners in several other countries across Sub-Saharan Africa.



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