Astellas has run a social contribution program called the Astellas Emerging Countries Empowerment Program (AECEP) since fiscal 2016.
The AECEP is a program that allows Astellas employees to utilize individual specialist expertise, skills and experience to help address societal issues in emerging countries in partnership with local enterprises and non-governmental organizations (NGO). After completing a 1.5-month preparation period, employees volunteering as AECEP participants are assigned for a limited period of 3.5 months to work at a partner enterprise or NGO engaged in projects to develop solutions benefiting society in the recipient country.
Partners are selected from among local enterprises and NGOs involved in addressing medical, health and safety issues or environmental problems. Gaining a valuable learning experience through the cooperation of committed leaders and community members when addressing local social issues, participants can also contribute to building and improving partners’ systems by leveraging their personal experience and abilities to help maximize the effectiveness of their activities. The reciprocal and equal nature of this relationship is the key characteristic of the AECEP in terms of contributing to society.
In the year ended March 2020, the fourth year of the program, two employees were selected as participants. One was assigned to an organization in Cambodia that is involved in planning and holding medical-related events to disseminate proper medical knowledge to patients through doctors and nurses. By understanding a different culture and working out methods to communicate, the participant increased teamwork with the local co-workers and worked with them to hold business seminars for the doctors or medical staffs as well as medical check-up events for citizens. Consequently, the medical knowledge of audiences was enhanced and the expansion of the range of the organization’s activities was achieved.
The other participant was assigned to an organization in India that is working on a comprehensive approach for healthcare and public health for the impoverished and the socially vulnerable. The participant contributed by creating a self-medication manual for issues related to the prevention of diseases that have been revealed from patients’ examination environment field surveys. The participant delivered results while running into the large wall that is differences between the participant and colleagues who have gathered from various countries regarding how to proceed with work and the sense of values, and received warm words of gratitude from members of his assigned organization.
The invaluable experiences that can be obtained through AECEP—getting away from daily work and pursuing one’s own potential in an emerging country while newly creating value for society—also have major significance for Astellas from the standpoint of human resource development.
“Embrace Change and Challenge” is included in the “Our People” section of our HR Vision, and Astellas will also continue promoting AECEP for this reason: to help develop human resources with a long-term, strategic thinking ability who are truly capable of taking on challenges with a sense of ownership. Astellas will work to solve social issues faced by people around the world while working together with various stakeholders.
Astellas employee involved in the operation of events aiming to spread team members and doctors in Cambodia (center)
Astellas employee working on healthcare issues for the impoverished with staff members from the organization in India (second from the left in the back row)