Robin Cave shares why Czarnikow has become a Pride GameChanger
Meet Robin Cave, CEO of GameChanger Pride Partner, Czarnikow.
Having recently signed a new 4-year partnership agreement with Bhubesi Pride Foundation, we caught up with Robin to understand his and the company’s continued inspiration for the work of the charity.
Robin, you’ve known about Bhubesi Pride Foundation since 2013 – what drew your attention to the organisation initially?
“I first found out about Bhubesi Pride Foundation when I interviewed a potential employee (now a key part of the Czarnikow team), who mentioned the charity. I was immediately impressed by the values of the organisation and what a fantastic experience they offered those who got involved. We then got in touch with BPF to find out how we could help.”
We understand you’re a supporter of the game of rugby. What is it about the sport that transcends its values to people and communities who know little about it?
“In my mind, the most important values of rugby are respect and teamwork. Respect is perhaps the more obvious value, and here at Czarnikow we take it as an absolute must.
But I also like the fact that in rugby you have a lot of different people doing very different jobs (just look at how different a scrum half and a prop are, for example), all for a common goal. And in business it is exactly the same – a group of people doing a diverse set of tasks for overall success of the organisation.”
As the charity embarked on its fourth operational year in 2015, you decided to support the charity officially, through the business. What was Czarnikow’s commitment at that stage?
“We started off by helping to supply the charity with equipment – but have since had such a positive experience with the charity that they are now one of our official charity partners.”
What have you enjoyed seeing over the years?
“The most impressive thing has been the growth in ambition of Bhubesi Pride Foundation. We’ve been really impressed by just how much BPF aims to make such a lasting impact to the communities across Africa. Czarnikow has a very strong footprint in the countries visited by Bhubesi Pride Foundation, and it is important to us that we can support the local communities outside of our usual business activities.”
In recent months, you’ve learned of the charity’s broader ambitions: to grow and make a greater sustainable impact through its work in Africa; and to build a rugby club and community centre in Malawi. What steps has Czarnikow taken to further its involvement with Bhubesi Pride Foundation?
“When we heard about BPF’s plans to build a sport and community centre in Malawi we knew that this was the ideal project for us to increase our involvement with the charity. As mentioned earlier, this is a very important region for us and we want to help the charity to create a lasting legacy.
As such, we have committed to supporting the construction project financially, as well as providing funding to enable BPF to employ a local community outreach employee [BPF Development Officer, Wordsworth Rashid].
We look forward to seeing the build project develop, and also seeing the impact which Wordsworth will have in the work he is doing.”
Our new partnership – taking us through to at least 2021 – also enables employee engagement. By encouraging staff to think about the third sector – and, in your case, sending Czarnikow employees to join the Pride in Africa – are you leading a revolutionary approach within the commercial world? Do you feel companies need to think more creatively about how it tackles ‘good CSR’?
“I’m not sure if I would say revolutionary but it is certainly something we are very proud of as an organisation, although I’m sure that there is more we can do in the future.
We are very happy that Beth and Vanessa will get the opportunity to support Bhubesi Pride Foundation in Malawi this year. For us, it is a win-win, as it will allow cross-departmental team building and also be a great learning opportunity.
This is something which I believe is key to all CSR activities; it shouldn’t just be signing cheques, but instead building a long-term partnership which provides real benefits to both parties.”
Beth (from Czarnikow’s London office) and Vanessa (Miami) join the ‘Pride’ in Lilongwe in August to support the charity’s community work in the rural areas it engages, close to the build project site location.
If you’ve been inspired by this article and would like to talk to Robin at Czarnikow or the charity, to understand Pride Partnership opportunities and activities that would benefit your business, contact BPF’s Managing Director, Richard Bennett, on firstname.lastname@example.org