By Dilara Zengin
The UN Global Compact platform named leading Turkish mobile phone operator Turkcell's CEO Kaan Terzioglu as one of the 10 Sustainable Development Goal pioneers for the company's Hello Hope mobile app for the Syrian refugees, Turkcell announced Friday.
Turkcell is the only Turkish company awarded by the world’s largest corporate sustainability initiative for supporting refugees through mobile technology, a statement said.
Terzioglu said the Hello Hope mobile app "aims to break the communication barrier facing more than 3 million Syrian refugees living in Turkey".
Noting the "vital" importance of smart phones for "our Syrian guests", Terzioglu said Turkcell sought to "make the refugees' lives easier" with their digital services.
Launched on Sept. 20, 2016, the app aims to address the challenge of integration for Syrian refugees through teaching language skills, providing instant speech translation, guidance on registration and other essential services.
Since then, the app has reached more than 500,000 users, with 350 million Turkish-language card views and more than 8 million uses of the speech translation feature to date, demonstrating the need for and the potential of such solutions, according to Turkcell.
Total's CEO Patrick Pouyanne, Microsoft's Managing Director Sonia Bashir Kabir, Schneider Electric South America's President Tania Conte Cosentino are among the other business leaders recognized by the UN Global Compact for their "exceptional work" to advance the UN's 17 Sustainable Development Goals.
The initiative supports companies to do business by aligning their strategies and operations with its principles on human rights, labor, environment and anti-corruption. It also supports companies to take strategic actions to advance broader societal goals, such as the SDGs.
UN Sustainable Development Goals were adopted in 2015 to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all.