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Grab to partner with deaf drivers

Sok Chan / Khmer Times Share:
Sun Chanthol, Minister for Public Works and Transport (second from left), Hashim Alkaff, Country Head, Grab Cambodia (M), Veth Sokhim, Grab staff and Nick Beresford, UNDP Resident Representative. Supplied

Grab, Southeast Asia’s leading ride-hailing app, announced yesterday the launch of two new initiatives in Cambodia under its ‘Grab for Good’ social impact programme. A company-wide commitment by Grab to create positive social and economic impact through technology.

The two new initiatives are Break the Silence: empowering the deaf and Persons with Disabilities, and Anti-human trafficking: combating violence in Cambodia.

Hashim Alkaff, country head of Grab Cambodia, said that Grab’s ‘Break The Silence’ is an initiative dedicated to making the Grab platform more accessible and inclusive, opening up more income opportunities, for the deaf and hearing-impaired.

He added that programmes are already running in Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand, where Grab now has over 600 deaf driver-partners and plans to double this number over the coming year.

Grab Cambodia will work with the Deaf Development Programme (DDP), and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Cambodia, to understand, implement and advocate for inclusive practices to better support the deaf and other disabled people.

“These include messages prompts to alert passengers that they have been paired with a deaf partner, advising them to use the GrabChat feature to communicate and in-vehicle communication flip cards,” said Alkaff.

He said that the second major initiative announced by Grab Cambodia is a training programme for its driver-partners to raise awareness against human trafficking, and empower stakeholders to take appropriate action, recognise and report suspicious activity to relevant authorities.

In partnership with anti-trafficking NGOs Liberty Shared Cambodia and Child Helpline Cambodia, Grab will conduct training online via the driver-app and offline in classroom sessions to 10,000 driver-partners by June 2020, he added.

“Grab is committed to promoting digital empowerment, accessibility and inclusion for all in Southeast Asia. Today, in Cambodia, we launched two initiatives leveraging our technology, products and services.

We want everyone, regardless of background or ability, to have access to financial independence and have peace of mind whenever they use our products and services,” said Hashim Alkaff, Country Head, Grab Cambodia.

Sun Chanthol, Minister for Public Works and Transport, welcomed the initiatives from Grab and called on more companies to follow Grab’s lead in driving positive social and social impact through their businesses.

He said that the Cambodian government always appreciates and encourages good corporate citizenship and Grab has strived to live up to this by launching today for the first time in Cambodia their Social Impact Programs.

“The Ministry of Public Works and Transport has had a strong partnership with Grab through the SUMAI project co-partnered also with UNDP and looks forward to more socially meaningful programs from Grab in the future,” Sun added.

UNDP is proud to work with MPWT and Grab in our SUMAI programme, that aims to make transport systems that are greener and safer for all Cambodians, said Nick Beresford, UNDP Resident Representative.

For the first time in Cambodia, we are systematically examining road traffic accident data. By better understanding the problem we can design policies and programmes that are more effective in saving lives and protecting road users, he added.

“We want to see transport systems that work for everyone and are getting ready to introduce solutions that work better for persons with disabilities both as passengers and as drivers,” said Beresford.

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