Aviva presented with Canadian Red Cross 2017 Partners in Humanity Award

Topics: Emergencies and Disasters in Canada, Our Impact on the Ground, Philanthropy News
November 01, 2017

A group of Aviva Canada employees

A group of Aviva Canada employees in Mississauga, Ont. who participated in the 2017 Global Mapathon.

For their continued commitment to working with the Canadian Red Cross in strengthening the resiliency of Canadians and communities around the world, Aviva Canada has been presented with the 2017 Partners in Humanity Award.

Ann Clancy, Canadian Red Cross Chief of Staff, presented the award to Aviva Canada President and CEO Greg Somerville at a ceremony on October 13 at Aviva Canada headquarters in Markham, Ont. The ceremony kicked off the second annual Aviva Global Mapathon, an event which sees Aviva Canada employees from coast-to-coast helping to put vulnerable communities on the map.

“Aviva Canada’s commitment and leadership with the Red Cross is exemplary," Clancy said. "Their strong culture of volunteerism and engagement is something to be much admired, and I was honoured to present the Canadian Red Cross’ Partners in Humanity award to Aviva Canada.”

Aviva Canada joined the Canadian Red Cross as a national corporate partner of the Ready When the Time Comes program in 2015, helping to provide essential relief and recovery support to Canadians affected by disasters. In 2016, Aviva became the national Founding Community Health and Wellness Partner of the Canadian Red Cross, enabling the Red Cross to address the growing health needs of Canadians.

The Partners in Humanity Award recognizes corporate partners that make an impact at the national or international level, engage volunteers, enhance the reach of the Canadian Red Cross, and promote the Fundamental Principles of the Red Cross Red Crescent Movement.

On a national level, Aviva‘s partnership has assisted thousands of Canadians affected by disasters and hundreds more through their support of domestic and international emergency appeals.

Since 2015, over 680 Aviva staff and brokers have registered with the Ready When the Time Comes program. Aviva volunteers have been deployed on multiple Canadian Red Cross operations such as the Alberta Fires appeal, and the New Brunswick Ice storm and Spring Floods appeal.

“I believe in paying it forward. You hope that if you were in that situation, people would be there to help you,” says Stephanie Robinson, an Aviva employee from Calgary who was a frontline volunteer during the Alberta Fires response.

Second-Annual Aviva Mapathon

Following the awards ceremony, over 340 Aviva Canada employees logged on to Missing Maps to help create digital maps of the world’s ‘forgotten’ places, helping international and local humanitarian agencies respond better to crises affecting those areas.

Along with fellow Aviva employees throughout Asia and Europe, they mapped an impressive 77,656 buildings and 11,062 km of roads to help the Red Cross increase the flood and earthquake resilience of households in Peru, Nepal and Bangladesh.

Missing Maps is a relatively new "crowdsourced" solution to limited or non-existent mapping availability in developing countries and has been used in disaster responses in Malawi, Haiti and Northern Guinea, among others.

Through an online portal, satellite images are overlaid onto OpenStreetMap software and volunteers can trace the outline of buildings, roads, parks and rivers using an easy point-and-click tool. When the satellite image is removed a digital city map is produced that is open source and free forever. Missing Maps aims to create digital maps of the world’s ‘forgotten’ places to help international and local humanitarian agencies respond better to crises affecting the area.

Check out Aviva Canada’s mappers in action: