Amid all the chatter and debate about smartphone models and market share, it's easy to forget that BlackBerry also gets involved in charitable activity.
The Waterloo mobile computing company is sending 50 students from Waterloo Region to two villages in Kenya and India for three weeks this summer to help build schools, plant trees and learn about the local culture.
It's the third year in a row that BlackBerry has partnered with Free The Children to send local students to Eor Ewuaso, Kenya, and Bagad, India. One hundred students in the first two years build six classrooms in the Kenyan village and three in the Indian village.
Two more classrooms will be completed this summer by the students, aged 14-18.
The venture is part of BlackBerry's adopt a village program. Free The Children was started in 1995 by international activist Craig Kielburger.
Students were selected for the program because of their dynamism, passion, leadership qualities and contributions to the local community, BlackBerry said in a news release.
Meanwhile, another local company is also pitching in for a worthy cause.
Economical Insurance of Waterloo is donating $21,390 to aid victims of the devastating floods in Alberta in June. The company matched employees' donations to boost the total.
More than $18,000 will go to the Canadian Red Cross and the balance to the Calgary Food Bank, the company said in a release.
"When Economical's catastrophe response team deployed to Alberta on June 23, many were shaken by the devastation they witnessed," said Chris Weber, regional vice-president for Economical's western region.