As The Adaptavist Group continues to grow and succeed, we continue to look at ways to reach beyond digital transformation for businesses to positively impact the global community and support causes that make a meaningful difference. I have been with The Adaptavist Group for over five years now, and in that time, I have always been grateful for the strong sense of community and heart that remains at the centre of everything we do. My colleague Phill Fox's recent blog describing the employee-led humanitarian trip to meet our Ukrainian colleagues from Rozdoum at the Polish border is such a testament to what makes The Adaptavist Group a special place to work and how and why the term ‘Adaptavist family’ still, somehow, seems fitting regardless of now including 800+ employees.
The recent devastation caused by the earthquake in Turkey and Syria is simply beyond comprehension. We immediately began looking into the best charities to support and ways we could help. Through The Adaptavist Group's recent acquisition of VenITure, we now have a significant number of Turkish colleagues, all of whom thankfully let us know they were safe. Still, a tragedy of this sheer scale and size leaves nobody unaffected. Following research and advice from our friends in Turkey, The Adaptavist Group chose to donate £10,000 to AKUT, https://www.akut.org.tr/. AKUT is a voluntary, non-governmental organisation and Turkey's largest search and rescue organisation. AKUT's values are volunteerism, reliability, helpfulness/humanitarianism and respect for human life, with a team of 200 permanent members and another 2000 volunteer members. Our thoughts remain with all those affected by the earthquake, and we continue to look for ways to help the region.
Over the past year, we have also formalised our longer-term partnership with Ascent Soccer to become one of their four Pillar Partners, with a focus on education. Ascent Soccer is a social impact organisation that transforms the lives of young men and women in some of East Africa's poorest countries by providing opportunities for comprehensive education, critical life skills and character development, combined with world-class soccer skill development. Harp Athwal and I have had the privileged task of working with Adrian Bradbury, co-founder of Ascent Soccer, to develop the partnership. From the outset, we have discussed ways in which we can assist beyond the financial help we are providing. At the beginning of 2023, a global, skilled team of Adaptavists ranging from senior designers to engineering team leads, to our Head of Solution Strategy, our Head of Licensing and Operations and our Head of Client Services came together to help deliver ongoing weekly website and coding development sessions to a class of Ascent Soccer scholars in Malawi. With 18 students participating through a virtual classroom on Zoom, we are helping the students to build essential digital skills to help them thrive in the modern world. Their enthusiasm is infectious, and we eagerly await the activities in each session to see the progress in their newfound knowledge. The ultimate goal is to help them develop their own websites and apps for products, hobbies and interests so that they can bring their innovative ideas to life. We are looking to start implementing mentoring and coaching sessions for the older scholars. There are discussions about a 1-week intensive Adaptavist-led tech and development camp at the Ascent Soccer campus in Malawi in 2024. Last week we hosted our first UK poker tournament in aid of Ascent Soccer, which built on the fundraising success of our Toronto poker night in November to raise a combined total across the two events of over £45,000 for the charity. The generosity, energy and spirit brought to each evening by Adaptavist staff, our partners and friends is a testament to the community we continue to build.
Meanwhile, in Toronto, we have made our offices a free space for the Toronto Arts Foundation, Planned Parenthood, the Make-a-Wish Foundation and other charitable organisations to host their activities, from meetings to larger-scale events. These are just a few of the ways Adaptavist is working to support the wider community. On a commercial level, much of The Adaptavist Group's success has been built on the strength of the Atlassian community. In turn, Atlassian's Pledge 1% has also inspired us to build a strong foundation for corporate philanthropy, encouraging and enabling Adaptavist employees to support the causes they care about, in and outside of work hours. Adaptavist was just announced as one of the Top 100 Most Flexible Employers, and this flexibility doesn't simply extend to working hours. It is also reflected in the flexibility and approachability of senior leaders, most notably our CEO Simon Haighton-Williams, which encourages anyone to come forward with an idea, a charity to discuss or a passion project to ask for support from the wider Adaptavist community. As we continue to expand the reach of what we do at The Adaptavist Group, collaborating with and contributing to charitable partners and organisations that positively impact communities and stretch our goals beyond digital transformation for businesses has added meaning, inspiration and purpose to all we do as a company.