News from the front of doing good: over 1,500 colleagues have already joined our CSR efforts in the first 11 months of the year
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The tradition of volunteering gets stronger roots with each passing year, with more and more colleagues taking time to teach and inspire those less fortunate, to donate, to plant, donate blood or learn how they can better protect our resources, learn about climate change and how they can reduce the impact of their actions on the environment.
In the first seven months of this year, more than 1,500 colleagues made their way into the programs to become volunteers in more than 250 activities, implemented together with our NGO partners. The activities ranged from protecting the environment or helping children or teachers, from areas with little access to information, keep up with school and learn new things, to supporting people with disabilities or in need to develop their skills and knowledge.
For example, together with Asociația pentru Dezvoltare Urbană we started the ARIS Academy courses, a hybrid educational program dedicated to people with disabilities who want to learn new things or improve their skills necessary to increase their chances of employment or getting a better job. And together with A.M.A.I.S. we supported blind people in practicing the skills and knowledge needed to carry out everyday activities and to achieve an independent lifestyle, while facilitating social contexts. These interactions were designed to bring the typical and the differently abled together to discuss about the challenges they face in a less accessible society, the help that can be offered and possible solutions.
Also, to ease the burden of the less fortunate, we continued to join forces with the Red Cross Romania – district 6 branch, with the associations Ana si Copiii, A.V.E or FDP – Protagoniști în educație, joining hands to collect things of necessity for the little ones or for their families. We were also involved alongside the associations’ teams in the efforts to sort the donations received or in the implementation of activities aimed at helping the vulnerable.
For example, on National Reading Day we collected a new book fund dedicated to schools and kindergartens supported by A.V.E. projects and we held classroom reading sessions. On Children’s Day over 200 colleagues helped to collect toys and educational games for 300 less fortunate children under the care of the association FDP – Protagoniști în educație.
And things did not stop there. Regarding education, which is one of the main areas we support at company level, together with NGOs like ETIC (Simplon Romania), World Vision Romania or the Progress foundation, we have been actively involved in helping children from rural or small urban areas, from families with limited possibilities, to enrich their school knowledge with notions about financial education, sustainable habits, about bullying and cyberbullying, about cyber security and assertive communication, about feedback and teamwork or how to speak in public, how to give a good presentation or cultivate your leadership qualities.
A great emphasis was placed on cultivating digital skills and the basics of programming or developing critical thinking so necessary to find a good job in the future labor market. Together with the Progress foundation, more than 1,000 children from rural areas were introduced to programming with the help of Arduino kits. And together with the Cartea Daliei association, during 1,300 hours of teaching, over 1,000 children acquired basic programming knowledge in Scratch, while also learning, depending on their level, more about A.I., Machine Learning and IoT or how to work with Python and C++.
In addition, together with Junior Achievement Romania, high school students from all over the country learned from our colleagues how they can identify their passions and strengths, choose a future profession or what knowledge and experience is needed to build a career in certain fields. Through online workshops and Q&A sessions, nearly 3,000 students were given career guidance, learning new things and answering questions they had in over 100 hours of volunteering.
The teaching sessions were also complemented by physical volunteering activities in which our colleagues, regardless of profession or seniority, joined forces to participate in the renovation of some schools or premises where educational activities were carried out. For example, ambassadors from our company together with our top management team joined efforts to whitewash a rural school under the care of the World Vision Romania foundation, preparing it to welcome the young students in the new school year. And the team from another department contributed to the renovation of the FDP association headquarters, whitewashing it to make it even more welcoming for the children who will learn there.
In addition, during the month of June, which has become the traditional “CSR Month” in our company, we organized the first edition of “CSR Fest”. An event during which our colleagues had the opportunity to meet the teams of our NGO partners with whom they work, to participate in workshops supported by the NGOs in order to learn how they can contribute to the decrease of functional illiteracy, to better understand the challenges of people with visual disabilities or to solve concrete problems in rural communities together with the children living where.
Special attention was given to the phenomenon of global warming, with more than 100 colleagues learning about the implications of climate change, the impact of our everyday actions, how we can protect resources, nature and reduce our carbon footprint. All these in the “Climate Fresk” interactive seminars done with the help of our facilitators.
Societe Generale Global Solution Centre Romania will continue to consider CSR a strategic business direction and will get involved in initiatives from this area with the help of each of its streams (Environmental Sustainability, Diversity and Inclusion, Citizenship, Sustainable IT and Sustainable Finance) in order to contribute to the creation of new opportunities and have a positive impact on the community of which it is a part of.
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