SUPPORTING LOCAL ASSOCIATIONS
D’Ieteren is a major player in the association landscape in Belgium. In response to increasing demand and in the interest of ethical conduct and transparency, D’Ieteren Auto has set out its Give & Gain sponsorship policy in successive phases. This policy is designed to meet three aims. The first is to target D’Ieteren Auto’s support at causes aligned with its activities and social commitments. The second to encourage solidarity among staff members and to recognise those employees already active within a non-profit organisation. The third is to embed D’Ieteren Auto’s citizenship role. Give & Gain is divided into three areas of activity:
- volunteering: since 2010, D’Ieteren Auto has given its employees the opportunity to devote a day of their working time to a charitable project. The programme covers a wide variety of chosen associations and activities, in order to encourage as many employees as possible to volunteer. Examples include supporting the elderly or homeless people, working in social restaurants, working with children separated from their parents, or in homework or literacy recovery schools, working at nature reserves, etc. These “Give & Gain Days” take place over a two-week period, during which around 300 people from all departments and all levels give their time as a team to support associations.
- call for projects: two years ago, D’Ieteren Auto introduced a new initiative: a call for projects, which invites employees to approach the company with proposals to support associations with a socially responsible mobility project. The projects are selected by an internal committee, on the basis of a clearly defined set of criteria. The call for projects is open to a wide variety of associations, with the sole requirement that the project must be connected with the theme of mobility.
- long-term programmes: this aspect involves longer-term investment in wide-ranging social projects that deliver genuine change, and that are closely related to the theme of socially responsible mobility. These long-term programmes were developed extensively in 2014, and two programmes 46 are ready for deployment in 2015, over a period of three years:
- Road safety awareness campaigns for young people who have dropped out of school or from underprivileged backgrounds. This programme, developed in conjunction with IBSR, aims to help these young people to act responsibly and reduce the number and severity of road traffic accidents;
- Access to practical driving licence assessment for underprivileged people. In partnership with VAB and Total Belgium, D’Ieteren Auto is funding driving lessons for people who would benefit from greater employment opportunities with a driving licence. This programme, known as Licence to Work, is coordinated by Mobiel 21, an association that promotes sustainable mobility for all. One of its aims is to assist with social integration for people in social and/or financial difficulty by providing accessible mobility.
SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY – GIVING BACK
Belron believes that it has an obligation to give back to the communities in which it operates with many of the countries working with local charities and organisations. As these Giving Back agendas are driven by the individual business unit, they can focus their efforts and energy where they can really make a difference to their local communities. The Belron people select the charities that mean the most to them and work on ways to donate money and assets such as computers, as well as creating opportunities to fundraise, volunteer and share skills.
In addition to local activities, Belron continues to have a strong partnership with South African charity, Afrika Tikkun. The participation of hundreds of Belron employees each year in the London Triathlon has been a significant fundraiser for over 10 years. In 2014, Belron decided to host its own triathlon. The event took place at Dorney Lake in the UK and saw over a 1,000 employees from 22 countries taking part and raising money for Afrika Tikkun.
With the event being exclusive to Belron they included more disciplines, including, for the first time, a super sprint distance and a 5 km fun run/walk to encourage more people to take part. The event was a great success and a survey of participants rated it as the best triathlon ever. The fundraising for the event was also a great success with over EUR 600,000 being raised for the Job Readiness Programme which is run across all six of the Afrika Tikkun Centres of Excellence. This amount enables the charity to reach more young people in the communities to ensure they are given all the support necessary to help them break the cycle of poverty.
Once again the Belron employees were joined by three young athletes from the Afrika Tikkun sports programme. Phumzile Valashiya, Lebogang Mashbela and Precious Hlaka spoke during the event about their experiences in South Africa and how the charity has supported them. They commented on how the involvement of Afrika Tikkun in their lives had brought focus and hope to their future.
During the first week of March, six Belron employees went to South Africa to see how the fundraising for Afrika Tikkun through the annual triathlon and other events in the businesses across the world, helps thousands of disadvantaged children through the charity.
Over the course of five days, the group spent time in Johannesburg and Cape Town visiting all of the six Afrika Tikkun centres, spending time with the charity’s beneficiaries and working with the teams in the township communities. They saw exactly how the ongoing fundraising by Belron really helps to make a difference to the children participating in Afrika Tikkun’s programmes and why the continued support is needed.