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Primavera e.V. collected more donations than ever in 2016
More than 25 years ago, 10 Bosch associates founded Primavera e.V. with the aim of giving children from the world’s poorer regions opportunities for a brighter future. Since then, the initiative has grown continuously. Today, more than 1,040 volunteers are active with Primavera, many of them former Bosch associates. Their commitment pays off: in 2016, Primavera collected more donations than ever. At the end of October, the sum already stood at 620,811.65 euros, 22.1 percent above the unusually successful previous year.
The donations support projects around the world that help disadvantaged children and youth. They focus on teaching paths out of poverty and giving young people opportunities for a brighter future. To this end, the organization supports a number of schools or educational activities that provide participants with the tools they need to lead an independent life. The best example is the “Me gusta mi escuela” project in Mexico: executives from Germany and Mexico volunteered with schools in the country’s disadvantaged regions. The schools lacked materials, kitchen equipment, and furniture. Some of the buildings also required renovation. While Mexican associates helped locally, their colleagues in Germany collected the required resources.
In Germany, too, a number of refugee aid projects received support from Primavera this past year. For instance, a bicycle workshop was opened in Weissach with donations. Together with volunteers from a local aid group, refugees repaired bicycles and made them fit for the roads again. Moreover, in Achern and Sassbach, 19 refugee children were given the opportunity to learn to swim. Primavera financed their bathing suits and basic swimming lessons.
The Primavera calendar was one of the initiative’s highlights in 2016: produced for the first time in 2010, it now has a print run of 5,000 and can be seen on Bosch desks around the world. For the last six calendars, a total of 120,500 euros has been collected. Primavera volunteers have used the money to help provide children in need a brighter future.
More information on the work of Primavera e.V. can be found here.
Bosch and Primavera e.V. are supporting projects for refugees
No one expected such outstanding results: at the end of 2015, Bosch called for donations for its “Bosch hilft” project. The aim was to collect funds for refugees. From the outset, it was clear that associates were eager to help. By the beginning of 2016, associates in Germany and abroad had donated 410,000 euros to the Primavera e.V. charitable initiative, which is run by Bosch associates. The company pledged to double the total. As a result, 820,000 euros have now gone toward refugee aid projects. Associates were invited to suggest which projects they wished to support.
A committee comprising representatives of Primavera e.V., the group works council, the group advisory board, the group committee of executive representatives, coordinators for refugee aid projects, and the corporate citizenship department, selected 113 our of 185 suggestions, and these projects have since received financial support. Selection criteria included project sustainability, the volunteer involvement of Bosch associates, and regional distribution. “We spent six days discussing each submission in an open and constructive manner. In the end, the decisions were unanimous,” said Sabine Lutz, head of the corporate citizenship department.
Most of the selected projects aim to help people who have fled war and poverty become part of German society: with language lessons, sports, leisure activities, or support with bureaucracy. Organizations that provide local emergency aid have also received funding. One of them is an outpatient clinic run by Hassan Naggar, a German surgeon with Syrian roots. For the past three years, he has provided free medical treatment to refugees in Antakya, near the Syrian border. His team includes specialist physicians, a dentist, a pharmacist, a lab technician, and nurses. Just like their patients, all of them fled Syria. The clinical team treats up to 500 patients each day, among them children, pregnant women, and older people. Thanks to the Bosch donation, the hospital can now cover the cost of medication for a period of six months.
At the end of 2015, before the call for donations was made, Bosch had already made 500,000 euros available to create additional internship spots at some 30 Bosch locations for 400 young refugees, among other things. One of them is Ebrima, a young man from Gambia who has lived in Germany for two years. He is completing an internship in Waiblingen, where Bosch has created ten additional internship spots. His daily work includes gaining insights into production and assembly processes, and learning about filing, millilng, and drilling. “We want to help young people gain skills for the labor market,” says Nico Wachter, a department head at Bosch in Waiblingen. This is precisely what Ebrima is doing: he hopes to begin an apprenticeship as an industrial mechanic as soon as possible.
More information on Primavera e.V.’s call for donations can be found here.
More information on how Bosch and its associates are supporting refugee aid projects can be found here.
Associates donate more than 400,000 euros for refugees, and Bosch matches the sum
For two months, the aid organization Primavera e.V., a Bosch initiative, collected donations from associates for refugees in Europe. At the beginning of December, the Bosch board of management, the group works council, and the combined executives’ committee called on associates to make donations for refugees. With excellent results: more than 400,000 euros were collected at Bosch locations in Germany and abroad. “I am very pleased about this positive response, and I would like to extend my sincere thanks to everyone who made a donation,“ said Dr. Volkmar Denner, the chairman of the Bosch board of management. “This shows how committed our company is to fulfilling its social responsibility.”
As promised, Bosch has matched the total sum of donations: from April onward, 820,000 euros will be spent on sustainable projects that support refugees. Starting immediately, associates can make suggestions for aid organizations they think the money should go to. Eligible projects include non-profit initiatives that current or former Bosch associates support, ideally close to a Bosch location. “It’s important to us that our associates’ donations make a measurable difference locally,” said Alfred Löckle, head of the group works council. “Our associates know exactly what’s important in the areas close to their locations.” An internal committee will decide how the donations will be distributed. The results of this decision will be announced at the beginning of April.
In December 2015, Bosch had already contributed 500,000 euros for measures that promote integration. Moreover, the company has made unused property available to municipalities and communities to build refugee shelters, as well as empty apartments.
In addition to this, Bosch is taking part in the Germany-wide „Wir zusammen“ initiative, a platform that currently pools the projects of more than 30 large and mid-sized companies. The aim is to inspire others to set up their own projects for refugees. Bosch is presenting an internship program on the platform that aims to help refugees enter the German labor market more easily. To this end, the company is working closely with different public institutions to support existing qualification programs. During the internships, Bosch associates will provide mentorships and interns will receive supporting language lessons, as these measures will help promote integration.
In recent months, associates have also volunteered for a number of local projects. For instance, they collected donations in kind for NGOs such as the German Red Cross and Arbeiterwohlfahrt. Donations included many practical things, such as sleeping bags, bicycles, and towels.
Bosch and its associates are committed to helping refugees integrate
Since the beginning of last year, Germany has been facing a unique challenge: between January and December 2015, around one million displaced persons came to Germany to seek asylum from war, persecution, and a lack of economic opportunities in their home countries. The topic has been the subject of heated debate and has given rise to a number of questions. However, policy makers, businesses, and the general public agree that meeting the challenge of accommodating asylum seekers and helping refugees integrate requires a collective effort. “We can only handle the growing number of asylum seekers in Germany and Europe if we all help,” says Christoph Kübel, member of the board of management and director of industrial relations at Robert Bosch GmbH. “As a company, we can also make an important contribution. Especially when it comes to integration, we can provide support.”
In order to help refugees get started in Germany, Bosch has already donated 500,000 euros for activities at its locations. For instance, the company is planning an additional 200 internships that will prepare refugees for an apprenticeship or the German labor market. Mentor programs and supporting German lessons aim to help promote integration during the internships. Moreover, Bosch has made properties available to municipalities, on which shelters can be built. It has also offered company apartments where needed.
Associates have also been contributing in a variety of ways: for instance, they organized the “Shoebox Full of Joy” initiative, which collected Christmas gifts for refugees. A group of associates has also collected donations-in-kind for the German Red Cross and other NGOs. They collected many practical objects, including sleeping bags, bicycles, and towels. Moreover, Bosch Jugendhilfe (Youth Support) has offered volunteer associates as mentors for refugee children to “KinderHelden”, a local NGO. The support they provide helps children integrate into their German schools.
In addition to this, the Bosch board of management and works council have called on associates in Germany to make donations. The aim is to provide initiatives that help refugees with continuous support. The company has pledged to match every euro that associates donate until the end of January 2016.
More information on Bosch’s commitment to helping refugees can be found on the Robert Bosch Stiftung’s website.