Financial support for employees
Financial assistance provides peace of mind
Since 2001, Maciej Kaniasty has worked as a foreman and press operator in the Hardware manufacturing division of NB Polska in Gniezno, Poland. He gets along well in his job and with his co-workers, and this has helped him cope with the stresses of living with a brain tumour. Maciej is doing well now, but it has not always been so. In 2006 he underwent his first surgery for a brain tumour, which started with headaches and pain behind his left eye. After eight years, the brain tumour was active again, and Maciej had to undergo yet another operation, where most of the tumour was removed. The rest cannot be removed, as it is sited too close to vital parts. However, Maciej now has an MR scan every six months to give him the reassurance that all is still well.
The wait for an MR scan is very long in the health system, so Maciej opted to spend the financial assistance from the Employee Foundation on paying for his scans at a private clinic. In this way, he hopes to stay fit and healthy and not need further surgery.
Keen student Ida Therese
Norwegian Ida Therese Lunde Einvik, age 21, is studying chemistry at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU). She is particularly keen on laboratory work, and on writing up reports on the results. On completing her training, she hopes to get a job working in chemical analysis.
Her father, Frode Einvik, has worked for VELUX Norge for more than 10 years, and is naturally proud of his daughter, but also that his workplace helped to secure her a scholarship from the Employee Foundation. A leg up like that is obviously motivating for both Frode and Ida Therese.
DONATIONS IN 2017
In 2017, we made grants worth EUR 1.1 million altogether.
308 donations totalling EUR 0.8 million were made to current or retired employees in need of assistance in distressed circumstances or who applied for a grant for their children’s education or training.
144 donations totalling almost EUR 0.3 million were made in support of community projects in the vicinity of the Group’s companies worldwide.
Football is more than just a sport…
Since the start of 2016, the Birlikspor Biblis football club has welcomed footballers from countries as far afield as Ethiopia, Afghanistan, Iraq, Turkey and Germany. Club board member Sakir Yasar welcomed the first refugee, and more have since joined.
For the game, having a diverse pool of players to challenge each other and secure points for the team is a huge advantage. But culturally and for human relations generally, the benefit is even greater, regardless of background. The young players are picking up the German language and learning about German culture, while the club members and players who have been in Germany for a long time or were born here gain insights into other cultures. Through the football club, it has even been possible to recruit more refugees to jobs with local businesses.
The club’s highly dedicated volunteers are urging more people in the local community to engage with any foreigners they happen to meet because the benefits work both ways. The grant from the Employee Foundation was spent on football equipment such as goalposts and pitch line markers.
Lighthouse project in Argentina
Vivienda Digna Home Improvement Store is a socioeconomic programme set up to coordinate contact between organisations that have building materials and furniture to donate and those in need of these items. The programme is for low-income families. At the same time, by helping to reduce waste, the programme benefits society and the environment.
Alejandra Noemí Morena (52) has three children. She is one of the people who has been granted access to buying from the store in Buenos Aires. She says: “Before, we only had a single room and a bathroom, but thanks to Sume Materiales, I was able to improve and fit out our home, so that my children now have a safe and sound place to live”. The organisation’s challenge is to expand its operations geographically so that those who buy the used building materials and furniture do not have to use too many resources in getting their purchases from the store to their home.
The Employee Foundation finds that the applicant project comprises many positive elements socially, socioeconomically and environmentally, and was therefore pleased to be able to grant financial assistance for opening yet another “store”. The organisation’s ambition is to have four branches in Buenos Aires.
The Employee Foundation identified this project as a Lighthouse Project, as it is innovative and has the potential to make a big difference for many people. For this reason, the project was granted a larger amount than is usually awarded to more traditional projects in the geographical vicinity of VKR Group companies.