It all started in Autumn 2017 when Mihaela Jurje joined the company as our new operational manager. She came with a desire to involve the employees in the company activities and at the same time make us connect with each other on a different level. The first time I met her was at an interview for a new project that just opened up and we ended up talking about my passion for helping people, the environment and the animals. I told her that I focused my studies at the business administration university to gain knowledge on the social side of business and that I would very much appreciate a company CSR division. She then confessed to already having a volunteering idea in mind which contained the CSR part as well.
In December a group of 6 people teamed up to form the 1st CSR department in Allianz Partners. I have to admit, we were pretty ambitious with our goals and plans, of which we almost accomplished all in 2018. At our 1st meeting, we were tasked to set up a list of activities, or projects, that we would like to organise within the year 2018 with their respective budget distributions. Our first set of projects were the following: 2% tax income divert, Blood donation, Easter day, Reforestation, the 1st of June, Recycling, Talent finder, Christmas celebration.
Out of the eight projects we succeeded to accomplish six and the seventh one had to be postponed to the next year; unfortunately we were unable to organise a “reforestation” project due to unsuccessful research for a suitable partner. That did not matter for us, because we all were intoxicated with the feeling of moral fulfilment caused by the unexpected success we had with our newly formed network of partners and also with our main resource, the company employees. For a seemingly long period of time, the CSR team made waves throughout the company with our various projects and the almost aggressive approach we had in involving the employee, mostly because of the varied range of activities they could participate in, all of them centred on a different social problem within our society.
We were all over the place in regards to the people or social situations we wanted to jump in and give a hand. We started with the 2% tax income divert project, in which we promoted several “in-house” health problems of young children of the employees who already had the necessary infrastructure (NGO support) for us to be able to offer aid in their struggle. Three out of our four pre-selected choices of NGO’s were internal social cases and the latter was a big NGO which focused its work also on children(“Salvati Copii”). About 85% of the employees opted for one of the three children. This almost personal project made the employees get closer to each other and nurture their work relationships.
The projects we are most proud of are “Blood Donation”, ”Easter day” ,“Christmas Celebration” and “Recycling” because of the intense research and collaboration skills we, as volunteers, developed. For the blood donation project we partnered up with the national institute of blood transfusion of Bucharest in order to organise a blood donation centre within our place of business. 16 litres of blood was collected from our first centre of blood collection from 36 people. For the “Easter Day” and the “Christmas Celebration” projects we offered support to two separate entities, “Sf. Iosif” and “Prietenii lui Nane”, both of which take care of children in unfortunate situations. We set up a few different fundraisers in order to supply the centres with furniture on the one hand and also buy the 41 children clothes, sweets and sensory toys on three different occasions. The recycling project was one of the hardest projects we embarked upon, mostly because of our lack of deposit space for the paper and plastic that we collect separately. We managed to collect about 350 kg of paper and 200 kg of plastic in the first six months.
The CSR team had a bit of a chaotic organisation, because we had no leader for the most part of the 1st year. We all wanted to contribute and each and every one of us was excelling at something the other was not, so that we unwillingly took the roles that were best suited for us in order to see our projects come to a successful end.
Most of the original team has left the company but then came new eager members who wanted to help organise and put our plans in motion. Here are some of the newer members giving their impression about the Allianz Partners CSR Team:
Anita Iliescu-Vogel (joined January 2019): “Due to my previous volunteering experience during my university studies I decided that the CSR team was the best option for me. Within the team meetings I got a chance to connect with my colleagues and discover that we all share the same passion and dedication regarding the environment and all the living beings. Most importantly, the CSR team really put a stop in my daily work routine and I strongly encourage everyone to volunteer at least once in your life.”
Stoian Lidia (joined January 2019): “The passion for helping people and protecting the environment made me join this team. Being a CSR member has increased my job satisfaction, because the internal motivation goes beyond the money and status. CSR helped me develop new capabilities such as project management, organisational skills and time management.”
Ingrid Iliescu-Vogel (joined January 2019): “The feeling I got from participating in several CSR projects were those of spiritual fulfilment, calmness and positivity. I strive to improve this company through such activities and moreover, I am certain that these kind of actions help the individual improve as well”.
2019 is the year of improvement for the Allianz Partners CSR team and we plan on developing our previously mentioned relationships even further. Moreover, we plan to implement some new ambitious projects with an environmental focus.