Coinciding with International Volunteer Day, which was held on 5 December, abertis today held its third Corporate Volunteer Day, which is this year focused on making the Group's employees aware of the situation of the most disadvantaged minors. The day, which this time round was held under the slogan of "Take them by the hand", forms part of Voluntaris, the Corporate Volunteer Programme which the company has run since 2009.
The corporate event held this morning at the Group's headquarters in Barcelona was attended by the Catalan Government's Minister for Social Welfare and Family, Josep Lluís Cleries, who stated that "through initiatives like the Corporate Volunteer Programme, the company is making society aware of important values", such as solidarity, social commitment and participation. According to the Minister, volunteer activities help those involved to "feel that they are playing a central role in change and social improvement".
For his part, Salvador Alemany, President of abertis, underlined the role of voluntary work in the cohesion of the social fabric and stressed the fact that the company "will continue to promote" this kind of project. He maintained that "beyond achieving a positive image, we wish to carry on implementing practices which will make us better".
The day was also attended by Francisco Reynés, Managing Director of the Group, who pointed out that more than 1,000 of the company's employees participate in voluntary work, and stressed that the company aims to continue promoting the kind of actions undertaken as part of this day in all the countries in which it carries out its activities, since, in his words, "voluntary work forms a part of our Group's culture and values".
Meanwhile, Miquel Roca, President of the abertis foundation, maintained that "solidarity today is a sign of intelligence" and offered a reminder that the Foundation promotes social schemes such as the Road Volunteer project, as a result of which several young people with intellectual disabilities or Down's Syndrome are given responsibility as road safety monitors at schools in Barcelona.
Donations to charity projects
As part of Volunteer Day, the abertis foundation announced that it is donating a total of €28,000 to four charity initiatives, which have been selected by a vote of the Group's employees through the corporate Intranet.
The Foundation will thus allocate €7,000 to each of the chosen projects: the promotion of a centre for the treatment of sick children in Yunnan province in China, promoted by the Madrid-based NGO Amor Sin Fronteras; a therapeutic project for children and young people who have been victims of beating and sexual abuse, promoted by the Concepción Juvanteny Foundation in Barcelona; the allocation of new technology resources for people with intellectual disabilities through the Personas de Cuéllar Foundation (Segovia); and the project for the integration of the immigrant Castellers ("human tower builders") in the Poble Sec district of Barcelona.
Activities in diverse countries
Throughout the day activities have been organised at the Group's different headquarters in Spain. At the Logistics Park headquarters, as well as an exhibition on the Universal Declaration of Children's Rights - with the collaboration of UNICEF - the traditional charity fair has been set up, where various associations and foundations are selling fair trade products and others produced in special work centres which are mainly staffed by disabled people.
Meanwhile, with the Christmas holidays approaching, as from today and until 20 December the collection of food and clothing is being promoted in more than 20 of the Group's centres in the Valencia Autonomous Region, Castilla-León, Catalonia, the Basque Country, the Canary Islands, Andalusia, Madrid, Asturias, Galicia and Aragon. On the international front, abertis' offices in France, Puerto Rico and Chile also joined in the celebration of this day by promoting the collection of food.
Corporate Volunteer Programme
Voluntaris, abertis' Corporate Volunteer Programme, represents a further step forward in the process of the company's involvement with the community and the social fabric, a commitment set out in abertis' Strategic Social Responsibility Plan.
Through this initiative, promoted by a group of company workers, abertis provides its employees with a framework in which to develop volunteer activities in their free time, using for this purpose communication and dissemination tools such as the corporate Intranet and the internal communication channels of the various Group companies.
Through the corporate Intranet, this initiative reaches around 5,000 Group employees, whilst around 6,000 abertis workers in Spain are reached through the business units' own communication channels.