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Sabancı Volunteers

 

Having conducted hundreds of projects to add value to society and address social issues since its establishment, Sabancı Group touches the lives of thousands of people and embraces the title “Turkey’s Sabancı” with great pride.

At Sabancı Group, employees are encouraged to participate in social responsibility projects in order to strengthen their bonds with Group companies, boost their social sensitivity and create social value. For this purpose, Sabancı Volunteers was founded in 2015. Today, the program include 2,000 Group employee volunteers.

Sabancı Group works to achieve operational continuity while also contributing to the society where it operates. Having conducted hundreds of projects to add value to society and address social issues since its establishment, Sabancı Group touches the lives of thousands of people and embraces the title “Turkey’s Sabancı” with great pride. Taking steps to contribute to its homeland, further develop society and safeguard the environment, Sabancı Group carries out numerous social initiatives, spanning education to culture, the arts to sports. The Group aims to touch the lives of people – especially women, youth and the disabled – by implementing lasting, innovative and authentic initiatives that make a difference in people’s lives at every opportunity and on multiple platforms. Sabancı Group’s mission is to “Share what we have obtained from this country with its people, to grow and develop together.”

Conducting its philanthropy activities via Sabancı Foundation since 1974, Sabancı Group executes its business operations with the objective of sharing what it has obtained from Turkey with its people.From day one, Sabancı Group had strived to add value to the lives of women, youth and the disable people in every corner of the country. With the aim of promoting social responsibility and volunteer activities with its employees, Sabancı Volunteers was established in 2015. The program includes online trainings delivered to all Sabancı Group employees in order to raise awareness on gender equality and social responsibility projects carried out through volunteer teams.

Group employees serves as social minded citizens in line with Sabancı’s corporate principle. They contribute to society by touching the lives of disadvantaged people in the provinces and regions where they work. Employees also develop their own volunteer projects. In addition to carrying out volunteer efforts, employees have the opportunity to improve themselves in the teamwork, leadership, project and budget management. Sabancı Volunteers aims to contribute to the personal development of employees while adding value to society.

Sabancı Group employees, their immediate relatives, suppliers and business partners of employer companies are eligible to participate in the Sabancı Volunteers program.

In its first year, Sabancı Volunteers focused on the theme of “Women.” To date, the program has provided support to over 2,000 women in the areas of employment, education, personal development, psychosocial support and healthcare. These efforts include 45 projects with the participation of 1,000 volunteers from 12 provinces across Turkey.

More than 40 thousand Group employees have received online training on gender equality. The topics of the online trainings included: “Concepts and Definitions,” “Education and Gender Equality,” “Business and Gender Equality,” “Violence Against Women” and “Forced and Early Marriage.”

In addition, 500 Sabancı Group employees from 27 different provinces across the country received training on key project cycle management - such as working with NGOs and volunteers as well as project management processes. These training sessions were held in Ankara, Istanbul, Izmir and Adana. Volunteers who attended this training series started to implement projects by forming their own teams. Rather than simply adding employees to existing projects, these employee volunteers improved their capacities and skills to develop and run their own volunteer projects.

Sabancı Group firmly believes that women play a central role in Turkey’s development. For this reason, the Group aims for women take part in education, economic, political and social life with equal opportunities. Women’s empowerment is also prioritized by the Group. Ensuring gender equality requires a significant mentality shift across society first of all. Sabancı Group is aware that this transformation is only possible by understanding the positive impact that women have on the economy, politics and the community.

Launched in 2015, Sabancı Volunteers continues to move forward with the devoted efforts of Group employees. The second phase of the program will focus on “Youth.” 1,000 Sabancı Volunteers have started their projects in which young people will benefit. Taking into consideration the new normal conditions due to the pandemic, Sabancı Volunteers developed a new framework for future voluntary activities.

Quickly spreading across the world from the start of 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic served as a reminder the delicate balance of humanity’s life on earth and humankind’s fragility in the face of the natural environment.

Sabancı Group aims to learn important lessons from this unprecedented global event and implement necessary solutions for a more sustainable and safer future without delay.

While voluntary activities were also impacted during the pandemic, this worldwide public health crisis also made clear the importance of these efforts. By working remotely online, 43 Sabancı Volunteers supported nine nongovernmental organizations during the year.

In the second phase of the Sabancı Volunteers program, 500 Sabancı Group employees received volunteer training and developed 27 youth-oriented projects. Volunteers are supporting young people in their personal development, education and employment. With the mentorship program developed by the Corporate Brand Management and Communications Department, Sabancı Volunteers project teams are being supported in every aspect by the Group.

Sabancı Group takes into account online training participation rates, number of training participants, number of projects and project continuity when analyzing the achievements, effectiveness and follow-up of its corporate volunteer efforts.

Monitoring and Assessment

Sabancı Group is committed to developing a corporate volunteerism culture across the organization and adding value to society as well as its employees in their development journey.

The Group takes into account online training participation rates, number of training participants, number of projects and project continuity when analyzing the achievements, effectiveness and follow-up of its corporate volunteer efforts. These figures are reported regularly and actions are taken in line with the results. Before volunteer projects commenced, a survey was conducted in December 2015 on the perception of volunteering at the Group. This survey was re-administered in March 2017 to monitor the positive change in the perception.

The effectiveness and success of civil society, volunteerism and project management training, which is provided to all Sabancı Volunteers before they start work on projects, was monitored with surveys conducted pre- and post-training.

Every six months, project teams report their progress toward project goals to the Sabancı Volunteers Coordinator in detailed assessment reports. With one-on-one meetings and workshops with volunteers, Sabancı Volunteers identifies project needs and recommendations. Necessary actions are taken in matters where further support is required.

The six-month assessment reports from project teams include any issues encountered, solutions for these issues, stakeholder feedback, financial resources generated for the project and budget management. Assessment reports make it possible to improve current projects while providing guidance for future ones.

Annual meetings are held with project teams to evaluate the year’s activities and identify action steps to improve projects.

Under the Sabancı Volunteers program, public institutions, NGOs and academics also actively participate in projects as stakeholders. Meetings are held with nongovernmental organizations supported within the scope of Sabancı Volunteers projects. Sabancı Group ensures active participation of stakeholders at relevant events organized by the Group.

Surveys to program volunteers revealed that satisfaction with the Sabancı Volunteers program has increased over the last three years. In addition, employee awareness of various social issues has also risen thanks to Sabancı Volunteers.

Six-month activity reports show that volunteers generate successful solutions to issues with the support they receive from the Group and their own departments.

Sabancı Volunteers successfully demonstrated its resource generation methods during voluntary trainings on creating project budgets.