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VODAFONE DONATES ALMOST CZK 10 MILLION TO CHARITY PROJECTS

20. December 2005

This month will witness the launch of the Vodafone Czech Republic Foundation that will carry on and greatly expand the previous activities of Oskar Vodafone. The Foundation’s initial grant programme, Vpoho, will bring “low threshold children and youth clubs”, organized through the Czech Association of Streetwork (ČAS), financial support in the value of almost CZK 10 million. The programme will be organized in partnership with and administrated by the largest foundation in the Czech Republic, the Civil Society Development Foundation (NROS). Low-threshold clubs minimize the risks associated with street life (drugs, crime, etc.), that young people face outside school or away from their parents.

This month will witness the launch of the Vodafone Czech Republic Foundation that will carry on and greatly expand the previous activities of Oskar Vodafone. The Foundation’s initial grant programme, Vpoho, will bring “low threshold children and youth clubs”, organized through the Czech Association of Streetwork (ČAS), financial support in the value of almost CZK 10 million. The programme will be organized in partnership with and administrated by the largest foundation in the Czech Republic, the Civil Society Development Foundation (NROS).

Low-threshold clubs minimize the risks associated with street life (drugs, crime, etc.), that young people face outside school or away from their parents. Low-threshold clubs provide young people with a secure place to spend their free time, a helping hand and a space for self-fulfilment.

“It is Vodafone Group policy to invest in communities and establish a local Vodafone Foundation in each market where there is a Vodafone subsidiary," says Oskar Vodafone's CEO, Karla D. Stephens. "The Vodafone Group Foundation contributed to our initial programme, Vpoho, with EUR 320 000 (an equivalent of CZK 9.6 million)," she says. The Vodafone Czech Republic Foundation will be the twenty-first local Vodafone Foundation in the world.

In 2006, the Vpoho programme, financed by the Vodafone Group and Vodafone Czech Republic Foundations, will serve as a grant programme aimed at low-threshold facilities and projects focused on young people from all over the Czech Republic. The Vodafone Czech Republic Foundation intends to establish itself as a strong independent organization operating in the local not-for-profit sector. The launch of the first grant round of the programme has been scheduled for January 2006.

Oskar Vodafone has been supporting low-threshold youth clubs since the beginning of 2005 when it started to cooperate with the Czech Association of Streetwork (ČAS) – the biggest non-governmental organization in the area of low-threshold activities, representing more than twenty low-threshold youth clubs around the Czech Republic. In 2005, Oskar Vodafone supported ČAS by providing materials for clubs and by investing in training (seminars).

Part of the Vodafone Group Foundation mission is to work in the communities where our staff, customers and business partners live and working with young people is a natural part of that. Apart from organising its own projects, it provides patronage for local Vodafone foundations. Since its establishment in 2001, the Vodafone Group Foundation and locally operating Vodafone foundations have invested over £60 million (an equivalent of more than CZK 2.5 billion) in communities. According to the annual assessment of large global corporations concerning their corporate responsibility in relation to their profits, carried out by the international agency, AccountAbility (http://www.accountabilityrating.com), Vodafone ranked third most responsible corporation of 2005.