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Vodafone employees will once again volunteer abroad

21. April 2011

Vodafone employees can now take unpaid time off and spend their volunteer work abroad. This is a significant extension of the current program for NGO Day, in which each employee may work two days a year for a nonprofit organization and Vodafone pays the wages as if they were in the office. Vodafone provides its employees work for a nonprofit organization abroad in collaboration with INEX - Association volunteer activities. "We appreciate that Vodafone provides its employees volunteer work not only at home, but also in Europe," says Robin Ujfaluši, director of the NGO INEX-Association of volunteer activities, adding: "Especially since this year is the European Year of Volunteering, which has as its goal to popularize volunteerism among the general public even more. For us it is a pilot style of cooperation and we will only be happy when other companies or individuals get on board.

Vodafone employees can now take unpaid time off and spend their volunteer work abroad. This is a significant extension of the current program for NGO Day, in which each employee may work two days a year for a nonprofit organization and Vodafone pays the wages as if they were in the office. Vodafone provides its employees work for a nonprofit organization abroad in collaboration with INEX - Association volunteer activities.

"We appreciate that Vodafone provides its employees volunteer work not only at home, but also in Europe," says Robin Ujfaluši, director of the NGO INEX-Association of volunteer activities, adding: "Especially since this year is the European Year of Volunteering, which has as its goal to popularize volunteerism among the general public even more. For us it is a pilot style of cooperation and we will only be happy when other companies or individuals get on board."

Vodafone, in collaboration with INEX, provides its employees with all of the means to participate in volunteer causes abroad. Vodafone pays the participation fee for them and, together with the INEX organization, arranges all of the organizational requirements. The organizer in the country will pay for accommodation and meals on site directly. The employee only has to take holiday or unpaid leave and arrange their trip. Vodafone also allows travel costs to be paid through the benefit system, under which employees can draw up to 13,500 crowns a year.

Volunteering will take place from May to August in the form of ten to fifteen work camps with different types of activities. Vodafone staff will be involved, for example, in the construction of the educational center for mathematical geniuses in the middle of nature in Turkey, will be reviving the traditions of rural and traditional thatched cottage building as a model of ecological housing in Castilla y Leon in Spain, or help organize the One World Festival in England, which focuses on a healthy lifestyle and a macrobiotic diet. The work usually takes six hours a day, five days a week, and the rest of the time, participants can use for trips, exploring, or just fun in good company.

"After the first week, when the program was announced, already more than half of the places are filled, and we believe that the rest will soon find their participants," said Senior Manager for Corporate Responsibility at Vodafone Přemysl Philip.

The foreign volunteer program for employees was created under the principles of the Vodafone Foundation's "World of Difference" program, when people from non-profit sector received a monthly internship at Vodafone. Their purpose was just to share know-how between the corporate and nonprofit sectors.