Archive for August, 2011

Telling the global story

Wednesday, 31 August, 2011

Storytelling for the Amway One by One Campaign is usually done with a zoom lens.

That’s because it is hard to understand how it works until you see how one country builds its partnerships, how one distributor has contributed, how one child’s life has changed.

So it’s been awhile since we created a video that reflects the global movement of Amway One by One. We  hope you enjoy the latest:

What’s happening in China philanthropy?

Tuesday, 30 August, 2011

Last week, Amway was invited to present on a panel discussing philanthropy in China. As we mentioned in a previous post, Amway has opened the first private foundation established by a multinational company in China.  

We learned a lot from our colleagues at Give2Asia and Starbucks. Here are a few:  

  • There are now around 447,000 nonprofit organizations in China. The first was established in 1994. 
  • In addition to a new Amway foundation, the first foundation established by a private individual (Jet Li) was also established this year in China. 
  • Many, like Starbucks, are making investments in China through a donor advised fund, since it is difficult to establish their own foundation. 
  • The legal landscape, registration requirements and transparency issues in China are all complex. 

At the end of the conversation, what I really understood better is the significance of the investments that Amway China has made over the past 16 years.  

The establishment of the Amway Charity Foundation is a new approach, but only possible because of years of commitment to improving children’s lives, working closely with agencies, government agencies, local schools, and our own generous salesforce.  

To view the webinar, visit the ACCP website, and go to the member toolkit section (login required  

A thirst for safe water

Friday, 26 August, 2011

It’s a basic need and a basic right – safe, clean water.

Amway affiliates in Haiti and the Dominican Republic are partnering with global health agencies and our own R&D scientists to bring water solutions to those who need it, on both sides of the island.

The water treatment system being used is called Hydraid, an innovative filter with enhanced by technology provided by Amway and implemented through Safe Water Team and partners on the ground. The unit costs around $180 and provides up to 50 gallons of water per day without the need for water pressure or electricity.

In Haiti, Amway is providing safe water to the Orphanage Rose Mina de Diegue in Port Au Prince, serving 90 orphan children. The project was introduced by Marcelo Oehlenschläger, an Amway Independent Business Owner (IBO) who had been involved personally, before getting Amway involved.

In the Dominican Republic, Amway volunteers recently installed 35 Hydraid units in a small working community in the middle of a sugar cane field. During their last visit, volunteers planted flower trees and introduced a health and hygiene workshop and children’s activities for sugar cane field workers and their families. They broke through language and cultural barriers to form a bond with those they served. Many left barefoot, leaving their shoes behind as a final gift.

The community now has units in 60 homes, and Amway staff and IBOs are already making plans to return and cover the remaining 30 homes, so all will have access to the foundation of clean water.

Donations can be made on the Safe Water Team website. Thanks to Ruben Familia for sharing this story.

Dolphin therapy

Wednesday, 24 August, 2011

For some, swimming with dolphins is a tourist attraction, but for some students in Japan, it has become an important part of growing up.

Amway suppors a program that brings 40 high school students from a Tokyo foster home to a southern island, a five-hour ship ride away from the mainland. There, the students spend four weeks engaging with the island and their surroundings.

Created for troubled students, this program helps build relationships, self-confidence, trust and independence. Through their time with the dolphins and their experiences on the island, the students are able to build relationships with each other and better understand.

While on the island, the students spend a majority of their time swimming with dolphins, exploring the island, and experiencing the scenery.

For these students, the experience is more than a vacation. It will shape their identity as they return to their schools, their homes, and their futures.

Thanks to Hideya Tateno for sharing this story.

Skills for tomorrow’s leaders

Monday, 22 August, 2011

Who will be the next world leaders?

Look around and you will see some of them already getting started.

In the Ukraine, Amway is partnering with AIESEC, the world’s largest youth-run organization with more than 60,000 members in 110 countries. AIESEC brings students together to facilitate communication between countries and cultures through internships, conferences, international internships and lectures.

For the third year, Amway Ukraine participated in the AIESEC Leadership Development Seminar, where 170 students from across Ukraine met with Amway Business Owners (ABOs) to discuss leadership and business skills.

ABOs gave presentations and lectures on important skills for selling and leadership. For three days, students attended seminars, workshops, case studies and group activities to work on their leadership and entrepreneurial skills.

With leaders like these, our future looks bright.

Finding common ground

Wednesday, 17 August, 2011

Many mothers find it challenging to share common interests and communicate with their grow-up children.

But Lily Ma from Hong Kong has found her own way to establish a friendly and close relationship with her daughter, Quvan.

Lily is an Amway distributor who joined as an Amway Caring Ambassador (Amway’s volunteer team) in 2006. She invited Quvan to join her for a project that offers care and guidance to children suffering from psychological and emotional challenges. Soon, the mother and daughter found that they had a shared interest … in bringing happiness to others.

Quvan recalled, “We had little time to spend together before, because both of us were busy with our own lives. Volunteer activities brought us together and I learned a lot from my mother.”

According to Lily, “Participating volunteer activities makes me feel younger. The shared experience brings the two of us closer, as we have more in common.”

Since 2010, Amway distributors have volunteered more than 33,000 hours for scores of activities organized by Amway Hong Kong. Their passion has rubbed off on their children, and many youngsters now joined their parents.

One by one, we make a difference of others, but for ourselves as well.

Thank you to Rowley Luo for submitting this story.

And the winner is …

Monday, 15 August, 2011

Amway UK has announced the winner of Britain’s Top Real Role Model 2011 – Melanie Bryan!

In just two years, Melanie has built a multi-award winning social enterprise, gaining recognition from the UK Prime Minister, Enterprise UK and West Lancashire Council for Voluntary Service for her work.

Working with communities, private, public and third sector organizations, Melanie helps them achieve their objectives, often leading to saving local businesses or community facilities.

Melanie believes passionately in everyone’s ability to make a positive impact and it was her positivity, vibrant personality and extensive transformation experience that impressed the judging panel.

In addition her charity donation, Melanie will be contributing to a new book called “The Gift.” This is a collection of quotes and reflections from the world’s most influential, successful and inspirational people. The Gift aims to help inspire and motivate children to make the most of themselves, believe in the potential they possess and be motivated to make a difference for themselves and for others. All profits from the book will be donated to children’s charities.

We covered the kickoff to this event in April. Thanks to Karin Schmid for contributing to this article. 

Serving on boards

Friday, 12 August, 2011

Have you ever served on a nonprofit board of directors?

It can be an intimidating experience if you are coming from the business world, or if you’ve simply worked your way up as a volunteer. The economics are different, the client needs are often overwhelming, and your role isn’t always clear.

Yet board service can be among the most rewarding volunteer experiences. You can have a profound impact in an area you are passion about. And your skills are honed by being stretched in a new environment.

For the last five years, we have been playing matchmaker for Amway executives who want to serve on nonprofit boards. Approximately half now serve on boards and committees, with involvement in more than 100 organizations.

Working with the Johnson Center, a university-based nonprofit leadership organization in West Michigan, Amway has offered annual nonprofit board training for those who want to use their leadership skills in the community.

Other companies are beginning to realize the significant impact their leaders can have on nonprofit organizations in their community, while offering leadership development opportunities for their top management.

Last week, we joined colleagues from Greater DC Cares and Time-Warner to talk about our program in a webinar hosted by the Boston College Center for Corporate Citizenship.

So how do you join a board? Here are a few tips:

Follow your passions. Find a cause you feel strongly about. Otherwise, it’s just another calendar entry in a busy world.

Get connected. Ask to meet with the executive director or another board member to express your interest if you already have a relationship established. Consider doing some general volunteering first to get a feel for the organization and show your commitment before seeking a board position. There is often a nominating committee that chooses board members, and they frequently look at devoted volunteers first.

Set expectations. What do you want out of the experience? What does the board think you will bring to it? Have these frank conversations up front to minimize uncomfortable conversations down the road.

Be committed. This applies not only to meetings, but to being actively engaged. Read materials thoroughly before a meeting and keep connected with other board members. Find a way to bring your skills to the organization – experience in accounting, communications, strategy or just community relationships can be extremely valuable.

Give. While more nonprofits are seeking sustainable income streams, most survive on grants and donations. You should be prepared to give according to your means (some boards require a minimum donation) and don’t be afraid to ask others to contribute.

Go big or go small?

Wednesday, 10 August, 2011

Is it best to make a small impact on a large number of children in need, or a large impact on a smaller number?

In Japan, we are trying both.

For several years, Amway Japan has taken a bold stance on preventing child abuse through its Amway One by One efforts. Amway leaders acknowledged the rising cases of abuse and neglect, and the need for more champions to shed light on what is often a taboo topic.

The Orange Project was launched as a way to raise awareness and prevent cases of child abuse. In 2009, Amway wrapped its building in Shibuya with an orange ribbon, and last year Amway distributors made more than 100,000 orange ribbons that Amway matched with donations to organizations that provide training, therapy and shelters.

Those are the broad-scale efforts.

This week, Amway announced a new partnership that will have a profound impact on a few children who have been separated from their parents because of abuse.

In partnership with Crop Minori, which works with the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare, Amway is supporting the Crop House, a foster care home where three or more staff members live with five to six children, and raise them as a family.

Crop Minori has more than ten years of experience working with abused children in residential care. The Crop House will provide a safe home environment with a strong team of child protection experts and therapists.

For large issues like child abuse, there is not one solution. We need large and small scale interventions to give children the future they deserve.

Thanks to Kafuu Toh, Hideya Tateno and Takashi Aoki for sharing this exciting new program. 

Focusing on play

Monday, 8 August, 2011

Some kids just need to play. And thanks to the Society of Education and Rehabilitation (SER) in Puerto Rico, some special children can do just that.

Opened in 1950, the SER is focused on the rehabilitation and education of thousands of special needs students in Puerto Rico. SER is an affiliate of Easter Seals, a longtime partner of Amway in the US and Canada.

The majority of SER donations come directly from individual and private contributors and are used to help students with disabilities receive emotional and physical support so that things such as studying and playing can become easier daily tasks.

Amway Puerto Rico kicked off a new partnership with SER with a $20,000 donation, and they hope to raise an equal amount from Amway Independent Business Owners by the end of the year.

A new donation option on the ordering website will facilitate fundraising, and special events and promotions will continue the momentum for SER.

With the support of Amway and its IBOs in Puerto Rico, more and more children will lead more active lives, leaving more time for the important things … like playing.

Thanks to Ruben Familia for sharing this story and Samantha Bourque for writing.