Archive for April, 2012

Before it’s too late

Friday, 27 April, 2012

During our research for the publication of our 2011 Global Citizenship Report, we noted a lot of activity around disaster response. Many natural catastrophes devastated the communities of our friends and colleagues last year.

What hasn’t received nearly as much attention is an emphasis around prevention.

In India, the Bihar State (adjacent to Nepal) is recognized as a multi-disaster-prone territory with a history of moderate to severe earthquakes.

Amway India is partnering with the Bihar Disaster Management Authority to help residents take measures to mitigate the risk of a future earthquake, and using the Bihar Centenary Day celebration to create awareness.

They installed posters and created pamphlets, teaching local leaders about earthquake resistant construction technology and teaching the general public basic tips for what to do in the event of an earthquake.

While these efforts may not make global headlines like an actual disaster, they may in the end be more impactful and save even more lives.

Thanks to Raj Narain for sharing this story.

Immersion for Youth at Amway Headquarters

Wednesday, 25 April, 2012

The first Amway Youth Career Summit brought 110 aspiring high school freshmen to our World Headquarters for a day of experiential learning.

Hailing from three West Michigan high schools – Cedar Springs Tech 21 Academy, Grand Rapids University Prep Academy, Ottawa Hills School of Business Leadership and Entrepreneurship – these academics got a crash course in topics ranging from professional etiquette to sustainable business practices.

Students were randomly placed into 14 groups and embarked on a journey through our Ada, Michigan campus. They took DISC personality assessments, participated in a scavenger hunt at the Amway Welcome Center, toured our manufacturing plants and witnessed R&D demonstrations.

  

During lunch hosted by Amway employees, students took in a dynamic presentation from entrepreneur and Amway founding family member Rick DeVos, who spoke about his work and life experiences as creator of the wildly successful Art Prize and 5×5 community events.

 

The students finally departed, a little exhausted, but full of new ideas and dreams of their futures.

 

Thanks to Angela Nelson for sharing this story.

Global Citizenship Report just released

Monday, 23 April, 2012

The Amway 2011 Global Citizenship Report has just been posted to Amway.com.

The report focuses on the work we are doing in our communities, for our people, and for the environment. It also includes foundational information on our company and our ethics.

This year, you can find 11 profiles of Amway One by One programs from around the world, some of which have been featured on this blog. We also have stories of some of our employees, and profiles of a few environmental programs from different countries or products.

This year’s performance metrics showed significant growth in the number of children we have impacted through Amway One by One – more than 1.5 million last year alone. For the first time, Amway also published metrics for our global supply chain environmental footprint.

Amway had a big year of financial growth in 2011, and our corporate citizenship efforts have kept pace, always reaching for greater improvement for our communities, our employees and our world.

Thanks to all of you who made it a great year!

You can click here to go directly to the PDF document.

One by One is an award winning blog!

Thursday, 19 April, 2012

On Tuesday, the Amway One by One blog was recognized by PR News for our CSR blogging efforts!

We received the top award for Best Corporate Social Responsibility Blog at a ceremony in Washington DC.

This is an exciting recognition for all of the grassroots stories that take place around the world, many of which never get told.

The award comes with great thanks to the millions of  Amway distributors and employees working tirelessly to improve their communities and help children in need to live better lives.

You are making a difference!

What if Miss America knocked on your door?

Tuesday, 17 April, 2012

The newly crowned Miss America, Laura Kaeppeler from Wisconsin, recently visited the hometown of Amway headquarters – and her time was well spent.

In addition to meeting with Amway leaders who sponsored her scholarship through the Miss America contest, and who would be working with her over the next year during her role as Amway spokeswoman, Laura took the time to visit some Amway One by One partners in the Grand Rapids area – some who were very surprised to see her.

Laura helped to celebrate National Reading Month, reading to children at the Steil Boys & Girls Club in Grand Rapids and young patients at Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital.

She also surprised two local families served by Urban Family Ministries with spring break “staycations” gift packages of activities to do around Grand Rapids.

Thanks to Marsha Champion for sharing this story.

I am the keeper

Friday, 13 April, 2012

Last month, a new social educational project was launched through an innovative Amway partnership.

Amway Ukraine and a charitable foundation called “Talented Children are the Future of Ukraine” announced the I Am Beregynya project (translated: I Am the Keeper).

The partnership will provide education, training and professional development for 150 girls from disadvantaged families in Kiev. The girls will learn important skills and knowledge about health, ethics, and safety in combination with professional orientation and leadership training.

The participants were chosen from more than 2,000 applications and a tough selection process. The project is being celebrated on local television and radio shows. Amway Business Owners and employees are also directly involved, and will deliver some of the trainings for the girls.

These types of efforts by Amway in Ukraine have led the national rating agency Guardia to include Amway in its national Corporate Social Responsibility ratings, a prestigious recognition of the only company in the direct selling industry.

You can follow the journey of the girls on the Bereginya Facebook page.

Out of the office

Wednesday, 11 April, 2012

We are out traveling again!

We have heard a lot about the generosity of two of our top Amway distributor leaders from South Korea: Leonard and Esther Kim, members of the Amway Founders Council.

This week, we will visit Amway One by One programs in Korea and learn more about the work they are doing for children.

Similar to our visits to programs in Guatemala, Taiwan and the United States, this program is part of a larger partnership with our distributor leaders to help children in many different ways, according to the local needs and the passions of Amway distributors in their local communities.

We will share more in the upcoming weeks.

A real example of return on investment

Monday, 9 April, 2012

We often talk about actions in terms of new programs, buildings and numbers. But we don’t always get to follow the people who benefit from investments of Amway and our distributors and employees.

Today is an exception.

Meet Priyanka Agarwal, a student with 90 percent vision loss, who was seeking meaningful work. She was shortlisted for advanced training at Tata Consultancy Services, but had to decline the training when her grandfather passed away.

Priyanka did not lose hope. She came to the AOF-NAB Centre for Excellence in Kolkata, looking for help, and help was given.

Following her training, Priyanka was found an excellent job with IBM in Bangalore, making a competitive salary using her new skills.

The hard work and dedication of Priyanka is a shining example of what is possible when we invest in the potential of people.

Thanks to Raj Narain for sharing this story.

A demonstration of power and passion

Friday, 6 April, 2012

How do you bring hope and opportunity to children who are confined to power wheelchairs? How do you empower their parents, who battle emotional and financial stress in raising children with extreme needs?

Last week, we visited Jim and Nancy Dornan, Amway Founders Crown Ambassadors from Atlanta, Georgia. The Dornans have faced these same challenges with their son Eric, who was born with Spina Bifida.

Working with a team of creative and passionate people, the Dornans have invested in a sport that provides an outlet for children and their parents, and builds a network of supportive relationships at the local and global level.

It’s called Power Soccer, and it is easily the largest organized sport for children and adults in power wheelchairs.

Investing in Power Soccer over the past twenty years, the Dornans have helped to grow the sport from around five teams, to more than 60, while building a structured competitive system that is standardized across multiple countries.

The game is customized to allow shots, blocks and passes from power wheelchairs. The chairs are also customized to provide freedom of movement and a fast-paced game that requires incredible spatial awareness and quick responses. There is an incredible amount of team spirit, and quiet communication between teammates.

With support from the Dornans, a dedicated team is elevating the sport through the Fernando Foundtion. It includes Eric Dornan, player and organizer; David Ruelas, Fernando Foundation director and manager of a shop that provides customized wheelchairs and game equipment; Jerry Frick, coach and mentor; and Jerome “Pika” Durand, champion player and Power Soccer spokesperson.

This isn’t the only cause that the Dornans have taken on and grown. They have inspired thousands of child sponsorships through World Vision, built schools and orphanages in Europe, Africa and Asia, and delivered wheelchairs thousands of people around the world who cannot afford them through Free Wheelchair Mission.

Yet it’s evident that Power Soccer is close to their hearts. It serves as a demonstration of their faith and determination to positively impact the world around them.

We will soon share more of this story as part of our exploration of how Amway leaders are investing in causes for children around the world.

Thanks to RD Saunders and Colleen Scott for opening the doors to us on this incredible story.

A percussion of hands in Malaysia

Wednesday, 4 April, 2012

Children in remote villages of Malaysia do not always have access to arts education, or even the opportunity to see large-scale musical performances.

Amway Malaysia is working with a musical troupe called Hands Percussion to offer the opportunity for those children to experience musical education, many for the first tiime.

Hands Percussion started the Balik Kampung (Homecoming) project three years ago as a way to support local communities. It is focused on teaching children about music and how to create musical instruments with recycled materials.

While successful, the Balik Kampung project was not able to scale up with outside help.

Amway Malaysia has committed to help meet that need by pledging RM270,000 ($86,000 USD) to bring music education to children in small towns, and also mobilize Amway distributor volunteers to help make the project successful. The partnership was announced to 3,000 cheering Amway distributors at a business meeting with top Amway leaders Leonard and Esther Kim.

The “Hands Percussion Balik Kampung with Amway” project will cover five states, culminating in a one-day event in Kuala Lumpur that will showcase the talents of children from 15 towns.

“For the past three years, we have been funding the project on our own and have covered ten locations,” said Eric Ch’ng, Co-Founder and Administrative Director of Hands Percussion Sdn Bhd. “This year, we are very happy that an organization like Amway is committed to helping us continue our project to bring the gift of music to children who may not otherwise have the opportunity.”

 

Photo of Eric Ch’ng receiving the Amway pledge from Amway Malaysia General Manager Paul Yee. Thanks to Joanne Yap for sharing this story.