Archive for June, 2012

Once again, malnutrition is the most critical challenge

Friday, 29 June, 2012

According to the World Health Organization, a child dies every six seconds due to complications onset by malnutrition.

Every four years, world business and economic experts and leaders – including many Nobel Laureates in Economics – gather to identify the greatest global challenges and the most effective solutions. The findings are called the Copenhagen Consensus.

The 2012 Copenhagen Consensus set priorities for confronting ten of the world’s most important challenges. At the very top of the list was the issue of Hunger and Malnutrition.

Malnutrition is not just a health challenge, but an economic risk. According to the World Bank, as a result of malnutrition, individuals lose more than 10 percent of lifetime earnings because of decreased productivity. The Lancet has reported that proper nutrition during the first two years of life can result in an increase in lifetime earnings by as much as 46 percent.

So what is the best way to help? The Copenhagen Consensus says that the most effective solution is “bundled interventions to reduce under-nutrition in pre-school children.” This includes micronutrients given with complementary foods, treatment of safe water or de-worming to avoid diarrhea, and behavior change communications and education.

The findings confirm the 2008 Copenhagen Consensus, and highlight the importance of micronutrient products like our own Nutrilite Little Bits, to address undernutrition in young children.

Amway is already working with partners in Mexico and Zambia to provide Nutrilite Little Bits to children under five years old. Our CSR staff is currently working with Nutrilite experts to develop a formula that can be registered in multiple countries around the world, and engage Amway distributors and employees in providing this solution.

Global problems require collaborative, expert solutions. Amway is making a contribution to helping eliminate malnutrition in young children, and we are just getting started.

Thanks to Jeff Terry for sharing this story.

It’s all fun and games

Monday, 25 June, 2012

We spend a lot of time on this blog discussing serious children’s issues.

Yet one of our four focal areas is PLAY, because we recognize that sometimes you just need to give children a chance to experience games and celebrations.

Last month, 109 visually impaired children from 13 states across India participated in a chess tournament designed just for them through the All India Chess Federation for the Blind.

In addition to a fun and challenging event, the top layers qualified to be formally rated, which gives them the opportunity to play at the international level.

Amway Business Owners and employees in India also used their local fundraisers as an opportunity for children to have fun.

Events in Pune, Vizag and Coimbatore featured demonstrations of dance, music and magic to the delight of young spectators.

Addressing the needs of children is serious business. But it helps to remember the delights of childhood, and to ensure that each child we help has an extra reason to smile.

Thanks to Raj Narain for sharing theses stories.

Building greatness through competition

Monday, 18 June, 2012

Building greatness through competition

A game is never just a game.

For the last 15 years, Amway Taiwan has been working with local partners to support and grow the sport of billiards among young women.

The game has become a major annual competition in Taiwan. Earlier this year, the Amway eSpring Women’s World 9-Ball Open attracted 48 players from 17 countries. More than 70,000 fans attended the event, with 3 million more tuning into the live broadcast.

Yet the event is really a culmination of years of investment in young men and women to build self-esteem, confidence and commitment, not just in the sport, but in other areas of their lives.

Along with the tournament sponsorship, Amway Taiwan annually supports training programs that provide scholarships so youth can receive positive coaching, and are able to participate in competitions, even those that involve overseas travel.

The scholarships have enabled 170 young players in high school and college to earn $92,000 in scholarships since 2003.

The proof of this successful program is with the current champion and third-ranked female player in the world: Chieh-Yu Chou. She received a scholarship for four years, and may not have been able to reach these heights without the support of those who believe that a game is more than a game, and that she can achieve her dreams, with a little help from her friends.

Thanks to Julie Wu for sharing this story.

An academy for dreams

Friday, 15 June, 2012

Some of the best programs are sometimes the least known.

Several years ago, we were introduced to the US Dream Academy by Amway Independent Business Owners Jodi & Kathy Victor.

Since that time, we have been working together to share the amazing story of what this organization does for children whose parents have been incarcerated – and bring resources to grow the impact of the work.

Here’s a video that we worked on together to help tell the unique and powerful story of the US Dream Academy:

Thanks to Marsha Champion for sharing this story. To learn more, visit Amway.net.

Thinking differently about people with differences

Wednesday, 13 June, 2012

Guest blogger Shelia Burks shares her experience with a recent volunteer project for Special Olympics.

My first experience with a special needs person was right in my own back yard. My cousin Angelo had Downs Syndrome. He was just a regular person to me. I learned sign language to talk to him so we could communicate better. And we did.

Angelo passed away, but he left this place in me that caused me to befriend the “different” kids at school. To stop the bullies from pushing them around, I’d walk to classes with them. I recruited a few of my other friends and we became a kind of army.

While I have always held a special place in my heart for individuals with special needs, I never volunteered for Special Olympics. After my first experience at the Special Olympics, my life will simply never be the same.

I volunteered to help the swimmers. Watching these children and young adults was life-rewarding. They choose to compete when the world says you’re different.

The first moment that I found myself on my feet cheering was for the young lady who was wheeled out to the pool. She had one arm that was mobile and no leg mobility. She finished last, but she finished.

I watched a young man do the 400 (that’s 8 laps in the pool!!) and beat his personal record time, even though he came in last place.

I had several epiphanies.  First, maybe they are not the ones with “challenges.” Maybe we as “normal” individuals are. How often do we, who have few challenges, give up? How often do we not even try?  We throw in the towel.

We get complacent….but not them.  They took their challenges and made them work for them, and they FINISHED.

I saw athletes come in last and the crowd cheered them on and when they finished they were proud of themselves. I recalled the Bible scripture that says that the race is not given to the swift or the strong but to the one who ENDURES.

You can’t endure if you don’t start, so what do you need to start today?  What do you need to pick back up to finish? The crowd – your close circle – will cheer you on. Endure!

“Let me win. But if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt.”

– Special Olympics Athlete’s Oath

Bringing generosity beyond your borders

Monday, 11 June, 2012

You may have heard the saying, “charity begins at home.” While it is important to start there, we are finding that generosity is a great export too.

A group of 1,351 of the most successful Amway Business Owners in China recently visited Munich, Germany for an incentive trip in May. They were hosted by leaders from Amway Europe.

During a gala dinner at the Messe München, the Chinese visitors donated approximately 15,000 Euros (US $18,800) to support the efforts of the Munich-based organization: Children for a Better World. The contributions will be used to provide free school lunches for disadvantaged children in Bavaria.

Children for a Better World has taken up the fight against child poverty in Germany. The organization has more than 53 lunch programs and support services for disadvantaged children.

While delivering the donation, Audie Wong, President of Amway China, makes it clear that these actions are just the way we do business: “Helping children is very rewarding. It’s an important part of our culture.”

And that’s worth sharing – at home and abroad.

Thanks to Karin Schmid for sharing this story.

Recognition for exceptional work in India

Thursday, 7 June, 2012

Over the past year, we’ve received a steady stream of stories from our colleagues in India. Despite a market that is very spread out, Amway India has built some very effective partnerships with Amway Business Owners and employees at the local level across the country.

In recognition for these efforts, Amway just received the Aaj Tak Care Award for exceptional philanthropic work in the field of education, from Aak Tak News Channel, in partnership with the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry.

The award recognized Amway efforts and commitment toward underprivileged populations through support of education and health programs that help them attain economic independence.

Jury members included an array of authors, environmentalists, doctors, NGO leaders and social activists. The Finance Minister of India, Mr. Pranab Mukherjee, was chief guest of the event.

Congratulations to Amway India and all of its friends and partners who take the time to share their resources and talents to improve their communities.

Getting ready for a big playground building event

Wednesday, 6 June, 2012

KaBOOM! playground building is one of our most exciting Amway One by One projects in our hometown. We’ve told the story before, but not as it happens. Here’s a live update from Michelle Meulendyk at the build site:

Amway is getting ready to build our 14th playground this Friday, June 8th. I am onsite with about 20 others prepping the materials.

What a flurry of activity!!! We have people cutting wood, digging holes and taking inventory of EVERY nut and bolt to this playground.

As part of the Amway One by One Campaign for Children, 215 employees from our Logistics and Manufacturing divisions will team up with an additional 100 volunteers from the community to build a new, safe play space for children.

Amway is proud to partner with D.A. Blodgett – St. John’s Home and KaBOOM! to bring this project to life!

     

Watch out for live updates on Friday on our Facebook page.

Running, walking and riding for kids

Monday, 4 June, 2012

This Spring, Amway Business Owners and employees across Europe have been riding, walking and running to help children, and meet their personal fitness goals. Take a tour with us!

Sweden

Twelve cyclists took place in the Spin of Hope event across Sweden. It started early in the morning, with each person biking for one hour. Twelve hours later, the last participant from the Nutriway (Nutrilite) team crossed the finish line. The full event raised 1.3 million Krona (US $180,000) for the Children’s Cancer Foundation.

 

Slovakia

Amway Business Owners participated in the Nutrilite Hobby Run, part of City of Bratislava Public Run, which is the largest event of its kind in Slovakia. The Hobby Run attracted more than 950 participants, including 463 ABOs from Slovakia and the Czech Republic. The runnerss raised 1,300 Euros (US $1,600) for UNICEF.

Poland

In Poland, the children did the running, with strong support from Amway. The Ostrzeszów Cross is the oldest run in Poland with 1,150 participants. Throughout the event, 18 runs are organized by different age categories with distances ranging from 400m to 21km. The culmination of the event is the Amway Cup, awarded to all children who participated in the 1,000m stadium run.

Norway

In Norway, Amway invited business owners, employees and customers to participate in a 10km run in Sentrumsløbet to raise money for UNICEF. These efforts raised 35,000 Krone (US $5,700) for schools in Africa. Amway Norway provided goodie bags to the best runners in each class to keep motivation high, while Amway volunteers helped to manage the starting and finishing lines.

Hungary

More than 300 Amway Business Owners and employees cycled around Tisza Lake in Hungary to raise money for the Intensive Care area of the local Children’s Hospital. Amway staff welcomed the finishers and provided Nutrilite prizes for all category award winners.

Finland

In June, 408 women representing Amway Business Owners and employees in Finland participated in a 10km run to raise funds to support girls’ education in Nepal. Amway brought in the largest group of any other company, and raised 16,320 Euros (US $20,000), which will provide schooling for 1,360 girls through UNICEF.

Ukraine

Amway Business Owners had a strong showing at the Chestnut Run in Kyiv and on the largest team cup for the fourth time. The Kyivs City Mayor attended the event and personally greeted ABOs. In total, a donation of $ 20,000 was raised for the Children’s Centre of Cardiology – more than 30% of this milestone was raised by Amway Business Owners through Team Nutrilite.

 

Thanks to Karin Schmid and Sarah Wellner for sharing these stories.