Archive for August, 2012

A house and a home

Tuesday, 28 August, 2012

Some children need a house.

They may have loving parents or caregivers, but they face barriers: poverty … illiteracy … lack of access to credit … unclear laws or pervasive corruption. They often resort to living in unsafe, overcrowded slums. According to UN-Habitat, One out of every three city dwellers – nearly a billion people – lives in a slum and that number is expected to double in the next 25 years. They need a place of their own.

Some children need a home.

They may be orphaned or abused, living in shelters or on the street. According to UNICEF, there are more than 150 million orphans in the world, many of which do not have consistent, caring adults to look after them. They need people to care for them and a place to call their home.

Fortunately, there are great organizations that are working to provide houses and homes for children around the world.

Amway partners with Habitat for Humanity in ten countries across Latin America, including a multi-country partnership to build an entire neighborhood of homes in Guatemala, working with Amway distributors and employees.

Habitat for Humanity works with local governments to establish clear property ownership for underserved families, many who live in poverty and don’t read well enough to fill out an application for a home loan. Through Habitat, volunteers build homes alongside the families that will live there. The new homeowners are trained on maintenance, finances and build equity to ensure they will have a house for their family for the long term.

For children who have no families, or who have to be removed from their families, Amway works with local governments and nonprofit agencies to help. In Japan, Amway helped to establish a Crop Home for abused children. In South Korea, Amway employees and distributors regularly help out at Child Welfare Centers that care for children. In the Amway hometown of Grand Rapids, Michigan, we provide financial and volunteer support to foster care and adoption agencies that help to provide homes for children.

Amway has also been a longtime supporter of SOS Children’s Villages, which provides a permanent home for orphaned children, which includes a series of homes that make up a village, with each home run by a caring adult. Amway and our employees and distributors have supported and volunteered for SOS Children’s Villages in South Africa, Haiti, South Korea, the United States and China over the years.

A house and a home – many needs, and many ways to help.

Let them play

Thursday, 23 August, 2012

Play encourages children to explore and discover the world around them.

Amway Malaysia launched “Balik Kampung” earlier this year to promote mental health for children in small towns and villages through arts and music.

Last month, Amway volunteers and members of Hands Percussion, a performing arts group transformed, 120 children from the village of Bukit Tinggi, Pahang into artists, dancers and musicians.

They taught them to make music using recycled materials, to perform traditional dance, and to decorate floats. None of the children had previous training.

After only three hours, they put on a spectacular parade of hand percussion, a lion dance and five giant floats for their school headmaster and villagers.    

Impressed by their performances, Mr. Thum Ven Keng, the school headmaster, said, “Amway has tapped the musical talent and potential of my students.” Later he announced that the school plans to form its own drum troupe.

According to Paul Yee, General Manager of Amway Malaysia, “Through arts and music, we help children gain self confidence and grow into healthier individuals.”

And that’s a rhythm we can follow.

Thanks to Joanne Yap and Sri Soekarmoen for sharing this story.

A bike ride of dreams

Tuesday, 21 August, 2012

Nineteen mentally disabled high school students in Taiwan recently showed the world what they can achieve, with a little help from their friends and families.

The students pedaled 519 miles (835 km) across the island of Taiwan in twelve days, accompanied by over fifty teachers and a support team from the National Hua-Lien Special School.

Amway Taiwan was inspired by their journey, and did what they could to help – providing Amway products like Double X and Cal Mag nutritional supplements, protein drinks and Peter Island sun lotion.

They also provided advice on health and training as the student athletes made their “Dream Adventure” come true.

Thanks to Julie Wu for sharing this story. See more photos and updates on the Amway Taiwan Facebook page.

Starting interns on the right path

Friday, 17 August, 2012

An important part of the Amway intern experience is learning about our emphasis on volunteering.

Every year, Amway interns put on a children’s carnival in downtown Grand Rapids, Michigan in conjunction with Urban Family Ministries. The goal is to give at-risk youth an opportunity to spend quality time with family and friends.

This year, not even a little rain could spoil the festive spirit, as more than 300 children came out to enjoy games, food, and arts and crafts, supported by 60 interns.

Giving kids a chance to relax and play in a safe environment is one of the important roles Urban Family Ministries plays in our local community, and Amway is proud to collaborate and create unique opportunities to enrich the lives of children.

Thanks to Kyle Van Andel for sharing this story, and thanks to all of our dedicated interns who are learning how we live out our values at Amway.

Making time to volunteer

Wednesday, 15 August, 2012

You may not feel like you have time to volunteer, but a new study shows that volunteering actually makes you feel like you have more time.

Researchers at the Yale School of Management and Harvard Business School will soon publish their research, which revealed that volunteering can increase our “sense of unhurried leisure,” in large part because people feel more competent and efficient.

And that’s time well spent.

Earthquake damage in Italy spurs action

Monday, 13 August, 2012

Earlier this year, a series of 34 earthquakes hit the Italian region of Emilia, including a 5.8 magnitude quake on May 29.

In just two months, the quakes caused several deaths and destroyed hundreds of houses and buildings, including some historic medieval architecture.

Immediately following the first wave of severe quakes, Amway Italy Geneal Manager Fabrizio Suaria issued a call to action.

Amway quickly began to provide cleaning and personal hygiene products to those in the affected areas, delivered by Amway Business Owners.

Amway staff also took part, volunteering their time to dismantle an outdoor church that collapsed during the earthquakes, and making plans to return again soon.

  

In addition, Amway launched a campaign to raise funds. Through the support of Amway, ABOs and employees, a kindergarten that had been completely destroyed in the city of Finale will soon be rebuilt.

  

Thanks to Sarah Wellner for sharing this story. To view a photo gallery of Amway volunteers, click here and to see a gallery of the school that will be rebuilt by Amway, click here.

Power Soccer

Wednesday, 8 August, 2012

We recently covered the story of Jim and Nancy Dornan, who are among our top Amway distributor leaders and members of the Amway Founders Council.

The Dornans have invested in many great causes for children over the years through their Network of Caring and the Fernando Foundation.

One of the causes closest to their hearts is Power Soccer. Below is a video that tells the story.

Putting good work on the map

Monday, 6 August, 2012

Okay, we have to admit it – we’re not the only company that cares about improving the world.

In fact, Amway is part of several peer groups of corporate social responsibility (CSR) leaders that are using their resources to help change the world for the better.

Recently, the US Chamber of Commerce launched a Business for Good Map through its Business Civic Leadership Center, to highlight some of these initiatives.

If you want to see who is sponsoring microfinance projects in Bolivia (McGraw-Hill), or funding education programs in Egypt (Intel) or supporting professional development programs for teenage girls in Ukraine (Amway), you can find them on the map.

We’ve only just begun to share some Amway programs and partnerships on the site, but will continue to populate the map so we contribute to a global knowledge base, and inspire all corporate peers to more and more effective actions to improve the communities we live and work in.

Goooooaaal!

Wednesday, 1 August, 2012

This year, Amway continued its support of the AC Milan Junior Camps in Denmark and Sweden, giving 2,500 kids a unique opportunity to learn soccer from some of the best coaches.

The AC Milan Junior Camp invites boys and girls between the ages of 8 and 16 to a week of high level soccer training and cultural experiences. Special consideration is given to underprivileged youth, with paid registration for 35 of the participants, in partnership with Danish partner, Julemærkefonden.

Youth that may not otherwise get a chance to participate in this level of playing and coaching are taught skills and techniques which they can continue to develop after the camp has finished, including sportsmanship and teamwork … perhaps the most important!

Thanks to Karin Schmid and Kyle Van Andel for sharing this story.