Archive for September, 2012

An update from Zambia

Friday, 28 September, 2012

In July, Amway staff visited Lusaka, Zambia to monitor a program that uses Nutrilite Little Bits to support the nutritional health of children. We partner with the Christian Alliance for Children in Zambia, an agency on the ground that provides food, medicine and education to support mothers and children.

Chronic malnutrition affects roughly 45 percent of children in Zambia, and the Nutrilite Little Bits micronutrient intervention, added to any native food, contains 15 vitamins and minerals that provide nourishment and fortification to a child. Currently, 229 children in six communities in Zambia benefit from Nutrilite Little Bits.

The monitoring trip highlighted dramatic improvement in health of the children in the program, both in technical results and real-life stories.

Amway team members who were in Zambia last year were deeply moved by the improvements in the children – with greater health, higher activity levels … and more smiles. A little bit is going a long way!

Thanks to Jeff Terry for sharing this story.

New idea sprouts from nutrition program in the US

Wednesday, 26 September, 2012

The third year of a partnership with Boys and Girls Clubs of America in the US builds on learnings of the Positive Sprouts program.

Over the past two years, Amway Independent Business Owners and employees have worked with local Boys & Girls Club members to build edible organic gardens, which teach urban youth about healthy eating through hands-on activities and educational programs.

To expand the reach of Positive Sprouts even further, Amway has worked with Boys & Girls Clubs of America to develop a “Garden in a Box” for 150 Clubs across the country that demonstrate an interest and need for establishing a community gardening program at their Club. The kit includes a variety of fruit and vegetable seeds and supplies Clubs need to get started.

Amway will ensure the existing gardens continue, by providing sustainability grants and volunteer involvement. And through Positive Sprouts curriculum, Amway is expanding the delivery of the program to the 4,000 Boys & Girls Clubs nationwide, ensuring that all Clubs have access to educational materials promoting healthy eating habits.

Thanks to Kyle Warmington for sharing this story.

Collective Impact for Children

Monday, 24 September, 2012

As the Amway One by One campaign matures in each of our markets, we find ourselves looking for threads of innovation and impact that we can learn from and export to other areas of the world. We’re also constantly looking at models to plan and measure against.

One of the most interesting pieces we’ve seen recently was published by Stanford Social Innovation Review. Called “Collective Impact,” authors John Kania and Mark Kramer propose a framework of organized thinking around bringing many different players together to move the needle on social causes at the macro level.

We can’t help but compare this to the most successful Amway One by One partnerships, and the campaign as a whole. The Collective Impact framework proposes five conditions of success for large-scale social change through cross-sector collaboration:

  1. A common agenda
  2. Shared measurement systems
  3. Mutually reinforcing activities
  4. Conscious communication
  5. A backbone support organization

As a global program with grassroots mobilization, the Amway One by One campaign, while broad reaching and organic, is successful because of the way it supports these basic principles. More specifically, we are seeing exciting examples of Collective Impact models in countries where Amway One by One is the most mature:

A Common Agenda in Russia: A hospital experience can be scary for children, and often hinders the recovery process. Amway has worked with the government, NGOs, community hospitals and local Amway distributors across a vast geography to create a common agenda around creating great play spaces for children in government hospitals. To date, they have built more than 100 hospitals accessible by more than 130,000 children across the country.

Shared Measurement Systems in Mexico: As the Amway business grew around the world and Nutrilite products became a key part of our marketing strategies and scientific expertise, we knew we could use our expertise and influence to help with the issue of chronic malnutrition in children around the world. But we also knew that the scale could only be achieved through proven success and partnerships with on-the-ground agencies. In Mexico, we used global recommendations from the World Health Organization, partnered with a trusted organization called Un Kilo de Ayuda, and measured results through the Mexico Department of Health and Sciences. The results were outstanding, but made more significant because of the shared measurement during the clinical studies.

Mutually reinforcing activities in the United States: Inspired by an academic study around the phytonutrient gap in American diets and a subsequent campaign through our Nutrilite nutrition brand, Amway built a partnership with Boys and Girls Clubs of America to teach urban youth about nutrition through hands-on gardening. While Nutrilite continues to provide thought leadership and research at the health and policy level, Amway distributors have plugged into Boys and Girls Clubs locally to mentor and provide expertise.

Conscious Communication in Korea: Collective impact programs can be difficult to coordinate, and even more so when a program is new and innovative. In South Korea, Amway is partnering with a number of stakeholders – the government, academia, NGOs and Amway distributors – to provide innovative education for underserved children. How is that accomplished? Constant, consistent, conscious communication from all parties. Not only do the programs include measurement and reporting, but program plans also include events that showcase learnings to all parties and reinforce the value of the partnership.

A Backbone Support Organization in China: Children of migrating families are often underserved when it comes to education and nutrition. To build sustainable solutions, Amway has used its local understanding of children’s issues, its national partnership experience with the government, and its ability to mobilize people to serve. The Amway Charity Foundation in China was created for that purpose, and has been successful because of a dedicated history of collaboration and support of children’s causes.

An international welcome

Friday, 21 September, 2012

At Amway offices in Puchheim, Germany, 260 people from more than 30 different nations work together as one team. This diversity gives each of our employees an expertise in intercultural teamwork.

They decided to use this expertise in their their latest volunteer activity, working with youth from the world‘s crisis regions – Afghanistan, Somalia, Iraq, Syria – who live in a refugee shelter in Munich, waiting for their asylum status being granted.

Most of these young men and women will eventually be able to stay in Germany. So Amway staff, working with Inner Mission, made sure they would be ready to live, work and play in Germany, with a series of hands-on, multicultural activities, such as:

Getting to know German food and how to prepare it …

Repairing bikes and learning about German traffic rules …

Woodworking with tables and benches …

Playing sports and just getting to know each other. Click here for the full news writeup.

Thanks to Karin Schmid and Sarah Wellner for sharing this story.

A United Way

Tuesday, 18 September, 2012

It’s Campaign Week at Amway headquarters in West Michigan!

But this isn’t a sales drive – instead, it’s the biggest fundraising and volunteer recruitment effort of the year, working through the United Way.

The United Way mobilizes the caring power of volunteers, donors, agencies and community partners to improve the quality of life in local communities, particularly for the underserved. Donations collected by the Heart of West Michigan United Way support more than 60 agencies across West Michigan, with a focus on improving education, health and employment in our community.

Amway has coordinated a campaign for years, and employees have stepped up to the challenge, providing more than $600,000 each year in donations, which are matched by the company with $.50 for every dollar donated. Fundraising ranges from the simple (direct donations and payroll deductions) to the dramatic (bake sales, silent auctions and motorcycle rides among others).

The campaign is hands-on too. Each year, time is set aside for a community-wide “Day of Caring,” full of service projects by individuals and corporations for United Way partners. Amway employees show up in full force, mentoring children and providing manual labor to clean up camps and centers that serve children.

It’s an important time of year, a “united way” of lifting our community, and we’re proud to be a part.

Lead on Yogi!

Friday, 14 September, 2012

In Japan, a special dog named Yogi walks the halls of the Shizuoka Children’s Hospital.

This is no ordinary dog. It is a highly trained “Therapy Dog,” part of a special program that aims to speed the recovery of children in hospitals.

Amway Japan was introduced to the Therapy Dog program through the Tyler Foundation, which helps children with childhood cancer. The program has touched the lives of 980 children in Japan since the first Therapy Dog, Bailey, began working with children in 2010.

Yogi was trained in the US with special skills to provide affection and comfort to children in times of pain and stress.

We’ll be following Yogi’s progress, and hope to share stories on the impact he is making on children in Japan.

Thanks to Kafuu Toh for sharing this story.

Looking back, looking forward

Thursday, 13 September, 2012

One of the highlights of my career happened this week, when we met with our company president and chairman to update them on the work of the Amway One by One Campaign for Children.

Next year, Amway One by One will celebrate ten years of helping children, which will provide us the opportunity to shine a spotlight on Amway employees and distributors around the world, who have turned a corporate program into a grassroots movement.

In our meeting, we presented our plans to celebrate the milestone and mobilize more people to get involved. But we also spent some time simply marveling at the generosity and creativity that Amway people around the world have shown in response to a simple call to action.

We often receive thanks that are difficult to share with so many people who are responsible for helping children – and communities – to reach their potential, every day, in big and small ways.

We look forward to the upcoming year where we can pass along that thanks, and challenge people to do even more.

       

Celebration of a longtime partnership

Wednesday, 12 September, 2012

One of the longest-standing partnerships – which even predates the Amway One by One campaign – is the 30-year partnership between Amway and Easter Seals. Easter Seals provides services for those with disabilities or special needs – services that are often beyond the financial means of families that struggle to care for their children.

Amway Independent Business Owners (IBOs) and employees across North America have made this cause their own, and continue to find creative ways to raise funds – and visibility – for Easter Seals. Recently, several IBOs who have been top contributors and fundraisers over the years were recognized at an event hosted by the New York Yankees baseball team’s “Yankee Stadium Legends Suite Club” – the event itself raising $500,000 for Easter Seals.

The event set the pace for the largest Easter Seals Walk With Me events in the country, this year led by Miss America Laura Kaeppeler.

 

 

Miss America not only led the procession to Yankee Stadium on behalf of Amway, but also spent time with IBOs at a local Easter Seals center, meeting with the children and families who benefit from the services.

    

Click here for a video that shares more about the activities. Thanks to Marsha Champion for sharing this story. 

Thinking young in Belgium

Monday, 10 September, 2012

Our students of today are the leaders of tomorrow. As they think ahead to their future, we should be helping to lead the way.

In Belgium, Amway is working with an innovative think tank and youth lobby organization called Think Young, which is preparing future entrepreneurs for life after school.

Over the summer, 80 students took part in a program that provided exposure to the business world, with direct access to successful businesspeople, including Belgian Amway Business Owners.

  

The conversations focused on the importance of fostering a strong entrepreneurial culture in Europe. Group discussions were followed by an official conference in the European Parliament, hosted by two elected Members of the European Parliament MEP Comi and MEP Zalba.

The best experience is often as simple as available mentors. We can be the models for the future business owners and leaders … if we think young.

Thanks to Karin Schmid and Sarah Wellner for sharing this story.

See the great work happening in Korea

Thursday, 6 September, 2012

We recently shared the story of Leonard and Esther Kim, some of our most successful global Amway distributors from Korea who are doing amazing things for children through the World Wide Charity for Children.

Here is a short One by One video that highlights their efforts: