A month to remember

Mar 13, 2014

The month of March is shaping up to be a big one for our colleagues in India.

On the first day of the month, volunteers from our Distributor Relations and Training team in Dehli organized a drawing and painting competition for the children of the Deepalaya Sanjay Colony School.

Deepalaya is a local organization and longtime partner of Amway India that helps marginalized children.

While the competition winners received special prizes, all children who participated – more than 100 – received some kind of reward.

The Dr. Shroff Charitable Eye Hospital used this special day to perform free eye checks, and the Amway Opportunity Foundation delivered a donation to renew its 6-year partnership and help support education and healthcare for 22 children.

But the month doesn’t end there.

We just received word that Amway has been recognized for its CSR efforts at the Corporate Social Responsibility Award ceremony held by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI).

The recognition acknowledged Amway’s strategic integration of corporate social responsibility throughout the company and integrated into its corporate strategy.

But there is still more happening this month.

On March 18, we will see the inaguration of a Handloom Weaving Centre. It will be run by TNT, another Amway partner that manages an orphanage for abandoned children. The centre will teach traditional handlooming skills and designs to the youth that they serve.

And finally, on March 29, Amway will host a “Mega Health Camp” near its new headquarters in Gurgaon, just outside Delhi.

Amway-sponsored health camps are always a fantastic opportunity for Amway to work with its partners to provide free services to children and families who may not be able to afford care on their own.

Thanks to everyone who are making extraordinary efforts to help in their local communities across India, and special thanks to Raj Narain for sharing these stories.

Zumbathon helps children with disabilities in Puerto Rico

Mar 12, 2014

How can you get some exercise, learn some dance moves, meet new people and raise money to help others?

In a word: ZUMBA.

Last week, hundreds of people in Puerto Rico came together in a two-hour Zumbathon, led by 11 professional trainers.

An eclectic crowd danced to choreographed moves and lively music as they raised money for a good cause.

The event was organized by Amway, and Amway matched every $10-$15 entry fee to raise money for the Society for Education and Rehabilitation (SER).

SER is a nonprofit organization specializing in the needs of children with disabilities, through therapy services and preschool education that blends children with and without disabilities.

SER is also a partner of Easter Seals, another organization that helps children and people with disabilities through advocacy and direct services.

Easter Seals has been a decades-long partner of Amway in the United States, Canada, Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic.

Throughout the crowd, you could find people of all ages and fitness levels, as well as children with Spina Bifida, Autisim, Hirschsrpung and other disabilities.

But despite their differences, the crowd was connected by a common activity for a common cause … and for two hours, they showed their spirit lively and loudly!

Thanks to Ruben Familia and Rut Amaro for sharing this story.

Making a Dream Work for the Planet

Mar 05, 2014

At Guangzhou Nansha Wetland Park in China, several students from South China Normal University earnestly demonstrate exquisite hand-made soaps to guests.

Surprisingly, these soaps were made from used oils collected from small restaurants near the university, transformed from trash into treasure in a few simple steps.

The students were a prize-winning team in the Amway Green Dream Works Competition. It took them only four months to turn their creative idea into a final product.

The competition was a partnership between the Department of Environmental Protection of Guangdong Province, Amway China and the Amway Charity Foundation, open to all university students in the Guangdong Province.

Amway China offered a 100,000 yuan award for 10 winning projects, and hired high-caliber instructors and evaluation experts. Contestants were required to come up with creative ideas to promote energy conservation and emission reduction, as well as green lifestyle. 

Eighty environmental protection groups from 30 universities in Guangdong Province took part in the competition. The 10 winning teams will receive 10,000 yuan from Amway China and professional mentoring provided by the instructor team, ensuring that new dreams are turned into reality for a better world.

Thanks to Rowley Luo for sharing this story.

One day in Thailand

Feb 28, 2014

At Amway headquarters in West Michigan, USA, we know the importance of a winter jacket.

But on the other side of the world, in the remote corners of Thailand, children need protection too.

Amway leaders recognized that need, and built a massive program around our global volunteer day on November 20.

For several months leading up to the delivery date, Amway Business Owners and employees donated funds for winter jackets and sold tshirts to raise money.

Between their efforts and the support of Amway Thailand, more than 22,000 jackets were produced.

Then, on November 20, the fun began.

Approximately 768 Amway people got in busses, vans and cars along with the border police units and set out for schools in remote areas that were identified as places where help was needed.

In one day, Amway Business Owners and employees made deliveries to 177 schools in 39 provinces all across Thailand.

It was an incredible experience. Here’s a video that follows their journey:

While the numbers were big, the day was full of special moments where a volunteer connected with a child, and showed them how special they are – each one, one by one.

Thanks to Choomprin Yurayong, Laksana Jenanaporn and Ungkarb Akkarasaksuntorn for sharing this story. Watch out for more posts in the coming weeks that recap local stories of our global volunteer day.

US Heroes of Generosity in 2013

Feb 27, 2014

Every year, Amway leaders in the United States award our Independent Business Owners (IBOs) for some of the intangible aspects of great character: Determination, Generosity, Leadership and Patriotism. 

They call them Amway Heroes. And this past year’s recipient of the Hero Award for Generosity was Kathy and Jody Victor. 

Jody’s parents were among the first three IBO couples when Amway was founded in 1959. All of their children are also IBOs. 

The Victors have made generosity a way of life. Over the years, they have supported a number of diverse causes, related to health, education and the environment. 

Jody even received the Polish Heart Award from the government of Poland in concert with the Roman Catholic Church for his work overseas – creating free enterprise business opportunities for people and helping build public recreation facilities throughout the country. 

But as often as they make personal donations, they also contribute to causes anonymously, wherever they see a need to be filled. 

“That’s just how we do things,” says Jody. “We’re here to help.” 

Those efforts began in 1981, when they were approached to help fund a baseball field for youth in their community who needed a place to play. The Victors have continued to support Crown Field for 30 years while expanding its facilities and programs where kids can hone their skills while learning valuable life lessons. 

The Victors are also actively involved in the U.S. Dream Academy, empowering at-risk children through innovative after-school and mentoring programs that incorporate technology. 

“God has blessed us greatly,” Kathy says, “and when God has given so much to us, it’s our duty and our pleasure to give back … It doesn’t matter if it’s a little or a lot. It makes a difference in your life – and in the lives of others.” 

Here’s a video that helps to share their story: 

 
You can read the full story at Amway.net. Thanks to Marsha Champion for sharing this story.

Measuring outputs and impacts in China

Feb 21, 2014

The Amway Charity Foundation in China has reached a major milestone.

They now count more than 1,700 Spring Sprout Kitchens built in 13 provinces and autonomous regions from 2011-2013, which far exceeds the 1,000 kitchens that were originally pledged.

But how do we know if it is making a difference? Our colleagues have shared recent data that makes a compelling case.

Let’s start with measurements of the program itself.

In the last three years, 97% of the new and upgraded kitchen equipment operated normally, while 96% students approved of food quality.

The overall satisfaction rate of the project reached 96%. 

They also looked at the current health of the children.

The Institute of Child and Adolescent Health at Peking University studied the progress of the students.

The report found that in schools with Spring Sprout Kitchens, students improved health in their muscles, bones, fat, internal organs and chest as indicated by BMI, the height and bustline index, and Rhorer’s Index.

Finally, they compared the students to the broader population.

The students’ growth retardation rate, rate of thinness and two-week prevalence rate at Spring Sprout schools were lower than those of students in non-project schools or regions.

The Raven’s Standard Progressive Matrices (SPM) showed that the intelligence of 51% of students in these schools were “excellent”, which was higher than the average 42% in non-project schools. 

The answer is clearly yes – the program is making a difference, both in outputs and in impacts.

And it is giving children a chance to reach their full potential.

Thanks to Rowley Luo for sharing this story. To learn more about the program, check out a video we made after recently visiting one of the projects near Nanning.

One day in Singapore

Feb 20, 2014

When you organize a single global volunteer day, chances are the date you choose will not be convenient for everyone, yet here at Amway, we endeavor to make things happen.

In Singapore, Amway colleagues were in the middle of a facility expansion when we held the Amway Universal Children’s Day November 20. Yet they still took time way from their work to help out with longtime partner Singapore Children’s Society.

Approximately 30 Amway Business Owners and employees visited the Henderson Student Care Centre, where they hosted an interactive, fun-filled day for children of all ages at Hort Park – a gardening hub in Singapore.

 

Three days later, volunteers wore their yellow Amway One by One anniversary shirts as they celebrated the opening of an expanded brand center, reminding everyone that it is always important to find the right balance of business and generosity.

 

Thanks to Audrey Chow Miew Ling for sharing this story. Watch for more stories of our global children’s day in weeks to come.

Counting every child because every child counts

Feb 17, 2014

UNICEF has released its 30th annual report on the State of the World’s Children, which tracks basic indicators down to the country level on the world’s 2.2 billion children.

While each year’s report typically comes with a deeper analysis on a specific issue, this report is focused on the meaning of data and how it influences the decisions we make.

There are a handful of basic behaviors and consequent data indicators that we know will give children a better chance at survival, health and economic success. This year’s report includes an interactive picture of how these indicators play out in real life.

 

The 30-year milestone provided UNICEF an opportunity to look back on the positive progress we’ve made since the report was published:

  • About 90 million children who would have died if mortality rates had stuck at their 1990 level have, instead, lived past the age of 5.
  • Deaths from measles among children under 5 years of age fell from 482,000 in 2000 to 86,000 in 2012, thanks in large part to increased immunization coverage.
  • Improvements in nutrition have led to a 37% drop in stunting since 1990.
  • Primary school enrolment has increased, even in the least developed countries, whereas in 1990 only 53% of children in those countries gained school admission, by 2011 the rate had improved to 81%.
  • Nearly 1.9 billion people have gained access to improved sanitation since 1990.

But the report also points out the data that calls for more action:

  • 6.6 million children under 5 years of age died in 2012, mostly from preventable causes.
  • 15% of the world’s children engage in child labor.
  • 11% of girls are married before they turn 15.
  • Children’s chances differ depending on whether their country is a rich or a poor one; whether they are born girls or boys, into families rich or poor; or whether they live in the countryside or the city – and there, too, whether they live in well-to-do areas or impoverished neighborhoods.

We are proud of the many initiatives Amway has around the world focused including healthcare, nutrition, immunizations, education, clean water, disaster relief, migrant populations and economic empowerment.

Yet the numbers remind us that there is much more to do, and we all play a role.

Competitive Generosity in India

Feb 14, 2014

How do you keep your people engaged in their local communities, when they are spread out over multiple geographies representing many different needs?

In a word: competition.

Ten years ago, leaders of the Amway Opportunity Foundation in India set up two awards, or “Rolling Shields” to recognize the best efforts at the local and regional level.

They were looking for the programs that generated the most volunteering, most giving and the greatest impact on the local communities.

The plan worked. Each year, we see bigger and better partnerships across India. This year, the Southern Region took both prizes.

The regional prize recognized partnerships among 12 organizations focused on orphanages and helping the visually impaired. Efforts included hiring visually impaired staff to work as telephone customer service representatives; building computer centers to encourage skills-based learning; fundraising events that involved fashion shows and cricket competitions; and skills workshops involving Amway Business Owners and staff.

Within that same region, the Hyderabad office won the local prize. This means they will get to keep the trophy for the year, and were recognized at a national Amway Business Owner form last month.

Congratulations to the winners, and to everyone who is a part of this positive competition!

 

Thanks to Yoginder Singh and Raj Narain for sharing this story.

One day in the Dominican Republic

Feb 13, 2014

Over the next few weeks, we are recapping some of the stories that happened on our Amway Universal Children’s Day.

In the Dominican Republic, we often work with Amway Independent Business Owners who are physicians. This helps us to serve populations that do not have regular access to healthcare.

On November 22, our volunteers heard a mix of laughs and cries. The physicians were administering critical vaccinations to fight preventable diseases.

While the shots sometimes caused tears, volunteers joined the doctors to make sure there were gifts, food and hugs to speed the children along to good health.

 

Thanks to Rut Amaro for sharing this story.