Saturday 5 December is International Volunteer Day. Launched by the UN in 1985, this event is an opportunity to thank all volunteers who work with charities for a fairer and more united world, and thus contribute towards the Sustainable Development Goals.
2020: a difficult year but with an outpouring of solidarity
With the COVID-19 health crisis, 2020 was a turbulent year that disrupted all of our daily lives, both professionally and in terms of work/life balance.
Despite this complex situation that one might expect would hinder affirmative action, the BNP Paribas Group kept its #1MillionHours2Help programme running all year long, aiming to reach 1 million hours of volunteering during working hours.
In Switzerland, 35 volunteering events were held in Geneva, Zurich and Lugano between January and December 2020, mobilising a large number of the bank’s staff.
« Volunteering is a great lever to strengthen our support to local associations, both on social and environmental challenges.
I am proud to see that despite the health crisis, our employees showed great solidarity all year long with their time and skills. »
Isabelle WOLFF, Head of Company Engagement for BNP Paribas in Switzerland
Record mobilisation for corporate volunteering
The various solidarity programmes have rallied more than 500 volunteers from the bank’s workforce, more than double last year’s number.
This week is the last key moment of the year for many Group territories, and the total amount of volunteering in Switzerland is likely to exceed 1,500 hours, an increase of more than 75% on 2019!
I helped the association Fraga for a night, it is a great initiative for people in need to get warm food during the cold period of the year! I don’t volunteer that often but I support 100% the bank’s #1MillionHours2Help initiative and will surely be doing more in the future.”Ricardo LUCHSINGER, Cash management sales officer
Essential support for local charities
Whether working in person or virtually, bank staff gave their time and support to some 20 local charities. They were able to help them with their social and environmental work, and answer calls for assistance linked to the health crisis.
These institutions are active in fighting poverty, in emergency food aid, education, integrating migrants, protecting biodiversity and promoting projects that have a high environmental impact.
On several occasions, for example, bank staff helped the Partage foundation, a Geneva food bank, to create emergency food parcels for individuals at risk. Several people also worked with the Découvrir charity to offer female migrants guidance on writing a CV and passing job interviews. Others preferred to help protect bees by working with the Printemps d’Abeilles charity, building hotels and hives.