Launched in 2012, the Günter Geyer Award for Social Conscience shines the spotlight on Group Companies’ commitment to supporting social causes. Named after the Chairman of the Wiener Städtische Versicherungsverein Managing Board, the accolade is awarded each year to three VIG Group companies which have provided outstanding service to the community through their social activities, or those of their employees.
As in previous years, the 2019 winners stood out for their exceptional dedication to society:
Healthy children and young people
VIG Group company Vienna Osiguranje in Bosnia and Herzegovina staged its nationwide “In healthy school, healthy kids” competition for the third time. The goal of the initiative is to help tackle obesity and lack of exercise among children and young people, which is now a widespread problem in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The competition was open to all of the country’s primary schools, which could take part by submitting their ideas and plans for encouraging their pupils to lead healthier lifestyles. Thanks to the participation of sports and TV celebrities, as well as a dedicated Facebook page, the project has caught the public’s imagination. The winning schools have to use the prize money they receive to implement their plans, which this time around included planting a herb garden for making herbal teas; buying water filters to make it possible to drink water while at school; and grouping children differently for sports and physical education, in particular to take account of pupils with special needs. Schools also took part in a cookery show on national TV and a trip to the seaside, which proved to be among the highlights of the campaign. “In healthy school, healthy kids” has a different focus every year. Its efforts to promote a healthy lifestyle for children and young people earned Vienna Osiguranje the 2019 Gold Günter Geyer Award for Social Conscience.
Saving lives on Poland’s roads
Polish VIG group company Compensa, whose product portfolio includes motor insurance, has set its sights on improving road safety in the country. The company launched a campaign to raise public awareness of this important issue, which received the support of the National Road Safety Council of Poland (KRBRD), and aimed to engage with all sections of the population. The initiative featured a range of activities, in which Compensa employees also participated, such as information events at motorway service stations, distributing information materials at accident hotspots, first-aid training, equipping service stations with first-aid boxes, and a road safety competition. The campaign included several television adverts featuring celebrities, while Poland’s national radio broadcaster agreed to act as a media partner. 10,000 people took part in 21 mini first-aid courses, and 650 completed one-day first-aid workshops. Around 500 Compensa employees also benefited from these two first-aid initiatives. The company picked up the Silver prize in the 2019 Günter Geyer Award for Social Conscience in recognition of this outstanding project.
A better future for children in Albania
The Bronze prize went to Albania’s Sigma Interalbanian for its outstanding commitment to helping children who are at risk of poverty. The company cooperates with the Albanian charity Different Weekend, which put Sigma Interalbanian in contact with an isolated mountain village called Mamel which can only be reached via very poor, partly dirt roads. To get to the only school in the area, the children of Mamel have to make an 80-minute round trip every day. But when the weather is bad, they often stay at home, because of the bad road conditions. Sigma Interalbanian paid for a school bus service to make sure that the children can regularly attend school, and also organised collections of donations such as clothes, books and food. To motivate parents to take a keener interest in their children’s schooling, a condition is attached to the use of the free school bus: the children’s marks have to be good enough for them to progress to the next school year. In addition, Sigma Interalbanian provided funds to help Different Weekend buy new windows for a training centre. Sigma Interalbanian has also been working closely with the Albanian Children Foundation for many years. The company has paid for the treatment of children with autism and provides support in a range of focus areas. It has helped to publish an Albanian-language book for parents of autistic children, for example. Sigma Interalbanian also cooperates with the Red Cross to sponsor a cafeteria which provides warm meals for people in need.