Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Ports and Container Handling Group Show the Christmas Spirit with International Volunteer Day

Good Deeds Done In Support of UN Initiative
Shipping News Feature
DUBAI – WORLDWIDE – In the lead up to the Christmas festivities one Middle Eastern headquartered company demonstrated to the rest of the world the true spirit of the forthcoming season by once again supporting Global Volunteer Week. International ports and container freight handling group DP World saw employees from across six continents move away from their daily duties to give up 3,000 hours of their collective time to help over 7,000 people in local communities around the globe.

Some 777 employees in 19 different countries supported 42 organisations involved in projects covering social welfare, education, health, emergency relief and the environment. The number of employees volunteering grew by 30% this year, and the number of individuals who benefited from the programmes increased by more than 50%. As well as benefiting from time and skills, community partners also received over US $46,000 in financial support.

Now in its second year, Global Volunteer Week, which took place 6 – 12 December, is built around the UN International Volunteer Day and aims to provide an opportunity for the workforce to connect with each other and to help strengthen the communities in which DP World operates. The importance of volunteering was demonstrated right the way through the company, with Group Chief Executive Mohammed Sharaf volunteering to prepare meals at The Passage, London’s largest voluntary sector resource centre for homeless and vulnerable people. HE Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem, Chairman of DP World, said:

“Global Volunteer Week is an incredible opportunity for our workforce and for the communities we work with. I am delighted to see a significant increase in the number of employees involved this year and I look forward to building on this throughout 2016. We recognise the value of community service during work time and the benefit it brings to our communities and our business. Global Volunteer Week is a key part of our commitment to being a sustainable and responsible business, which we believe is essential to building a strong business for our customers, our people and society.”

DP World says that Global Volunteer Week is part of the company’s wider commitment to society. In 2014, more than 3,600 employees volunteered to support 527 organisations, benefiting more than 64,000 people. This figure is set to grow significantly by the end of 2015. Some highlights of this year’s initiative included:

Argentina: employees prepared activity kits, including towels, bags and swimming caps, for underprivileged children in Argentina, to help them participate with other children while their parents go out to work.

India: employees partnered with local organisations to assist people affected by severe flooding. At various medical camps, volunteers helped register the details of the patients and issue medicine. Food was also distributed to stranded drivers and people who had lost their belongings as a result of the heavy rain.

Dubai: employees planted 250 Ghaf trees to improve bio-diversity and provide habitats for numerous species. The Ghaf is an indigenous species of the region and is drought–tolerant and one of the sturdiest plants in the desert.

Australia: volunteers helped Foodbank Queensland, which distributes nearly 50,000 meals each day to those who are homeless, unemployed or disabled, by organising deliveries and hampers.

Photo: The 'Give a Ghaf' initiative benefits DP World's home country.