GO employee sponsorship scheme
GO’s Employee Sponsorship Scheme which support employees with a passion that goes beyond their work will this month be celebrating its first anniversary.
The scheme highlights initiatives concentrating on charity, arts, sports and the environment and was particularly effective in the area where employees requested sponsorships towards participating in a humanitarian-focussed initiative that without support from GO would have been difficult for them to pursue.
Chief Human Resources Officer Michelle Bonnici, said “at GO we are acutely aware that creating a culture of change and responsibility starts with our people. Getting our employees motivated and excited about being involved in leading-edge CSR initiatives – that are effective from a humanitarian point of view – is a great way to begin and hence the onset of our Emplyee sponsorship scheme.”
Paula Azzopardi from GO’s Quality Audit Department was sponsored for missionary work in Mozambique. The trip took over two years of careful planning that included organising fund-raising activities and even learning Portuguese to communicate with the local community of Mapinhane, Imhambanee where the team of volunteers would be based. The nuns in Mapinhane run a secondary school and during their time there, the team’s main focus was carrying out maintenance in the school and building ‘Palhotas’ – the make-shift huts used by the locals as houses. “Life is very simple out there, water is collected from boreholes, flint has to be collected for cooking… food is limited and hot shower water is practically inexistent,” said Paula on her return to Malta who admitted to being a changed person with a more mature outlook to life after her gruelling Mozambique experience.
Jacqueline Cassar, an HR Specialist from GO’s HR Department, joined a group of 13 FACES volunteers to work on a humanitarian project in Kenya. FACES is a voluntary organisation set up with the mission of improving the quality of life for underprivileged people in developing countries. The team’s work in Kenya involved carrying out embellishment works at the orphanage, delivering an in-depth computer course and provide many other educational and recreational activities to the orphanage residents. Prior to the trip, the team met up on a regular basis and dedicated much of their time and energy in the run-up to the trip. Jacqueline commented: “This was no mean feat; ensuring that once we arrived, everything was well planned and all the required material for all that we planned was in hand.”
Bjorn Vassallo, Team Leader from GO’s IT Helpdesk headed a team on the famous 800-kilometre trek of El Camino de Santiago in Spain to raise funds for the Inspire Foundation for Inclusion. Bjorn walked 110km of the Camino de Santiago pilgrimage starting from Sarria in Spain. “Walking the Camino for Inspire has proven to be an outstanding experience for me,” said Bjorn Vassallo, “All the available places were taken up by a number of people with mixed abilities. Their enthusiasm was encouraging and efforts at fund-raising amazing. Thanks to their efforts and the generosity of sponsors, Inspire can continue to offer its services to persons with disabilities – for which I am grateful and proud to have had a leading role in the initiative.”