Creating a better life for children in Russia, Brazil and Thailand

Learn more about, and get inspired by, the variety of projects that engage colleagues around the world to drive prosperity. This postcard is from the orphanages in Kaluga, Russia and Curitiba, Brazil, and the Ban Dongkean School in northeastern Thailand. Catch up on what has been done to improve the lives of the local children.
better life for children

New gym for the children of Kaluga orphanage

The engagement in the Azarov orphanage started in 2008 and for the last two years, funds have been granted from the Volvo Group annual seasonal gift. This year it was decided to renovate the gym.

Through an employee fund raising initiative – Running for the Good – money has been donated in order to buy sports equipment for the newly renovated gym.

"We have replaced windows, doors, electrical wiring and lighting," says Anastasia Mikheeva, Director Marketing at Volvo Trucks Russia.

"On top of that we have also changed some sports equipment like basketball goals and a wall bar. Now the gym is fully functional and the children can start using it."

In addition, an employee fund raising event has taken place, headed by Ivan Melnik. Thanks to the "Running for the Good" event, the employees were able to buy more sports equipment for the orphanage's gym.

The 91 students were happy to receive new equipment and a futsal field

Futsal field and computers to fire torn school in Thailand

The Ban Dongkaen School in the northeastern region of Thailand, provides kindergarten and primary education. One of the school buildings recently burned down due to an electric failure, destroying seven classrooms including the media room.

Fortunately the fire started during a school break, so there were no casualties among children or staff. However, the school is now in need of support to facilitate the students when the new semester is about to begin.

The support is carried out by Group Trucks Asia & JV:s , UD Trucks Thailand and UD Trucks customer Jamlongchai Concrete. A recreational area with a futsal field was built and the support also includes educational equipment in terms of microscopes, desktop computers with monitors and television sets for distance learning classes.

School principle Mrs Wilaiwan Niruttikun said: "I would like to thank the Volvo Group, UD Trucks and Jamlongchai Concrete on behalf of the students and teachers for this project. We all are happy and appreciate what have been provided."

During the handover ceremony, UD Trucks Thailand team volunteered to provide repair service for old and broken bicycles of the school's neighbors.

"This is my first time visiting this part of the country and I am very happy to support this school that has been through a tough time. At UD Trucks, we would like to "Make the difference" not just to customers, but also to society.

Seeing our workshop mechanics repairing the bicycles reflects the UD Trucks' commitment pretty well," said Helen Savmyr, Senior Vice President of GTA&JVs Operations.

Building a future for young Brazilians

The Solidarity Foundation was established in 1989 by employees of Volvo do Brasil, with support from the company as well as from employees from Sweden.

The foundation maintains a program to host, develop and guarantee the rights of children and youngsters who are victims of violence and therefore are taken out of their families. The objective is to break the cycle of violence and to give them a solid ground to build their lives on.

Carlos Marinho Process & IT Service Market Logistics South America, said: "Being part of this team is a major source of satisfaction and, above all, a great opportunity for both professional and personal learning and growth.

Sometimes, doing good represents just a grain of sand on the beach ... But if we do at least a little bit ... If we evolve beyond the previous generation, we will certainly leave behind a better world for those coming."

The facilities comprises six shelter homes that can hold up to eight children each, a pedagogic-cultural center for educational reinforcement activities, a multisport arena, a party room, and areas for other leisure activities.

The foundation also has an 8 bed apartment to host young people from 15 and up at a "Solidarity Frat House". The housing contributes to develop young people, targeted at autonomy and future independence, through activities in financial self-management and the development of a life plan.  

The institution is currently maintained by Volvo do Brazil staff, who every month make a volunteer donation from their salaries, as well as sporadic donations from Volvo employees in other countries, in addition to public resources through tax incentive mechanisms.

"Being part of "Solidarity Foundation" is extremely gratifying. We can closely monitor and ensure all necessary actions are being taken to support all children under our responsibility.

I am very proud to be working at Volvo, a company that thinks and dedicates its resources to such noble causes," said Louise Chalusnhacke, Business Improvement Leader with Group Trucks Purchasing.

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