How did the COVID-19 crisis affect the CSR policy of Allianz Bulgaria?
Every action and decision we make is dictated by our corporate mission to support the future. The coronavirus crisis has turned our lives upside down in an unprecedented manner, and it has been our duty to help our employees, customers and the most vulnerable groups in society. Allianz’s new motto is #AllianzForLife and a number of projects around the world were launched and more are still to come because the fight against the effects of COVID-19 is not over. Allianz Bulgaria also turned to the affected groups and took a number of local initiatives to alleviate the negative effects of the emergency situation. One of them is the donation we made to SOS Children’s Villages which needed laptops to provide remote learning for children without parental care. The difference was that in a normal situation, each initiative is planned for the long term and is budgeted from the previous year. Decisions now had to be made on the go. It takes a lot of energy to prepare a good proposal that the management of a large holding company would approve. I believe that in the future we will increasingly have to be flexible and quick in our decisions in order to be adequate to the changing environment.
How did you choose to support this particular organization at a time when everyone needs help?
We conducted a study and found that with the declaration of the state of emergency, all corporate donations were aimed at the fight with the epidemic on the front line. This is quite natural. At the same time, children at risk are the most vulnerable part of our society, and at that moment their needs somehow remained on the periphery. Allianz Group globally supports SOS Children’s Villages with the World Run initiative in which we have been participating for years, and we have decided that it is our duty to turn to them at this time. Students had difficulties learning adequately with the remote program because several people used one computer. Children who share a home are at different ages, in different schools, and it is virtually impossible to participate in remote lessons from a single device. We did not hesitate and quickly decided that this was our cause and the rest was easy. Colleagues put energy and heart into making the donation happen quickly. They wrote cards with personal wishes to 60 children living without parental care. Representatives of the management personally delivered the laptops around the country. Unfortunately, during the period of social isolation, we could not meet all the children in person, but we plan to support SOS Children’s Villages in the long run and I believe that we will have more occasions to see each other.