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Beneficiary’s name: Amerikai Kereskedelmi Kamara Alapítvány

Beneficiary tax number: 18106400-1-41

 

Annual Activities Report of AmCham Foundation – 2019

AmCham Foundation promotes corporate social responsibility and the ethos of volunteerism in the Hungarian business culture. With its 30 years of experience in organizing volunteering events, ACF offers transparent and ethical charity services to donor corporations. We offer end-to-end services: besides organization and logistics, we also support companies to pre-examine and follow-up on the volunteering projects and to monitor potential children’s institutions. Since the beginning, the organization has raised around HUF 400 million in donations for nearly 130 children’s institutions reaching more than 15,000 children.

Our main pillars are:

  1. Talent development: A strategic goal for ACF, we are dedicated to expand the Rajki Zsuzsa Award, and support young talented individuals who excel in their studies, arts or sports despite their difficult backgrounds. In addition to financial support, we aim to diversify the program with mentoring.
  2. Digital Education: “English Click”- for teaching English language, Code Theater performances – for awareness raising for safe internet usage and classroom lessons to showcase safe use of different social channels.
  3. Corporate Volunteer Days: Spring Buzz and “A Day to Make it Happen”

 

In 2019, the AmCham Foundation (ACF) mobilized more than 500 volunteers to help foundations, children’s homes and schools with more than 3500 working hours. Overall, ACF reached more than 550 children across 12 institutions in 2019.

 

How to help in the digital age? - New classroom training launched by ACF

The first session of ACF’s newly launched "Classroom Lessons" on Safe Social Media usage event series was held at the Bokréta Children's Home in Szlávy Street.

17 children who attended the event said that they enjoyed very much the performance, which was followed by a discussion led by psychologists and lawyers. According the adults who participated, the event was very useful and it was worth to organize this session on a regular basis. Two other events were organized on the 19th of May  as part of the Forest Camp program of the Foundation, attended by 59 children from three different children's homes.

Code Theater

Three Code Theater performances were held in April, September and December. More than 250 children and their companions participated in the event. The children also took an active part in the roundtable discussion. The September rehearsal was open for wider audience, including family members, children of the member company associates.

Record number of participants on the volunteering events

Spring Buzz Volunteer Day was organized with the participation of more than 100 volunteers in two locations on April 27 (Bokréta Children's Homes in Szlávy Street and Kőér Street Home). We spent a day by improving the environment where the disadvantaged children were fostered. The enthusiastic volunteers made pallet furniture, paint frames and planted flowers, cleaned up the areas and played with the children living at homes.

Thanks to the helping hands of the colleagues of AVIS Budget Group, NCR Hungary, BME Bilingual School, Lexmark, EXXON and Tata Consultancy Services, AmCham Foundation managed to complete the planned work. The participating companies helped the common work with the necessary paints and tools.

Special thanks for the outstanding help to Balázs Somogyi (BP) and Tóth Bálint (Lexmark), László Ilona (Urmet) for the smooth running of the event.

 

Ford - ACF Forest School – Verőce (Csattogó – valley) in May

Four Foundations – Aga Children’s Home, Bokréta Children’s home, Hospice house, and Janka Zirzen Children’s home - were involved in the Ford - ACF Forest School project. They spent three days and two nights in a camp in the countryside.

The volunteers organized several programs to make those days unforgettable – skill & sports competitions, hiking, astronomer presentation, common cooking, adventure park, fishing, cooking competition, and games.

The Hungarian volunteers wanted to give a special experience to the socially and financially disabled orphans or homeless children to integrate them into society, improve their lives by creating a supporting environment, which kept their interest to learn about more about the forest, animals and play on several skill & sports competitions. The special focus was on teamwork.

The event in numbers:  59 children and 15 teachers from the beneficiary foundations, 28 volunteers and 8 colleagues joined with their families this event. Total number of participants: 110.

The Forest School program was a great success and a lot of nice feedbacks were received

 

Zsuzsa Rajki Award for Young Talents

In May, the AmCham Foundation called the tender of “Rajki Zsuzsa Award for young talents” for second time, application was open until 31 August. 

In 2019, five talents received financial help  to  step closer to their dreams with Rajki Award. 

 

30 trees for 30 years – A Day to Make it Happen

On a rainy October day, board members and the volunteers of the AmCham foundation planted 30 fruit trees marking the 30th anniversary of the organization as part of the latest “A Day to Make It Happen” program during a visit to three children’s homes in the capital.

Little Marci was barely visible in the tall, unkempt grass as his mother lifted him from the baby seat of the car and set him down in the yard. He was still under the Sandman’s spell, his eyes barely open, which was not at all surprising since it was 8 o’clock on a Saturday morning. Despite this, Marci came to the Burattino children’s home in Csepel to help his parents and many other volunteers plant trees and do some yard work in the garden of his less fortunate playmates.

Our volunteers arrived from American Express Hungary, Avis Budget Group, BME International Secondary Grammar School, ExxonMobil, Ford Hungary, Lexmark, NCR Hungary, and Tata Consultancy Services to work together with other dedicated individuals and, of course, the employees of the homes. There were almost 50 devoted helpers at Csepel; at the other venues, Hűvösv

ölgy Children’s Home and the Aprónép Foundation, another 70 volunteers worked.

In the weedy garden in Csepel, excavators, hoes, pruners, and other shearing, cutting, digging tools, not to mention a fair few garbage bags, were quickly set to work, regardless of the drizzling rain. A cheerful group of ladies worked on the handrails of the roofed terrace, sanding, priming, and painting like a professional team.

Others were busy in the dining hall, preparing dozens of butter and jam sandwiches as well as bread and dripping, better known as „zsíroskenyér” in Hungary, to replenish the energy of our tired workers. The coffee was pretty good too!

Barely two hours later, the yard was unrecognizable: the waist-high weeds, fallen branches, and broken garden chairs were all gone; what remains is a pleasant, refurbished garden for the kids to enjoy. The work was similarly cheerful and enthusiastic at the other homes as well.

The best part of the day was still ahead: the enthusiastic hands, big and small, planting 10 trees and countless Thuja coniferous bushes in the front and back garden at each home.

“It is a great pleasure for us to be here again and to make these gardens not only beautiful but also fruitful again. During the many volunteer days of our foundation, we tidied up these homes several times and it is fulfilling, heartwarming to be able to return here and do something for these children,” said Edit Bencsik, a curator of the 

Foundation. “In addition to celebrating the 30th anniversary of ACF, this is also a good time to look back: since the beginning, we have volunteered, raised donations for nearly 130 children’s institutions and supported more than 15,000 children with around HUF 400 million, with the help of AmCham member companies. The trees planted today are symbols of a better future and continuity. They represent our commitment as well as hope of the kids,” Bencsik added.

Marci quickly overcame his initial drowsiness, joined his parents and the enthusiastic volunteers, helping in the yard, planting trees, watering plants, and lifting everybody’s spirits. And he really liked “zsíroskenyér” too. It is never too early to instill the spirit of volunteerism, community and care for others in the next generation

 

30 Years - Anniversary Gala Event

The AmCham Foundation held its own anniversary gala and jubilee theatrical performance in the Palatine Hall of the School for the Blind celebrating 30 years of giving back to the community and helping children in need on November 7.

After a brief ceremony, the AmCham Foundation recognized companies, organizations and individuals who have been most dedicated and supportive in recent years.

The Budapest Marriott Hotel and AmCham Hungary received the Generosity Award for their continuous outstanding support.

The Volunteer Corporate Team of the Year titles were awarded to ExxonMobil Business Support Center, Ford Hungary and NCR Hungary while BME International Secondary Grammar School and the Kézzelfogható Foundation were thanked for their cooperation.

The foundation also honored some of the most dedicated volunteers who set a great example for the community: Bálint Tóth from Lexmark, Orsolya Csatáry from Tata Consultancy Services, Tímea Szabó from ExxonMobil, Ilona László from Urmet Hungaria, Tamás Bosnyák and Andrea Nagy.

Guests were treated to a fantastic performance by Ákos Török pianist, one of the foundation’s mentored artists. Born in Kézdiszentlélek, Transylvania, the 18-year-old is a student of the Béla Bartók Secondary School of Music, Instrument Making and Repair at the Liszt Academy.

An outstanding talent, who has attended several masterclasses despite his young age, he also enrolled the Adam György Castle Academy and Masterclass with the foundation’s backing and entered the Danubia Talents International Music Festival & Competition in Rome last year which he finally won.

Once again, the Code Theater team provided an unforgettable experience with another powerful performance about cyberbullying, earning a standing ovation at the end.

The play, “Strangers”, has been performed for children living in foster homes since 2018. The play is followed by a discussion with a psychologist and IT security professionals who help the kids analyze the scene and learn about safe internet use.

To top off a wonderful evening, guests shared a fantastic cake made by Danubius Hotels Hungária's confectionery.

 

ACF announced a brand-new digital language learning program called "English Click”, which uses DynEd, a dynamic learning method with a heavy emphasis on speech and vocabulary.

We focused on 2 criteria when   students were enrolled to  the program: to support children from some point of view, but it is also important to create an enthusiastic and learning group. Zoltán Kodály school (Kaposvár) will be the site for  the extracurricular afternoon classes.

First phase of the program kicks off in January and continues for 12 calendar months. 15 students will participate in this program.

 

Code Theater On December 5

ACF hosted the final Code Theater program of the year at the Movement Development Primary and Secondary School of the Standardized Special Education Methodological Institute. One of the most interactive and exciting shows yet, the performance was followed by a lively discussion about communication, cyberbullying and social networking. Thanks to Menedzsmentor – and most appropriately, given the date – Mikulás (St. Nicholas) even popped in to give presents to the children.

 

Looking ahead

Strategic directions in 2020:

  • Talent development
  • Volunteerism
  • Digital and Language Education.

 

The AmCham Foundation is proud of its dedicated volunteers and will continue to promote the merits of social responsibility in the business community. If you feel the urge to make a difference in the lives of disadvantaged young people, contact ACF at info@amchamfoundation.hu.

WANT TO DISCUSS THIS FURTHER?

Erika BOSNYÁK

Erika BOSNYÁK

Secretary of the AmCham Foundation

+36 30 941 3001