World Refugee Day 2017: Deutsche Post DHL Group looks to long-term programs to facilitate refugee integration
Nearly 16,000 Group employees are involved in more than 1,000 regional aid projects for refugees.
- Nearly 16,000 Group employees help provide aid to refugees in Germany
- Some 550 refugee interns get inside look at DPDHL Group; 325 employment contracts signed, 158 of them following an internship
- Local mentoring program for young refugees has promising launch in Bonn
Bonn - For nearly two years now Deutsche Post DHL Group has engaged in efforts to help refugees in Germany. The results to date have been positive. Some 16,000 employees from various Deutsche Post branches are involved in more than 1,000 regional aid projects for refugees and the company has signed employment contracts with 325 young adult refugees. Of those new hires, 158 served as branch interns and of those former interns. This way, 750 refugees gained an insight into the work environment, either via internships, apprenticeships or a working contract.
The Group has clearly made progress in reaching the goals of its refugee initiative: Providing professional orientation and prospects to refugees. Now a local mentoring program has been developed and launched provisionally in Bonn. In the program, which includes language components and personal support, mentors from different Group areas form tandem partnerships with young refugees. Thirty of these tandem partners now meet regularly thanks to a cooperation agreement with the Robert-Wetzlar vocational college in Bonn. The young refugees benefit from the professional and life experience of their mentors who in turn gain new perspectives from their protégés. A second phase of the program will be launched this fall.
"We're glad we've been able to help," says Christof Ehrhart, Director of Corporate Communications and Responsibility at Deutsche Post DHL Group. "And to make a long-term contribution to refugee integration in Germany. At the moment, we are once again having very positive experiences on both sides with our new mentoring program."
For years now Deutsche Post DHL Group has had an established infrastructure for encouraging volunteerism in the Group. One key example is the annual Global Volunteer Day, an initiative in which over 106,000 employees around the world took part with their own projects in 2016, investing their personal time in nearly 2,500 projects. The Group also promotes volunteerism with its "Living Responsibility Fund", which provides financial support for employee volunteer projects.
"What we have found out is that employees have more motivation when we are involved together with them in charitable projects," says Christof Ehrhart. Employees who are involved in the refugee initiative contribute by organizing material donations, providing support during visits to government agencies and coordinating free-time activities. The company also has some 500 reading mentors who primarily help children and young people with language acquisition but also serve in refugee facilities.
Since the launch of the Group's refugee initiative, which is furthered through such company partners as Teach First Deutschland and the Stiftung Lesen reading foundation, 100 coordinators have gotten involved in the Group branches, actively functioning as contact partners for refugees and aid organizations. Around 26,000 square meters of property space have been entrusted to municipalities to date to set up emergency shelters or provide clothing assistance. In addition, more than 200 surplus staff members are currently serving in the German Federal Office for Migration and Refugees. The Group is also a member of "Wir zusammen", a German business initiative, for the purpose of working together with other companies to offer refugees long-term prospects and opportunities. Deutsche Post DHL Group is also part of the DIHK Network "Unternehmen integrieren Flüchtlinge" (companies integrate refugees).