June 20 2011

DHL employees: Mentoring SOS Youths

20/06/2011 - In January 2011, SOS Children's Villages International and Deutsche Post DHL entered into a one-year pilot phase agreement, which now begins to take shape. In four pilot countries – Brazil, South Africa, Vietnam and Madagascar – they aim to foster the employability of young people. DPDHL and SOS Children’s Villages are cooperating under the pillar of DPDHL’s CSR Programme GoTeach, which was introduced to advance the quality of education and improve educational equality throughout the world.

Christoph Selig, Senior Manager GoTeach DPDHL together with the DHL mentors and SOS mentees in Madagascar. Photo: DPDHL
Christoph Selig, Senior Manager GoTeach DPDHL together with the DHL mentors and SOS mentees in Madagascar. Photo: DPDHL
DPDHL invites their employees to personally contribute through various voluntary activities such as mentoring programmes, training and individual support to the youths on the programme. At the same time existing educational programmes of SOS Children’s Villages in these countries are being supported financially.

Imparting knowledge to disadvantaged youth
At the end of 2009, Mamy Rakotondraibe, Head of DHL Madagascar, and Faneva Raharmanantsoa, responsible for communication at SOS Children’s Villages Madagascar, crossed paths at a meeting of the chamber of commerce in Antananarivo, the country’s capital. SOS Children’s Villages Madagascar was looking for a partner. Even though financial resources were limited, DHL Madagascar offered an equally valuable resource: the knowledge and experience of its employees. “Money alone is not enough to secure young people’s future – the primary goal is to offer them development opportunities and perspectives,” explains Daniel Paniez, National Director SOS Children’s Villages Madagascar. As the largest local express and logistics service provider, DHL is ideal for providing young people with their first insights into the world of work and helping them establish important contacts.

DHL employees in Madagascar as mentors
Those young people between the ages of 17 and 22 are in the final phase of their training and on the threshold of independence. Soon they will stand on their own feet and begin a career. Yet they often lack mentors with regular jobs. “The experience of our staff helps the young people as they transition from childhood to adulthood and working life. DHL provides the missing link in the chain and compliments the work of SOS Children’s Villages,” explains Mamy Rakotondraibe.

This was the beginning of a cooperation among two globally operating partners at the local level that would bear fruit worldwide.

DPDHL GoTeach seeks educational equality
At the same time, nearly 9,000 kilometers away at DPDHL’s headquarters in Bonn, Germany, DPDHL corporate GoTeach team was looking for a partner to promote educational equality. The goal is to help socially disadvantaged children and young people lead a self-determined life by improving their access to education and training. SOS Children’s Villages was identified as an ideal partner.

Next up: South Africa, Vietnam and Brazil

SOS Achives, TPA42756
The positive experience gained in Madagascar offered the incentive to launch similar partnerships in other countries. “Independent of the partnership between DPDHL GoTeach and SOS Children’s Villages, the two parties found each other in Madagascar – and immediately saw how cooperation would make good sense,” says Christoph Selig, Senior Manager DPDHL GoTeach. “We are convinced that DPDHL and SOS Children’s Villages can actively work toward better education for socially disadvantaged young people in other countries and regions as well.”

The two partners already have concrete plans for partnerships in South Africa, Brazil and Vietnam. The mentoring programme in Madagascar will serve as a model. Ultimately, though, DHL’s local staff and the unique experiences and skills they bring with them will determine how each partnership takes shape.