DP DHL ‘Doing What We Can’ to support the Refugees in Europe The refugee crisis in Europe has captured the world’s attention and many organizations, individuals and governments have swung into action to help them during this time. Deutsche Post DHL (DPDHL) has offered support for the thousands of refugees in Germany in the form of financial aid, housing space and work opportunities. A pledge of €1 million by DPDHL will help develop programs designed to support their integration process and will focus primarily on language acquisition and the provision of vocational support. On top of that, it will make facilities available for emergency housing and 1,000 training internships for the refugees. Approximately 100 dedicated coordinators in DPDHL branch offices across Germany will work closely with partner organizations to manage the refugee aid efforts locally. “As a company with a strong presence both in Germany and throughout the world, we want to contribute to the integration of refugees jointly with our partners,” says Frank Appel, Chairman of the Board of Management at DPDHL Group. “In doing this, we also continue to support a long-established tradition of volunteering among our employees in cooperation with non-profit organizations.” Last year, around 108,000 employees around the world – 38,000 in Germany alone – got involved in volunteer projects in their communities. This latest initiative goes to show just how high Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is on its agenda. As Mr. Appel offers, “It is an opportunity for us to integrate those people who have come to our country and intend to stay here permanently into our society and labor market, as quickly as possible.” DPDHL is working closely with its partner organizations such as German humanitarian initiatives Aktion Deutschland Hilft, SOS Children’s Villages Germany, Stiftung Lesen and TeachFirst Deutschland to make this happen. The German reading foundation Stiftung Lesen, which promotes integration through education, reading and language acquisition, will train DPDHL employees as ‘reading buddies’. DPDHL has also teamed up with SOS Children’s Villages Germany and Teach First Deutschland to prepare its employees to serve as ‘integration guides’ for refugees. Both organizations are actively engaged in improving educational opportunities and the employability of disadvantaged young people. Aktion Deutschland Hilft, an alliance of relief organizations, has been offering coordinated relief assistance throughout Germany. In addition to all these centrally steered programs there are plenty of activities initiated by the branches and country organizations throughout the company. To name a few:
- Refugee children are helping to paint DPDHL’s mail drop-off boxes, decorating them with their great works of art
- Campaigns in Austria and Sweden aim to help refugees in Lesbos by providing logistics expertise, meeting venues, coordination, air and road transport and storage space for collected aid material.
One of DHL Freight’s managers sums up the feelings of DHL Freight employees involved, “The feeling when the first truck with supplies arrived was amazing. None of us had ever seen so many bright-eyed and grateful people, children and adults alike. It was an amazing coming together of different cultures around one common purpose. It has made me very proud to lead this organization and to be part of the DHL Freight family.”