AT ORACLE: Commitment
Gearing Up to GiveBy Aaron Lazenby
Oracle Global Volunteer Days are a time for action.
As 2006 wound down, Oracle employees were gearing up for the company's seventh annual Global Volunteer Days (GVD). GVD now connects nearly 4,000 employees around the world to more than 110 volunteer projects. In 2006, employees totaled more than 23,000 hours of volunteer time, making GVD 2006 the most successful yet.
"GVD was created to promote volunteerism among Oracle employees," says Rosalie Gann, Oracle director of global corporate citizenship. "Employees around the world strengthen the professional bonds that connect them together as they forge new bonds with the communities Oracle serves."
For GVD 2006, Oracle volunteers lent a hand in more than 37 countries. Here are some reports from just a few of these global projects.
Paipa, Colombia: Instituto Tecnico Agropecuario
Instituto Tecnico Agropecuario is a nonprofit school that provides basic primary, secondary, and agricultural education to the children of regional farmers in Paipa, Colombia. GVD brought 52 Oracle employees to the campus for a total of 411 volunteer hours dedicated to improving the school's materials and facilities.
The results: 700 square meters of fresh paint, 500 repaired desks, 26 new plants, and 12 freshly decorated classrooms. Some volunteers attended to the school's computers to improve performance, while others repaired the cabins and played with the children.
"I love to participate," says Oracle Colombia employee Rosario Ramos Guzman about GVD. "It was definitely a happy time and an enriching activity. It was very satisfying, being able to help."
Hong Kong, China: Po Leung Kuk Chan Au Big Yan Home for the Elderly
In Hong Kong, China, senior members of the community were beneficiaries of the GVD treatment. Thirty-eight Oracle employees visited the Po Leung Kuk Chan Au Big Yan Home for the Elderly to spend time with some of the residents.
Everyone had a great time sharing stories, playing games, and singing. The project gave the home's residents a memorable break from their normal routine, and it gave the Oracle volunteers a fresh perspective on life and work.
Johannesburg, South Africa: Ponelopele Oracle Secondary School
In Johannesburg, South Africa, Oracle employees helped put the finishing touches on the Ponelopele Oracle Secondary School. The volunteers' efforts will help the school, funded by an Oracle donation of more than US$1.4 million, prepare for the first day of classes.
One hundred sixty employees from Oracle's Johannesburg office spent the equivalent of 120 work days sprucing up the new school. Volunteers set up the school library, planted the gardens on school grounds, assisted with teacher training, and decorated the staff rooms and reception area.
"I never imagined something this big would take place today," says Bafana Khumalo, chairman of the school's governing body. "I am truly at a loss for words."
Aaron Lazenby is a senior editor with Oracle Publishing.