In April and May 2016 Okaïdi staff in Germany took part in a charity day as part of the ÏDKIDS foundation employee volunteer programme.
The ÏDKIDS foundation is a corporate foundation that funds initiatives promoting respect for children and protection of the environment. It is active in the group’s countries of distribution and production. Its employee volunteer programme is a way for staff to take part in initiatives that benefit children. As part of the programme, staff from Okaïdi stores in Duisburg and Wesel visited the Immersatt (“never hungry”) charity in Duisburg. Here is the story of one of them: Iwona, an Okaïdi store manager.
“Immersatt is a charity set up to prevent people from going hungry in the city of Duisburg, particularly children and teenagers. Poverty is a problem that has a huge impact on children.”
There are many vulnerable areas and disadvantaged neighbourhoods in the city of Duisburg. The families of the children helped by the charity are experiencing serious social problems.
“In Germany, the school timetable includes a midmorning break for breakfast. Lunch is taken at about 3pm at the end of the school day. Some children come to school on an empty stomach without bringing breakfast and sometimes they can’t go home after school because their parents work. Every day Immersatt hands out breakfasts to 800 pupils at different schools all over the city.
The volunteers’ day begins at 6am so they have enough time to butter the bread and make the sandwiches.
The charity also helps children after school by providing hot meals to almost 70 of them every day. For many it is their only hot meal of the day.
We each spent four hours helping out at the charity and we helped the children with their homework. We also shared out the meals at lunchtime, making sure the children didn’t forget their manners.
It was an incredible experience! We were surprised by how much can be done with so little. As Mahatma Gandhi said, ‘Be the change you wish to see in the world.’
Immersatt has five full-time employees. Its success is down to their commitment, the donations received from various organizations and the hard work of volunteers.