To follow Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) you must first and foremost be willing and eager to act. We can do a great deal to put a smile on other people’s faces if we work together. Such activities, besides contributing to solving social problems, protecting the environment, and caring for our surroundings, are a source of great personal satisfaction that comes from selfless help.
Two years ago the Poland Convention Bureau PTO organised the IMEX Challenge Poland – a project allowing meetings industry professionals to support the local community through direct voluntary activities. Rather than collect money and financially support changes, the participants took matters into their own hands and got down to work.
220 wheelbarrows of sand, 280 of earth, 300 of bark, 160 pairs of gloves and 360 hours of work for 3 days – these are only some of the facts about the IMEX Challenge Poland 2010 project, which aimed at supporting the Family Children’s Home in Warsaw-Wesoła. Volunteers from nine countries completely redeveloped the garden, and built a playground and recreation facilities – all that over the course of a few days in September. They also funded scholarships amounting to EUR 4,000 for learning English, hippotherapy classes, and consultations with a speech therapist.
The IMEX Challenge Poland 2010 was continued with the “BACK TO THE GARDEN” campaign, organised for the Polish representatives of the meetings industry. Its aim was to revitalise the garden in the Foster Home in Warsaw-Wesoła that was redeveloped the year before. Together with our friends we moved our workplace to the garden, switching computers and telephones for shovels, wheelbarrows, watering pots, and rakes. The fruitful efforts of the leaders of the Polish meetings industry were awarded with the sight of the beaming faces of children and the gratitude of Parents.
More than 100 plants, 300 kg of bark, 3 tonnes of earth, 2 days, and 30 volunteers. These numbers describe 2012 year’s “Back to the Garden” action in Kraków’s Specialist Education and Care Centre “Parkowa”. Over 20 volunteers from the Kraków meetings industry and 10 young people from the “Parkowa” Centre became “gardeners” for two days. The work covered fitting out recreation grounds with sports equipment, planting, and clearing the entire area. An extremely important aspect of the project was to involve the young people from the centre who had had educational difficulties connected with the puberty “crisis”, family conflicts, behavioural disorders, and other mental disorders of varying degrees.
The third edition of the CSR project “Back to the Garden” was held on 29-30 August in “Home for a child” of the Our Home Association located at Storczykowa Street in Wrocław. The centre focuses on providing care and education to children, who require special attention and support from adults as for many reasons they temporarily cannot be with their parents. During the campaign, the area around the garden was revitalised, and a herbal and fruit garden was created. Children staying in the facility may also spend time in the garden gazebo – which was the incentive for the renovation of the garden and that gazebo. The walls of the gazebo were painted and the map of the world was drawn thereon, and the children painted symbols which remind them of different sites. A dinner for all the participants of the project became another special attraction for the children.
Carina Bauer - IMEX Group, CEO
"The Convention Bureau of Poland was fantastic in helping us to organise the first-ever IMEX Challenge in 2010. It was a CSR project that we wanted to do for IMEX and for the whole industry. And having the Convention Bureau of Poland pull it together for us made it possible for us to do it. It was a fantastic experience for everybody that was involved. And more than that, it created a fantastic experience for the children in the Foster Home with the garden that we created. Working with the Convention Bureau of Poland for the first-ever IMEX Challenge in 2010 was a fantastic experience. They made it possible for us to do the IMEX Challenge and moreover they made it possible for the children in that garden to experience a wonderful garden."
Jonathan Bradshaw - Meetings Mindset, founder; foremer IMEX Business Development Director
"We took the first-ever IMEX Challenge in Poland in 2010. It was amazing. CSR – they know all about it. We really recommend it."