’Because I am a Girl’
In early 2014, Wärtsilä personnel in Finland selected a charitable initiative for the company to support. The combination of a well-chosen partner, a strong group effort, and a unique internal initiative should help drive change for the better for girls in developing countries.
Supporting girls’ education is one of the single best investments we can make to help end poverty. Did you know, for example, that:
- 62 million girls are unable to go to school and that every year in higher education increases a girl’s future income by 15–25%.
- Every day, close to 40,000 girls get married and a third of them are under 18 years old.
- 50,000 girls die yearly because of complications in pregnancy or delivery.
Plan International’s ‘Because I am a Girl’ campaign aims to support millions of girls in getting the education, skills and support they need to transform their lives and the world around them. Wärtsilä employees in Finland selected the campaign from a number of other worthy causes to be a joint initiative between personnel and the company as a whole.
Pushing for gender equality and improving lives
Plan International works with millions of children in 86,000 communities in 51 developing countries across the world and is continuously looking for new ways and opportunities to advance the achievement of gender equality and girls' rights.
Through the ‘Because I am a Girl’ campaign, Plan‘s projects will address the barriers to girls completing a quality education of at least nine years, as well as equip them with the assets they need to safeguard their future, promote gender equality and improve their lives.
“Collaborations like this really help to further the aims of the campaign”, explained Susanna Saikkonen, Plan’s Director of Corporate Partnerships in Finland. “This partnership with Wärtsilä and its employees in Finland is a very important one for us and will help both in fundraising and in spreading our message even further.”
“The issue of girls worldwide in need of further education and the guarantee of a safer, healthier life is one that has an emotional impact on many people, and we were happy to find that Wärtsilä’s people shared our strong feelings on the topic,” she continued. “Only real passion like this can motivate such a huge undertaking.”
The direct fundraising initiative
“This was one of the first pilot ParticipAid programmes in Wärtsilä. The results and positive feedback from employees showed the importance of and need for charity activity to which we all can contribute.”MARKO VAINIKKA, Director, Corporate Relations and Sustainability, Wärtsilä Corporation
The practical arrangements of the donation programme were launched for personnel at Wärtsilä’s headquarters in April, and continued onwards to Vaasa and Turku in October. These took the form of what is known as a ParticipAid programme: a voluntary charity framework.
Personnel were invited to make either a one-time or monthly donation, which would be automatically deducted from their net salary. These one-time donations were then matched by Wärtsilä, who pledged to double every euro donated, passing on the final sum of € 27,146 to Plan in December.
"Girls’ education is the best and strongest weapon against poverty in the world. Thank you to everyone who participated in the campaign!"OSSI HEINÄNEN, Secretary General and National Director, Plan Finland
This arrangement of deductions from employee salaries for charitable purposes is one of the first of its kind for Wärtsilä. Both parties hope that the combination of a well-chosen partner, a strong group effort, and a unique internal initiative will drive change for the better for the girls affected by these hardships.
Find out more about the ‘Because I am a Girl’ campaign and make a donation: http://plan-international.org/girls/