Many social initiatives are essentially made possible by the support provided by Wiener Städtische Versicherungsverein, the principal shareholder of Vienna Insurance Group.

Social Active Day extended to 17 countries*

Vienna Insurance Group initiated the Social Active Day in 2011. The motto "Take your chance and care!" was used to encourage VIG employees in nine countries to become involved in a good cause. As a rule, these employees were allowed to take one working day off for this purpose.

In view of the overwhelming response to this, the Social Active Day was extended to include a total of 17 countries in 2012. The result was an unmitigated success, with 4,195 working days or approximately 19 man-years of volunteer time being given to providing active support for a wide variety of charities under this initiative, including special-needs facilities, homeless shelters and initiatives, nursing homes, orphanages, children’s aid and environment protection programmes.

VIG Kids Camp*

With support provided by VIG's principal shareholder, Wiener Städtische Versicherungsverein, around 500 children of Vienna Insurance Group employees from 19 countries spent 14 days of their summer holidays in three different summer camps. These include the "City Camp" in the Strebersdorf area of Vienna, "Country Camp" in Wagrain, Salzburg, and the "Mountain Camp" in Altaussee in the Salzkammergut area.

Under the motto "I’m painting my summer", the children between nine and 13 years of age were encouraged to give their creativity free rein and put their ideas of the perfect summer on paper. A jury that also included educators and art experts selected the most imaginative and creative submissions.

The children enjoyed two weeks full of exciting activities ranging from hiking tours and expeditions through salt and stalactite caves to sightseeing tours in Salzburg and Vienna, with time naturally also given to a variety of games and water fun. Participants also had new and interesting experiences with children coming from many other European countries.

Günter Geyer Social Active Award*

In 2012, Wiener Städtische Versicherungsverein, the principal shareholder of Vienna Insurance Group, awarded a new prize for outstanding social commitment, named after General Manager Günter Geyer, for the first time. The prize was awarded to Group companies whose social activities – or those of their employees – performed in the service of their fellow men deserve special mention. The companies received a total of EUR 100,000 with this award to promote further social projects.

First prize went to Kooperativa (Czech Republic), which has had an extensive social programme for many years. The company has a particularly long-term cooperation with the organisation "Pomocné tlapky" ("Helping Paws"), which trains and distributes assistant dogs for disadvantaged individuals. Second prize went to Union Biztosító for its involvement in connection with the Bátor Tábor Camps for chronically ill children. And third prize went to the Helios insurance company, which arranged activities with and for the St. Tereza orphanage.

Examples from Group companies:

Wiener Städtische supports "Carer with a Heart" campaign

Wiener Städtische was one of the supporters of the "Carer with a Heart" campaign in 2012, which searched for the most popular nursing carers in Austria. The goal was to make "nursing care" a topic of discussion and give it a face – the face of a dedicated individual tirelessly providing nursing care to those in need.

Close to a thousand nominations were received during the campaign, and nine were selected by the jury as particularly worthy. They are Austria's "Carers with a Heart". The winners, one from each province, were awarded prizes in the Wiener Städtische Ringturm building for their service and importance to society. Official estimates illustrate the challenges. By 2050, the number of people over 80 years of age in Austria will rise from close to 440,000 today to more than 1.1 million.

Kooperativa Christmas campaign – a tree for a better life

Employees of Kooperativa (Czech Republic) participated in a very special Christmas campaign named "A tree for a better life" in 2012. In cooperation with non-profit organisations, Christmas trees were set up in Kooperativa's office buildings and decorated with the wishes of people who could not afford to buy presents to put under the tree. All of the employees who wanted to take part in the campaign could help Santa Claus in his work by taking a wish slip from the tree and then making it possible for the wish to be granted. The wishes were divided into two categories: wishes of up to CZK 500 (around EUR 20), and those from CZK 501 to CZK 3000 (around EUR 20 to EUR 120). A total of 470 wishes were granted by this campaign.

PSLSP enters into a long-term cooperation with a crisis centre

The Slovakian company PSLSP decided to undertake a very special social project in 2012 and entered into a long-term cooperative programme with a crisis centre for single mothers and their children. A wide range of activities was scheduled toward the end of the year for the residents of the centre. PSLSP employees participated in these activities, bringing variety into the often difficult day-to-day life of the children and their mothers. The success of the cooperation encouraged both sides to plan further activities.

"Asirom is always at your side" campaign

The employees of the Romanian Group company Asirom are always deeply involved in social issues. The "Asirom is always at your side" campaign was one of their initiatives in 2012. The aim of this initiative was to raise money for people in an area hit by a severe snow storm in February 2012. The campaign was a resounding success, allowing food, water and blankets to be purchased with the donations.

* Principal shareholder Wiener Städtische Versicherungsverein provided all or a major part of the support for these activities.