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Improvement of living conditions in local communities

Annual Report 2018 > BUSINESS > CSR > Improvement of living conditions in local communities
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Best Pratices in PZU
“We are interested in the CSR initiatives in which the company’s employees are involved”
Comment made during a dialogue session

Helping is Power

PZU as a socially responsible company is aware that the best way to respond to the needs of local communities is to give the initiative back to them. By addressing the Helping is Power prevention campaign directly to them, it encourages communities to define the needs existing in their surroundings. It also provides a tool to take action for the common good.

The main idea of the campaign is to provide financial and operational support to local groups that, under the main goal of the project, “Healthy and safe family”, receive funds in the amount of up to PLN 100 thousand to implement their proposed initiative. The project was launched in March 2018. To implement the project, a website was created at, which is used to collect proposals and to provide information about the project. The proposals are evaluated by the coordinator at PZU and by an external expert and subsequently they are published online and subject to a vote.

In 2018, PZU co-funded the execution of 97 local initiatives.

Since the project raised great interest and the number of proposals skyrocketed (in September 2018), PZU decided to continue the program in 2019.


The employee volunteerism program has been in operation in PZU since 2012 and it is enjoying ever greater interest among employees. The PZU Foundation coordinates the nationwide and regional volunteerism programs while the domestic Employee Volunteerism Coordinator collaborates on an ongoing basis with PZU’s Regional Volunteerism Leaders.

The PZU Group’s Employee Volunteerism Rules and Regulations are in force in PZU and PZU Życie.

Every year the PZU Foundation organizes two editions of the contest entitled “Volunteerism means the joy of action” in which grants are awarded to employees in amounts up to PLN 5 thousand to put their ideas into action. Every employee who would like to get involved in helping others and exert an impact on his or her surroundings can submit an application. The detailed contest rules are laid down in the Rules and Regulations that are in force in PZU and PZU Życie.


The PZU Academy of Volunteerism Leaders, a group of 40 employees running information and promotional activities linked to employee volunteerism at a regional level supports the development of volunteerism in PZU. Twice a year the Foundation organizes special training courses for them to raise their competences, among others, their communication and motivational skills.


  • Number of PZU’s Regional Volunteerism Leaders: 40
  • Number of PZU volunteers: 630
  • Number of volunteers from outside the company invited to lend PZU employees a helping hand: 753
  • Number of hours spent doing volunteer work by PZU employees: 11,674
  • Number of hours spent doing volunteer work by people unrelated to the company: 11,105
  • Number of PZU employees’ proprietary volunteerism projects: 77
  • Number of beneficiaries PZU employees have aided: 11,992
  • Number of animals PZU volunteers helped: 953
Karolina HryniewiczKarolina Hryniewicz, Elbl

How did your adventure with employee volunteerism get started?

My adventure with volunteering started in April 2017 with an announcement, which was published on the pzu24 website. I read the rules and regulations of the competition entitled “Volunteering is a joy of action” and I was at awe that I could share happiness with the needy in such a simple way. I started to act right away. I talked to potential volunteers, put forward an idea and when it was approved I wrote an application. The result was positive. Helping others is a wonderful feeling, especially when you are successful in encouraging your colleagues to volunteer. Many of them are already writing their own applications, and for me it is a great pleasure to assist them or just give them a few tips. The most important thing for me, however, is that many people are getting involved in selfless help. I agree with what John Paul II said: “A man is great not by what he owns, but by who he is, not by what he has, but by what he shares with others.”

What type of campaigns did you complete last year? Whom did you help?

In 2018 I organized five volunteerism projects. Each of them was special for me, because through the PZU Foundation we helped many sick children, disabled sportsmen, and we also integrated the local community in Elbląg. We supported, among others, Kindergarten No. 23, Primary School No. 1, Special Educational Center, boarding house at the special school and the “Attack” Integrated Sports Club in Elbląg. However, I was most satisfied with the “Integrative Spartakiada” project. It was carried out in Olecko at a sports camp for physically and mentally disabled children. Thanks to the PZU Foundation we introduced many innovative disciplines and attractions. We bought equipment that was needed for further rehabilitation through sport. We bought school kits, clothes and small gifts for those who needed them most. It was a really special time. I have never seen children so happy before.

What did you learn as you prepared for and carried out the projects?

Each project gives me great satisfaction. The smiles and joy shown by our beneficiaries are the source of happiness to me. Sometimes a small gesture, a word can do a lot of good. I enjoy infecting others with that, that my colleagues are eager to take part in all the initiatives. Being in the community of people who need your help, the disabled, gives me strength and motivates me to act and carry on with further projects. Helping others has taught me to derive joy from small things, learn life wisdom from people tested by fate and look at the world through pink glasses.

Why is it worthwhile to take part in volunteerism projects?

Because once you try, you will never want to give it up. That is why I encourage everyone to become involved in volunteerism. Happiness is the only thing that multiplies if you share it!

Aneta Malec, MielecAneta Malec, Mielec

How did your adventure with employee volunteerism get started?

A colleague mentioned the PZU Foundation because she read an article on Then I started seeking information on the options to write a project.

What type of campaigns did you complete last year? Whom did you help?

The project “To love is to help” was written mainly for children from single-parent families who had no option to go on holidays. The project entitled “Where a senior citizen cannot go, a grandchild can help” aims to reduce the barriers between generations. Under this project children “adopted grandmothers and grandfathers”, or lonely people from social assistance centers. Even though the project formally has ended, they continue to organize occasional meetings together with the PZU volunteers. A short journalist report in collaboration with young authors on this campaign has been produced under a project executed in tandem with Papaya.Rocks – a new lifestyle internet service. The report is available under the following link: https://

What did you learn as you prepared for and carried out the projects?

This cannot be classified or specified in any way... – it’s simply a matter of opening your heart up to another human being and his or her needs and your desire to help.

They strengthen bonds between employees and help make new acquaintances and friends. When we carry out these projects, there is a lot of joy in it, smiles, good fun and primarily, the single goal driving all the volunteers: their willingness to give help to those who need it. I am really glad that as a PZU employee I am able to conceive projects that are then backed with hard cash and, as a result, we can do beautiful things that ultimately show that this corporation is full of great people with big hearts.


For many years, the PZU Foundation has held nationwide contests under which it helps non-governmental organizations implement projects for the benefit of local communities in small towns and villages.

  • The After School with the PZU Foundation contest helps support organizations that develop interesting and creative additional activities for children and youth. 
  • The Young Able Disabled with the PZU Foundation contest increases self-sufficiency and activity of disabled persons. 
  • The PZU Foundation with Culture contest enlarges access to high culture. 

The detailed contest rules are set forth in dedicated rules and regulations available on the website: www. 

Grants were awarded in 2018 to carry out 66 projects that benefited more than 8,200 people. 

Examples of employees’ volunteerism activities in 2018:

  • Scouts from Poręba came to Warsaw to learn, together with a guide and volunteers from PZU, the places connected with the fate of the heroes of the Kamienie na szaniec (Stones for the Rampart) book and movie.
  • More than 100 kg of food, financing the treatment of more than ten cats and veterinary aid resulted from the involvement of PZU volunteers from Poznań in the work of the Koci Pazur Foundation.
  • Package for an animal is a project implemented by Alior Bank in Warsaw, Krakow and Gdańsk. Volunteers made 110 beds and five scratchers for homeless animals during tailoring workshops. 41 people took part in three workshops that lasted 7 hours. Additionally, as part of a collection organized for homeless pets, 600 kg of food and snacks were collected, 200 blankets and towels and numerous toys, leashes and collars.
  • For people with multiple disabilities, PZU volunteers from our Podkarpackie branches transformed an empty warehouse into a world experience hall. It is the only place in the township that astounds, affects the senses and is a source of joy for the people who visit it.
  • Students from Podleszany crated a professional theater with a mobile stage. Thanks to the help of PZU volunteers, the young actors can act wherever there is audience.
  • PZU employees from Warsaw organized the “Christmas for Compatriots” project, in which they arranged for three-day holidays for 30 people cared for by the Compatriot Foundation: children, youth and adults studying in Poland and living in a repatriation center. The meeting was combined with workshop activities, Christmas tree dressing and a festive dinner.
  • Through the help of PZU volunteers, students from the Błędowa Zgłobieńska Primary School can study in a renovated biology, geography and natural sciences room – we financed the purchase of furniture and teaching aids.
  • In Stalowa Wola-Rozwadów, PZU volunteers renovated an activity room for children and financed the purchase of new furniture. The renovation made it possible to organize day camps for children and attractive activities for the youngest who stayed in the town for the summer holidays. Some of the activities organized by the volunteers included: interactive activities, quizzes, games, English and sign language workshops, and a Daughter-Father and Son-Mother ball that was held at the end of the project.
  • Alior Bank’s “Share a Book” initiative entailed collecting books among bank employees. Head office employees in Warsaw, Kraków and Gdańsk as well as employees of the sales network across Poland became involved in the campaign. This resulted in about 1.4 thousand books being collected and then distributed to hospital libraries through the intermediation of the Foundation.
  • As part of the “Zaczytana Akademia” initiative carried out together with the Foundation, 25 volunteers from Warsaw, Gdańsk and Kraków acted as “fairytale educators”. Three eight-hour training workshops on this subject were held. The volunteers donate their time to hold classes in hospitals.
  • Alior Bank also originated the “Banking is OK” campaign, in which classes were organized for students at the Primary School in Korabiewice. The classes took about 2 hours and were attended by about 10 children and 3 volunteers.
  • Employees of the PZU branch in Elbląg have proven that chess can be exciting and fun. “White on Black” project. The family chess festival was successful and full of emotions.
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