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We are proud of our record of supporting the communities we serve, through charitable donations, providing in-kind services, employee volunteering, social sponsorships and by helping and encouraging our customers to donate to good causes.

During 2015, our businesses provided financial donations of approximately USD1.3 million, plus donations of services and equipment valued at approximately USD0.4 million. Our staff often give freely of their own time to help disadvantaged people in their communities, and our businesses also allow employees to volunteer during working hours. In 2015, this amounted to over 6,000 hours of time (over 750 days) during working hours.

Here, we briefly outline some of our social investments. You can find more details of all of these projects below.

Child Helpline International

Our company and people are committed to helping improve health, living conditions and safety among children throughout the world. VimpelCom, along with several other operators, has agreed to support the GSMA’s partnership with Child Helpline International. We have pledged to support and promote child helplines in all our markets, providing free calls for users. During 2015 we created and explored partnership opportunities to help support or establish new child helplines, and the system is now operational and providing free calls in five countries. We are still working on partnerships in a further six countries. In Armenia, the helpline had received approximately 1,200 calls by the end of the year.

Emergency situations and disaster relief

During emergencies, reliable communications can mean the difference between life and death. We are proud to be able to use our resources and expertise to help alleviate the effects of emergencies and disasters, and assist those bringing relief to the affected areas.

In 2015, heavy floods in the Georgian capital, Tbilisi, resulted in 19 deaths, extensive infrastructure damage and an escape of animals from the city’s zoo. Beeline Georgia activated a special number allowing customers to make donations for flood relief. In 48 hours, more than 30,000 calls were made and 20,000 GEL in aid raised to help victims of the natural disaster. Beeline Georgia employees also volunteered in the city’s clean-up operation. 

In Tajikistan, Beeline launched a short number for donations via SMS, to help victims of natural disasters. We also collected 100kg of warm clothes at our offices, for humanitarian aid. 

In Pakistan, a heatwave that gripped Karachi and surrounding areas during the month of Ramadan, claimed over 1,300 lives. Mobilink initiated a relief campaign that included hospital treatment and distribution of 10,000 bottles of mineral water, 6,000 boxes of juice, 4,000 ice packs, 4,000 hand-sized towels and 40 cooling mist fans. Mobilink also supports a Mobile Emergency Alert System for schools by donating smartphones. Software on the devices links the school with police in the event of terrorism, fire, kidnapping or robbery.

In Russia, Beeline continued to support the NGO Liza Alert and over the past four years there have been over 30,000 calls to the missing children hotline. In 2015, nearly 2,500 were found alive as part of this initiative. Beeline also provided 100 volunteers with free communications and ran a series of workshops for search-and-rescue teams.

Children

In Algeria, volunteers from Djezzy helped renovate an orphanage for abandoned babies. In Russia, Beeline is an official partner of the Winners Games the biggest competition for children who have survived cancer. More than 500 children aged from 7 to 16, from 15 countries, took part in the 2015 games, competing in six sports: swimming, athletics, football, shooting, table tennis, and chess. 

Health

We promote a wide range of health initiatives in the countries and communities we serve. In Algeria this year, Djezzy again ran its breast cancer-screening program for female employees and made charitable donations to the association ‘Nour Doha’ (fight against cancer). More than 1,000 Djezzy employees took part in the company’s fourth annual blood donation program. Banglalink and WIND also promoted blood donation by employees. In Pakistan, Mobilink organized Pakistan’s largest corporate blood donation drive, and collected over 1,200 pints of blood. Mobilink also took part in the nationwide Pinktober campaign, aimed at raising awareness of breast cancer. Beeline in Russia provided tablets and smartphones with free internet and mobile communication for doctors and health teams providing hospice palliative care. 

Education

We support a wide range of projects in the area of education, both for children and adults. In Pakistan, the Mobilink Foundation once again held its annual day of celebration to mark the end of the academic year, recognizing the efforts of young students pursuing education despite difficult circumstances. Mobilink distributed 150 school bags, along with stationery and painting materials. Mobilink also ran a ‘Teach 2 Transform 2015’ activity at the Master Ayub Park School, with volunteers providing teaching support to students in marginalized schools and distributing course books, reading materials and stationery. The Foundation also helped run a Book Reading Activity at the Greenland Society of Special Education in Lahore. In Tajikistan, we helped provide free Internet services in schools and provided food for a boarding school for underprivileged children. In Kyrgyzstan, we helped create a mobile electronic dictionary and were involved in a project to promote the education of journalists on economic subjects. Our teams in Armenia ran computer classes, provided internet and IPTV services for schools, and helped set up a project to motivate young, talented people to build their futures. WIND, in Italy, provided mentors for three high schools.

Environment

As a company we are keen to help protect the environment. Our employees and customers often share these concerns, and together we are working on a range of community projects around the world that have an environmental focus. Our team at Banglalink was involved in the International Coastal Clean Up Day 2015 and the year-long Cox’s Bazar Beach Cleaning project. 

In Kazakhstan, Beeline volunteers took part in a tree planting event at the country’s Disabled Children’s Parents Association in Almaty and in the National Cleanup Day across the country. Mobilink Foundation ran a clean-up project in the Margalla Hills and introduced an ‘Adopt a Plant’ scheme at the Islamabad office. Staff in Tajikistan were involved in tree planting, while in Ukraine 550 eco-volunteers from Kyivstar planted 500 new trees and bushes across 23 cities, 15 parks, and a botanical garden and zoo. Two hundred Kyivstar volunteers also took part in Veloday in four cities, promoting the use of bicycles.

Community

Our people take part in a variety of projects around the world aimed at helping society generally, and in particular those marginalized or suffering from ill health or poverty. In the Netherlands, 60 volunteers from VimpelCom HQ helped with community projects in Amsterdam's Zuidoost (Southeast) neighborhood. 

In Russia, and across our central Asia businesses, our teams marked the anniversary of the end of World War II with a social media campaign to honor surviving veterans. We also provided free calls for veterans to help reconnect them with comrades, friends and family. In Tajikistan, we provided diesel generators for hospitals and schools. Mobilink, in Pakistan, funded upgrades to the Women Welfare and Development Center to help women develop skills that allow them to earn a living for their families. 

The Torchbearers Volunteering program ran a wide variety of projects across Pakistan, including efforts to combat social exclusion, provide assistance to an orphanage, and provide food for old-age homes in Lahore, Islamabad and Karachi. Mobilink Foundation organized Disability Equality Training at the Mobilink House in Islamabad, followed by a visit to the Al-Farabi National Special Education Centre for Physically Handicapped in Islamabad, where staff took part in an interactive session with children with special needs.

Culture

In Armenia, we promoted classical music development, and a project to use movies to introduce children to the culture of other countries and famous works of cinematographic art. We also supported the restoration and digitization of manuscripts in Matenadaran. In Georgia, we supplied financial support to the Georgian National Centre of Manuscripts. 

Fund-raising

Our staff and businesses are involved in a wide range of general fund-raising activities to help charities and worthwhile organizations. For instance, in Georgia, Beeline employees took part in the 'Wings for Life World Run' in Tbilisi. In Italy, WIND raised funds for non-profit initiatives through an SMS donation program as well as raising money for Save The Children through a program whereby customers can contribute 50 cents from their own account to support charities – with WIND matching the donation. In Kazakhstan we supported the Volunteer Society of Mercy fund and a range of other charitable projects, including the Kenes Center of complex rehabilitation and the Hospice for Children project. 

Teams in Pakistan held a fundraising event in collaboration with renowned singer Rahat Fateh Ali Khan at the Islamabad Marriott on February 21, 2015. All proceeds went towards the Subh-e-Nau Disability Program. The Mobilink Foundation, in collaboration with Rotary Club and the World Health Organization, also provided and fitted 50 polio victims with braces, and provided rehabilitation. In Russia we continued our long-standing cooperation with the Podari Zhizn fund – the first Russian mobile charity service. Donations provide help for severely ill children. Our staff in Russia also helped collect more than 1.5. million rubles through a charity run, while in Ukraine, 450 company volunteers ran a charity marathon in Kiev.

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