AIA Australia’s commitment to making a difference was recognised with the company winning the Employee Volunteering Award at the Volunteering Victoria State Awards.
AIA proudly promotes health and welfare through its life insurance and wellness products. Additionally, the company supports people in need through community initiatives and partnerships.
For AIA, rolling up your sleeves and getting involved means enabling employees to contribute one day per year to participate in volunteering activities. This volunteering is channelled through three partner organisations including Ardoch’s “Literacy Buddies” program, where AIA employees have worked with Sacred Heart Primary School for many years.
Ardoch’s National Programs Manager, Adele Stowe-Lindner, commended AIA’s long-standing support for the school with over 150 AIA employees volunteering over 6 years.
The Literacy Buddies programs allows employees to forge strong relationships with students through a pen pal program. Grade 5 and 6 students are paired with AIA staff and exchange handwritten letters throughout the year. In addition, the “Big Buddies” attend the school once a year and the “Little Buddies” also enjoy an exciting trip to the AIA offices.
The program not only develops the young students’ writing skills, it provides a window to a world beyond the classroom. The students are seen to be more purposeful with their writing and eager to learn more from their Big Buddies, who represent positive adult role models.
AIA’s contribution has extended also to the Learning Through Lunch program. While sharing a meal with Big Buddies at a nearby restaurant, students learn about hospitality careers, dining etiquette and exotic foods. Most importantly, the experience provides another opportunity to build relationships with positive adult role models.
A powerful feature of AIA’s volunteer program is that it has adapted to the school’s needs. Last year, AIA Big Buddies were only too keen to attend and help facilitate the first whole-school excursion to the beach. Considering most students had never seen the beach, this was an extraordinary experience for all.
Sacred Heart Primary School highly values AIA’s volunteer support. Furthermore, Ardoch’s annual survey of Employee Volunteers shows the program is achieving significant impact for the students. Between 72%-90% of teachers surveyed agreed:
- the program helped make literacy more interesting and fun for students;
- the program provided positive role models for students;
- the students learned about their Big Buddies’ workplace and jobs; and
- they noticed improvement in the quality of the letters children were writing during the program.
Congratulations to AIA on their well-deserved Employee Volunteering Award at the 2017 Volunteering Victoria State Volunteer Awards.
You can read the full list of winners here.