United NationsDepartment of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development

Akbank Goodwill of The City 2020

    Description
    Intro

    'Goodwill of The City' is an Akbank initiative started at 2015 to encourage university students to take part in social responsibility projects organized in collaboration with Turkey’s leading NGOs, therefore create social impact and produce social benefit for the community. Every year, Akbank invites university students from all over Turkey to be a volunteer in social responsibility projects organized in cooperation with various Non-Governmental Organizations and thereafter, to be a guest of Akbank in the Concert. The initiative expands its impact each year by adding new NGOs and volunteers and included 6000 students engaged with 16 NGOs in 2020

    Description

    The object of the practice is to increase communication and cooperation between Non-governmental Organizations and university students, and also to introduce new volunteers to Non-governmental Organizations operating in different areas targeting different SDGs. These NGOs are selected each year with the importance of understanding how critical roles that they play in SDG implementation as recognized by the 2030 Agenda as well as contributing towards sustainable community development.. With this initiative Akbank also tries to popularize volunteering between the youth and support them to grow up as socially responsible individuals responding social and environmental issues, acting as the main actors for the change. Therefore, Akbank creates and produces social benefits for the community and for a promising future.

    Contribution to SDG Implementation

    The practice started in 2015 and has expanded its impact each year by adding new NGOs working in different issues and new volunteers from university students to support SDGs. Until 2020, as part of a joint efforts of Akbank and NGOs in more than 25 different cities more than 14000 university student volunteers have cleaned water fronts, painted schools, helped stray animals, organized activities for homeless children, attended hobby workshops with elders, worked with deaf, protected, down syndromed children with various activities, delivered soup for homeless, made shelters for street animals.

    Implementation methodologies

    The sixth edition of 'Goodwill of The City’ Project was held totally online between October and December 2020 due to pandemic restrictions. As the physical engagement was not possible, 2020 practice was decided to focus on creating awareness amongst university students about volunteering, its long-term impacts, how they can be volunteer for an issue, which NGO works in which area, how they can change the society in collaboration with NGOs and how they can realize and respond SDGs via online meetings and activities. The number of collaborating NGOs were increased to 16 and the areas they operate was varying from environment protection to animal sheltering, from disabled children to inpatient children, from deaf to the sheltered elders, from community volunteers to the ones involved in searching, assisting and rescuing all who require aid in mountain or other nature-related accidents, natural disasters. 11.000 youth from 194 universities from 78 cities applied to participate in voluntary activities, and nearly 6000 were selected to take part in 105 online activities. As the sustainability of the practice is one of the priorities, online questionnaires were answered by young volunteers at the end of activities, as it has been organized each year to develop the project. In addition, further feedbacks received from NGOs to make future experiences more fruithful. In addition to the efforts of raising awareness on volunteering amongst young with this practice, Akbank also organized a summit named ‘Wanted: Heroes To Save The World’ targeting university students and public. In the summit attended by leading professionals, volunteers, social entrepreneurs, NGO managers, students and celebrities working in this area, volunteering and its impacts are discussed in different aspects.

    Results

    In 2020, due to pandemic restrictions, the project was implemented via online channels. So in collaboration with partnering NGOs we created online activities and workshops where we can engage university students for volunteering aspects to contribute developing awareness around all these issues. This on the one hand was the main constraints as offline activities may create more fruitful results on their sense of involvement, on the other hand was an opportunity to reach more young students as the activities were all online.

    Factors and Constraints

    The main constraint was the pandemic restrictions, which has made physical interaction impossible. So the project was implemented via online channels using technology. In collaboration with partnering NGOs we created online activities and workshops where we can engage university students for volunteering aspects to contribute developing awareness around all these issues.

    Sustainability and replicability

    As well as supporting economic growth, in Akbank we consider our primary responsibilities to increase the educational and cultural level of our community and support entrepreneurial energy, which goes far beyond banking. With our “Akbank Volunteers” system, we are trying to add value to our society together with our employees and their families, and our customers and partners. With the project “The Goodwill of the City”, we expanded our volunteering activities together with the college students. The initiative has expanded its impact each year by adding new NGOs and volunteers from university students. It attracts each year considerable attention among university students following the application announcements via its web site and on social media. Akbank also aims to popularize volunteering between the youth and support them to grow up as socially responsible individuals to contribute towards sustainable community development.

    COVID-19 Impact

    Because of the Pandemic restrictions in 2020, the physical engagement was not possible, so we decided to implement the project online unlike the previous years. We organized all the activities with university students and NGOs online by focusing on creating awareness amongst university students about volunteering, how they can be volunteer for an issue with which NGO and how they can change the society in collaboration with NGOs. NGOs both explained their operation areas, targets and needs to responds SDGs and they organized relevant workshops via online meetings and activities. The young people attended to the activities in their homes felt better as they had the opportunity for a volunteering activity in physically restricted days.

    Contact Name
    Utku
    False
    Share
    Organization/entity
    Akbank
    SDGs
    Geographical coverage

    25 cities of Turkey including Istanbul

    Timeline
    05 October 2020 (start date)
    20 December 2020 (date of completion)
    More information
    Countries
    Turkey
    Turkey
    Partnership
    N/A
    Contact Information

    Utku, Corporate Social Responsibility Manager