Close to 1 million people sought refuge in Germany in 2015. This inflow of people creates massive new challenges for government institutions, companies and civil society. The response from civil society is impressive, and the business sector has also recognised its corporate social responsibility and is contributing to refugee aid.
Deka has therefore set up a three-step package of measures aimed at making a significant contribution to the local integration of refugees, preferably in the Rhine-Main area.
For example, the Deka Group is providing additional funding of 100 x EUR 1,000 for emergency measures. The special initiative “Deka – Local initiatives” has been operating since September 2015. EUR 1,000 in support is provided for projects by employees who are actively involved in assisting refugees. 76 associations and institutions have already received emergency support. The projects that have been submitted display impressive variety. Employees are taking families into their homes, giving regular German lessons, teaching children how to ride bicycles and helping refugees during visits to government authorities.
Integration will present an enormous challenge in future years. The Deka Group would like to help meet this challenge and is promoting a new project of the children and youth organisation “Die Arche”. “Die Arche” is setting up a new location in the vicinity of the Bertold-Otto primary school. Social integration is the primary goal. The location will have a drop-in centre providing help to 80 to 100 children and youth from 12 to 17 years old, including refugees. The successful integration work performed in primary school can continue here. “Die Arche” helps socially disadvantaged children, and has already provided assistance to refugee children, youth and their families for a long time. It already has two locations in Frankfurt.
In addition, DekaBank confirmed to the Frankfurt Employment Agency in December 2015 that 20 refugees would be hired for one year as professional trainees in 2016 and 2017 to fulfil certain standards.
Support of the Christian children and youth organisation "Die Arche" e. V.
DekaBank supports "The Ark" and contributes to securing a large part of the operating costs. With the help of other sponsors, four branches of the Arche have already been opened in Frankfurt am Main: in 2010 in cooperation with the Berthold-Otto School in the Griesheim district and in 2011 in the "Kleines Zentrum Nordweststadt" shopping centre. Since 2013 there is a third location at the Erich Kästner Primary School in Frankfurt. Deka also supported the opening of another location of the Arche near the Bertold-Otto Primary School in the summer of 2017, whose primary goal is social integration. Children and young people between the ages of 12 and 17, refugee children and young people and children and young people from socially disadvantaged backgrounds find a contact point here and are looked after.
At its locations, the Arche looks after 120 to 150 children and young people every day, who take advantage of offers such as free lunch, homework and tutoring, help in finding a career and activating opportunities for leisure activities.
Deka Group employees are also involved themselves: For example, they offer a trial diving course or put presents for the Ark children under the tree at Christmas time.
Supporting the Deutsche Krebshilfe und KinderKrebshilfe e. V.
Since 2001, DekaBank has been a general sponsor of the national Golf-Wettspiele tournament to raise funding for the German cancer societies Deutsche Krebshilfe and Deutsche KinderKrebshilfe. More than 7500 golfers across Germany participated in the biggest charity golf tournament series in Europe in 2015. Around EUR 300,000 in donations was raised in the year just ended.
Two special fund-raising campaigns allow employees to actively participate, thereby making a significant contribution to Deka’s social involvement with their ideas and willingness to take part.
„Deka – Engagiert vor Ort“
The Deka Group has provided donations to associations and institutions since 2007 under its “Deka – Engagiert vor Ort” (Deka – Local initiatives) programme. Many Deka employees volunteer their personal time and provide support for non-profit organisations, schools and sports clubs. We want to support and promote this personal involvement. Each year, employees can apply to receive EUR 1,000 for “their” project from the total of EUR 25,000 that DekaBank makes available each year.
One of Deka Group's most recent projects is the "Restcent" campaign. Employees can automatically donate the decimal amount of their remuneration every month. At the end of the year, the total amount is donated to a charitable association or foundation. In this voluntary employee campaign, the employees themselves determine the recipient of the donation by submitting suggestions and a subsequent vote.
In 2016 and 2017, 6,000 euros were donated to Hilfe für krebskranke Kinder Frankfurt e.V. and 7,500 euros to the German Foundation for Young Adults with Cancer.
The Bärenherz Foundation received the most votes for the remaining cent donation in 2018. The Bärenherz Foundation promotes and supports projects and facilities for terminally ill children who have a limited life expectancy. At present these are the Kinderhospize in Wiesbaden, Markkleeberg near Leipzig and the Kinderhaus Nesthäkchen in Heidenrod Laufenselden in the Rheingau-Taunus district, a long-term care facility for 22 severely disabled and ill children, young people and young adults.
Johannes Behrens-Türk, Head of Sustainability Management, on the importance of social responsibility to DekaBank.