Vebego Foundation: being visible and pushing boundaries

The year 2022 was all about visibility, cooperation and – of course – supporting as many employees as possible in the realisation of their social initiatives. Suzanne Goedmakers (chair of the board) and Josine Dekker (coordinator of Strategic Partners & Projects) about planting seeds, tours and joining forces. ‘The social involvement of employees is golden.’

‘We all live together in an exciting time,’ Suzanne Goedmakers begins. ‘The climate problem, the energy crisis and the towering inflation; it affects us all. And no, we are not going to eliminate those issues as a Foundation. But there are plenty of things we can do. As a Foundation, and especially our employees, we demonstrated this again last year. By looking at each other and offering each other a helping hand as often as possible, whether far away or close by.’

Sam& voor alle kinderen [2gether for all children]

Vebego colleagues raise awareness of Sam& foundation

The collaboration with ‘Sam& voor alle kinderen’ is a great example of this, says Josine Dekker: ‘In 2021, the first seeds were planted for this collaboration and in 2022 we were in full bloom. More and more employees know how to find us for financial support. A great example is our colleague Abdul. Despite his 38-hour working week, as a father of a family of five children, he sometimes struggles to make ends meet. Thanks to Sam& voor alle kinderen, he was able to buy school supplies for his youngest son. And on his children’s birthday, the family now receives a birthday box from Stichting Jarige Job [Birthday Boy Foundation].’

Commitment to society

Furthermore, ‘My commitment, My project’ was on full display last year, Suzanne adds. ‘With an internal promotion campaign, we showed that we are happy to support colleagues who are committed to society. That paid off: we received 170 applications and were able to pay out a total of €55,079 in support to social institutions, making an impact for 22,747 people. Colleagues came to us with so many great ideas, ranging from musical instruments for a nursery to a free outdoor play festival for all the children in the area. That’s golden. With ‘My commitment, My project’, we want to show that we foster the social involvement of colleagues. And that together – through our strengths we are even stronger.’

Internal campaign for 'My commitment, My project’.

Josine on the shop floor

Josine travelled around the country to tell as many Vebego colleagues as possible about the Vebego Foundation in person. ‘Of course we have a website, there are posters, a newsletter, and we are active on social media, but the real contact is essential to reach people and peak their enthusiasm.’ During work meetings, Josine joined in to explain what the Foundation can do for employees, what the cooperation with social partners entails and what colleagues have achieved through ‘My commitment, My project’. ‘Every visit I stress to my colleagues that packing birthday boxes together at Jarige Job really is the perfect team outing,’ Josine says with a smile. The counter now stands at 70 company visits and is steadily increasing.

Also active in far-off places

In addition to the many initiatives of and for employees close to home, the Foundation was also active in far-off places this year. For example, the Vebego Foundation donated an amount to SOS children’s villages to help vulnerable families in Ukraine and Suzanne signed a new partnership with the Sampath Foundation in Sri Lanka. The year also entailed a difficult decision: to stop the building trips. ‘As heart-breaking as it may be. But from a sustainability point of view, we found it no longer responsible to organise building trips to distant destinations,’ says Suzanne. ‘We are now thinking about more sustainable building trips, closer to home, for example. We will continue to support our social partners in Ghana, Morocco and Sri Lanka whenever possible.’

Pushing boundaries

The year 2022 has shown that with a lot of effort, even more visibility and the right investments, we can achieve a lot of great things, Suzanne concludes. ‘We are growing more and more in our role as a Foundation for and by employees. And more importantly, we are there for all employees. That’s why we are now focused on pushing our boundaries. And that is literally what I mean. At the Dutch Vebego companies we have now built up a nice range, but in Switzerland, Germany and Belgium there is still work to be done. That’s where our focus is now, and we’re excited about that. Because what is better than, little by little, making the world a better place together?’

Since 2005, the Vebego Foundation has been working on a better day tomorrow for children and young people. By financially supporting Vebego colleagues in their volunteer work and by working together with strategic partners, including Stichting Jarige Job, FEESTvarken vzw [PARTYpig NPO] and Sam& voor alle kinderen. The Vebego Foundation is financed from an annual contribution by Vebego. Learn more: