|Teenage members of Hanwha Life’s Happy Friends Youth Volunteers help build houses for low-income families in Vietnam. (Hanwha Life)|
The life insurance company’s corporate social responsibility activities are largely led by its volunteer service group, consisting of some 25,000 employees, varying from novice financial planners to executive members.
Organized into 154 teams under 11 clusters nationwide, all members are expected to devote at least 20 hours or 1 percent of their working time to volunteer activities.
“Because volunteer activities are a fundamental component of the company’s corporate culture, the participation rate among executive members is visibly high, exceeding 90 percent,” a company official said.
In the yearly voluntary service festival, held on the company’s foundation day in October, Hanwha Life awards prizes to role model volunteers, based on their monthly and yearly activity performance records. The employees also raise the “Sarangmoa Fund” through which they accumulate a certain amount from their monthly wages. The company, too, simultaneously accumulates the same amount as individual employees through a “matching grant system.”
“What differentiates us is that all newly recruited employees not only participate physically and financially in the company’s CSR but also make proposals and design new volunteer projects,” the official said.
The intent is to encourage its members to do more than just participate, and actively look into the difficulties of their neighbors and to suggest valid solutions, he explained.
“By pondering about the various hardships, our employees will not only contribute to the accompanied growth of our society but also gain a broader long-term perspective on the needs of their customers,” he said.
Hanwha Life’s volunteer service portfolio largely focuses on supporting the young generation, ranging from newborn infants who experience health problems, teenage students who are concerned about course of their life and education, and university graduates who strive to find a career.
Last October, in hand with Ewha Womans University Medical Center and Korea Food for the Hungry International, the company opened a special care center for infants weighing under 1.5 kilograms at birth.
The center aims to offer help to low-income families who face financial difficulties in providing their babies with vital medical treatment.
Also, earlier this year, Hanwha Life held a campus tour concert in major universities and invited some 800 teenage children of its customers.
“I have become who I am today because I gave up mediocrity and decided to follow my dream, which was to make people laugh,” said comedian Park Ji-seon, who gave a special lecture to participants.
The campus tour program first kicked off in 2012, incorporating the company’s slogan of “Together, to distance” and aiming at offering a hopeful vision to young students, according to officials.
Another representative volunteer project of the company is the Happy Friends Teenage Volunteer Group, providing opportunities to teenage students to conduct volunteer activities in foreign developing countries, such as Kenya, Cambodia, India and Vietnam.
“Young students may learn to share their knowledge and labor to help others, and also enlarge the range of their life experience,” the official said.
Korea Life, which was the nation’s first-ever life insurance company, became a member of Hanwha Group in 2002 and changed its name to Hanwha Life in 2012, upon celebrating the group’s 60th anniversary.
By Bae Hyun-jung (firstname.lastname@example.org)