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Fundación Konecta: our most important projects

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In 2005, Konecta established the Fundación Konecta to channel its social action, contributing its corporate resources to social causes and generating alliances among its stakeholders to enhance the social impact of its projects. Since its launch, the foundation has invested about 17 million euros, benefiting 216,000 people. This has included integrating over 15,000 people at risk of social exclusion into the workforce, including women victims of gender violence, victims of terrorism, people with disabilities, and unemployed individuals over 55 years old.

The Social Objective of Fundación Konecta

To enhance the social and employment integration of people at risk of social exclusion in all countries where Konecta operates.

Lines of Action

To fulfil its social objective, the foundation organizes its projects into five main themes:

  • Employability (training and employment projects)
  • Research and University Collaborations (to generate knowledge and studies)
  • Volunteering (leveraging employee knowledge for social causes)
  • Social Development (supporting the community with local projects)
  • Alliances (running across the previous four themes), as the foundation also seeks to enhance the social commitment of other companies and generate a multiplier effect.
LINE OF ACTION 1: EMPLOYABILITY

SCOPE: 15,580 vulnerable people integrated, more than 100 active projects globally.

ALLIES: J.P. Morgan, MAPFRE Foundation, IBM, Santander, Openbank, Acciona, and other companies.

PROJECTS:

1) PROFESSIONAL TRAINING SCHOOL OF Fundación Konecta. Focus on boosting employment in our BPO sector with volunteers and in collaboration with Konecta's clients.

Two modes:

  • IN-PERSON (accredited training, official diploma).
    The aim is to train and integrate vulnerable people into Konecta or other companies in the sector. The School offers 390 hours of training in customer service and 40 practical hours. This training is complemented with specific initiatives, including presentations by Konecta's Commercial Drive and Digital Transformation area, telemarketing sessions, role plays, visits to work platforms, call analysis with a supervisor's support, and conflict resolution through listening to real calls.
    This initiative, delivered through Certificados de Profesionalidad in Spain and other certificates in other countries, meets the demand for more specific profiles in BPO and Customer Relationship companies like Konecta. It also improves the employability of people at risk of social exclusion, supporting them throughout the training and job adaptation process.
    Results: So far, globally, more than 600 vulnerable individuals have been trained through the Fundación Konecta School, with 80% of them being integrated into the workforce.
    Note: One of the students from the 2022 Training School, a victim of gender violence, received direct congratulations from Ana Patricia Botín, the president of Banco Santander, for her outstanding work performance in October 2023.
  • DIGITAL (through an agreement with IBM).
    Since March 2022, within the framework of the Professional Training School, the Fundación Konecta and IBM have been offering free courses focused on developing communication and customer interaction skills. Fundación Konecta provides the training content, and all courses are available nationally, at no cost, through the IBM SkillsBuild online platform.
    The training consists of three independent but complementary courses: effective telephone communication tools, persuasive communication, and commercial focus. These are supplemented with webinars on relevant and current topics by Konecta employees (from the Konecta Smart Commercial Drive area), who do this on a voluntary basis, , and with guided tours to Konecta platforms. Upon successful completion of the training, students join Konecta's employment pool, after being interviewed by the company's selection team.
    Goals June 23/June 24: Train 500 vulnerable and unemployed individuals of all ages in the new commercial and digital competencies necessary for future jobs linked to the Contact Center sector.

2)GREEN EMPLOYMENT HUB
Focusing on new employment opportunities linked to the green economy and primarily directed at vulnerable young people. The project is organized in alliance with J.P. Morgan and has its own website.

It aims to integrate vulnerable young people and other groups at risk of social exclusion risk, into jobs connected to the environment, sustainability, and the circular economy.

Launched in 2021 in the Community of Madrid, this project aspires to be a meeting point for all actors involved in environmental and sustainable activity. It aims to promote development and innovation in Green Employment, which is expected to generate over 60 million jobs worldwide with the implementation of the 2030 Agenda.

This year, various activities were carried out within the Hub, with its main focus being training and employment in the green sector. Significant progress has been made, such as informing and raising awareness among over 800 young people about the green sector and sustainability; 150 employment pathways for vulnerable young people have been developed, and 45 of them have been integrated into companies affiliated with the Hub. Through its green entrepreneurship line, the Hub has encouraged young people's entrepreneurial spirit by conducting training in collaboration with various universities, benefiting 30 participants. Additionally, the Hub commits to being a meeting point to launch and analyze sustainable challenges that generate knowledge and debate among social actors. In relation to this, a Circular Economy Manual in the Spanish trade sector has been developed, promoting responsible and sustainable practices, and a Guide to Community Urban Gardens, encouraging sustainable agriculture in urban settings. The Green Employment Hub is not just an employment program; it's a catalyst for change, a driver that propels the green economy and creates tangible opportunities for those seeking a better future. To achieve this, it works in alliance with municipalities, companies, social entities, vocational training centers, and universities, which support it with various resources.

LINE OF ACTION 2: RESEARCH AND UNIVERSITY COLLABORATIONS

GENERAL OBJECTIVE: To generate knowledge, to be an agent of change

MAIN ALLIES: Autonomous University of Madrid, University of Seville, Complutense University, Autism Sevilla, ONCE Foundation, Down Madrid

PROJECTS:

1) INDEPENDENT LIVING PROJECT, UAM AND ONCE FOUNDATION

Fundación Konecta and the Autonomous University of Madrid (UAM) promote the inclusion and educational participation of people with severe disabilities.

The project began in 2018, thanks to the collaboration of the Juan Luis Vives Hall of Residence in Madrid, which accommodates students with disabilities in fully accessible rooms and facilities. The Residence, which belongs to the Autonomous University of Madrid, has also implemented a volunteer program and co-financing of personal assistants. The Independent Living project helps these students with severe disabilities to afford the costs of living and studying at a university in Madrid.

This project is pioneering in educational inclusion, focused on people with severe disabilities, as there is currently no other center with a similar program in Spain. Additionally, it allows individuals whose only alternative was living in the family home to study at university in a normalized way.

Since 2018, around 130 people with disabilities have been residents. The Independent Living project has also gained international significance, with students coming from the United States, Puerto Rico, France, Germany, and Tunisia.

2) AUTISM CHAIR, UNIVERSITY OF SEVILLE

Fundación Konecta and the University of Seville have joined forces to facilitate access to university for people with autism, through teaching and research activities.

The Autism Chair is an ambitious project that started in 2021, to promote teaching and interdisciplinary research activities related to autism spectrum disorders. The central activity is the TalentUS project, which aims to help students with autism access the university system, achieve academic success, and integrate into the labor market.

The program also focuses on training and supporting students who voluntarily assist and support their peers with autism, as well as educating teachers about educational strategies to prevent academic failure, and supporting secondary education centers to facilitate access to higher education for people with autism.

Objectives: to promote research and development activities on autism, and to promote training activities and courses at the University of Seville, which currently has 35 students with autism, to improve student training in this field.

3) TIC CLASSROOM, DOWN MADRID AND COMPLUTENSE UNIVERSITY

The goal of this project is to improve the digital competencies of people with intellectual disabilities, in order to promote their inclusion in the labor market. Annually, 20 students are trained. The foundation has supported this project since 2009, in collaboration with Down Madrid and the Complutense University of Madrid (UCM). During training, students learn about internet navigation and security, robotics, and programming. This program aims to improve autonomy through learning how to search for information relevant to vocational training and other aspects of daily life. It also focuses on cybersecurity and self-protection in relation to technology use. Another goal is for people with learning disabilities to gain the ability to acquire knowledge in a new employment niche: designing accessible web pages. The project has benefited more than 250 students with learning disabilities.

LINE OF ACTION 3: VOLUNTEERING

GLOBAL SCOPE: 17,639 volunteers actively participating

MAIN ALLIES: The foundation has a network of volunteer Foundation Ambassadors, Social Action Coordinators, who are employees of Konecta and who,nationally and internationally, energize and support all the initiatives we promote.

PROJECTS:

1) PROFESSIONAL VOLUNTEERING (pro bono campaigns, giving talks and training sessions at schools, fundraising campaigns, volunteering days…)

Since its inception, Fundación Konecta promotes corporate volunteering in different companies, including Konecta itself, as a tool to join forces with the aim of improving the environment and promoting the integration of people at risk of exclusion.

More than 17,000 Konecta volunteers actively participate in different initiatives, contributing to the creation of value for society and the company. Professional volunteering is promoted through actions where employees contribute their talent to social causes and the initiatives of different NGOs. Some of the actions are related to pro bono services, others to human capital, through employment workshops, follow-ups, and mentoring of integrated individuals. There is also strategic activity, advising NGOs on finding funding, partners, etc. As part of this volunteering, Konecta hosts vulnerable young people in internships mentored by company employees. Often these young people are hired by Konecta, a good example being the students with learning disabilities supported by  the Capacis Foundation, with whom the foundation has a global collaboration agreement.

Additionally, the Fundación Konecta carries out fundraising campaigns such as those for emergencies and disasters like the war in Ukraine, or the earthquakes in Turkey, Syria, or Morocco, where the donations raised by employees are doubled. Volunteering days, blood donation and bone marrow donation campaigns, collections of food, clothing, books or toys, and charity markets are also organized, benefiting entities such as the Red Cross, Caritas, Madrina, AvanzaOng, and Messengers of Peace.

Finally, employee participation in charitable sports activities is also promoted, such as National Solidarity Races (Entreculturas Race, ASPACE Cerebral Palsy Race) and the legendary Charity Padel Tournament which the Foundation has been promoting for 18 years with great success in participation and fundraising. Thanks to this initiative, in which more than 5,000 players and Konecta volunteers have participated, €370,000 has been donated to 22 social entities, directly benefiting more than 3,500 people from vulnerable groups. In the latest edition, the entire collection was allocated to the  Bertín Osborne Foundation’s +Family project, a comprehensive and free service providing support and care for the families of people with disabilities, consisting of its own app, a telephone support service, and face-to-face workshops.

2) INTERNAL CALL FOR SOCIAL PROJECTS (linked to the next line of Social Development)

This is aimed at financing social action projects suggested by Konecta employees, and developed by social entities and foundations in the countries where Konecta is present. The initiative was launched in 2009 and seeks, in addition to promoting and supporting foundations and NGOs with which our employees actively collaborate, to identify strategic and valuable projects for the company and for the communities where we operate (social development).

Since its launch, we have supported 54 social entities with a total of €310,000.

In 2023, the Fundación Konecta will allocate €60,000 to be distributed among 12 winning projects, in order to respond to the social concerns and interests of the employees. The rest of the projects that are not winners will become part of the pool of preferred projects that the foundation supports through other initiatives.

LINE OF ACTION 4: SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT

GLOBAL SCOPE: 215,382 beneficiaries

MAIN ALLIES: Through an internal call for social projects,  and through our social action coordinators and other projects, we identify initiatives to support financially, which have a significant social impact in the areas where we operate. We have agreements with over 700 social entities with which we develop local projects.
Highlights include: ALALA FOUNDATION, FAD JUVENTUD FOUNDATION, REACH OUT.

PROJECTS:

1) ALALA FOUNDATION (created by Fundación Konecta to support the Roma population in the poorest neighborhood in Spain)

Since its inception in 2014, the Fundación Konecta has supported Fundación Alalá, focusing on the children and families of "Las Tres mil viviendas" in Seville and, for the past four years, "Estancia Barreda" in Jerez - covering the poorest neighbourhoods in Spain. The project aims to educate these children, who are at high risk of social exclusion, in social values, using culture, art, and sports as motivational tools.

The purpose of this socially impactful initiative is to support and improve the situation of the neighbourhood, families, and children. It helps families combat school absenteeism and enhance their social and labour integration. The goal is to eliminate the social gaps separating these neighbourhoods' residents from other citizens. This complex social change is pursued through various schools within Fundación Alalá focusing on plastic arts, to foster creativity and develop artistic activities; healthy nutrition, framed within improving eating habits and a healthy lifestyle; theater, launched in 2017; employment and school reinforcement; sports and leisure; and performing arts, where classes in guitar, percussion, dance, and singing are taught. The Alalá Foundation directly benefits 400 students from the specific neighbourhoods in Seville and Jerez and indirectly benefits more than 1,600 people. This project also aims to enhance higher education through agreements with private universities that grant scholarships to some students. This is done through the "Loyola-Alalá scholarships."

2) SIOF JOVEN (Project with Fad Juventud to support mental health among exponentially-growing numbers of young people)

Since 2020, the Fundación Konecta and FAD Juventud Foundation have been promoting SIOF JOVEN, a national, free, and confidential service providinginformation, guidance, and psychological support to adolescents and young people with mental health issues. Its creation coincided with a crucial moment globally, the Coronavirus epidemic, when it became more challenging for young people to respond to their environment, generating stress and anxiety levels that have been rising since then. Over this time, more than 2,500 consultations have been received from minors and young people related to various risk behaviours, such as video game abuse or gambling,. More recently, there has been a rising trend of mental health-related problems. In 2022, the most common themes of the consultations received by SIOF Joven were anxiety (22%) and drug use (20%). The project offers a comprehensive service through calls, video conferences, and WhatsApp, adapting its support and responses to whatever social pressures and issues currently affecting the youth population (unemployment, concern for the future, difficulties in emancipation, etc.). The goal in 2023 is to expand the service and to benefit more young people; towards this end, a digital strategy to disseminate the service through social networks has been defined and launched, yielding very good results.

LINE OF ACTION 5: ALLIANCES

GLOBAL SCOPE: 17 MILLION EUROS INVESTED: 100 ACTIVE PROJECTS

Under our motto "Integration, our value," we focus, as our priority, on the integration, primarily into the labor market, of our beneficiaries. To generate a greater impact and number of beneficiaries, in the 18 years of the foundation's existence, we have always sought to strengthen ALLIANCES with companies, public bodies, and other entities (educational, social, etc.). These alliances generate not only funding but also other resources that we invest in the nearly 100 active projects we currently have worldwide. An example is our alliance with ABC, a leading media outlet in Spain, through which we disseminate the initiatives we promote and other companies’ success stories, to raise societal awareness, another goal sought by the Fundación Konecta.

MAIN ALLIES to add to the previous ones:

1) MAPFRE FOUNDATION: The Fundación Konecta has been providing technical assistance, over the past 13 years,  to its employment project, "Juntos Somos Capaces”, integrating more than 5,000 people with learning  disabilities or mental health issues into the workforce.

2) ABC, a media outlet: We are a partner organizer of the "Awareness and Sustainability Meetings" congress and other initiatives (Sevilla Soliaria online portal...)

3) AON Spain Foundation: This has supported us since the foundation's inception.

4) MAPFRE. We work with its "Relatives program", providing advice on employment matters to relatives of employees with disabilities.

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