Over 1,700 volunteers working together for a more sustainable world13.11.2020
Under the slogan "Now more than ever, join the action," the 3rd Repsol International Volunteering Week took place between October 19 and the 25, directly benefiting more than 2,500 people. In total, more than 1,700 volunteers, all of them employees or retirees, along with family or friends, took part in one of over 75 activities that have finally been possible during COVID-19.
The activities have been carried out both in person and online, being adapted to the current pandemic situation, with the aim of all volunteers who wish to, being able to collaborate by contributing their time and energy.
Within the framework of Repsol and its Foundation's commitment to the Sustainable Development Goals, and especially to SDG 13, Climate Action, in this edition, Repsol volunteers have been able to collaborate in different environmental activities, such as reforestation and cleaning up of natural areas, online recycling workshops or activities to learn about different types of planting projects that can be done at home.
Thanks to these activities, more than 140 kg of waste has been collected and more than 3,500 specimens have been planted.
Volunteers have also planted seeds to at home to contribute to a more sustainable world, using their home planting kit. One of these volunteers was Paulo Serna, from Ecuador, who did the activity with his son, who were "very happy to do some planting in their garden".
One of the countries that joined the Repsol International Volunteering Week for the first time this year is Guyana, by helping with a reforestation activity. As Ryan Ramjit says, he "feels very proud to take part in the Repsol International Volunteering Week by planting fruit trees in our surroundings.”
An environmental awareness activity was carried out at an international level by the Pau Costa Foundation, especially focused on the prevention of forest fires. Over 300 volunteers have become agents of change, raising the awareness of those around them of the importance of preventing and acting against these risk situations.
Help fighting COVID-19
Given the current situation caused by COVID-19, they also wanted to contribute to alleviating the effects of the pandemic among the most vulnerable through some volunteering activities.
To support the elderly in these times of social isolation, volunteers have written letters to the elderly in nursing homes or done the groceries for people most vulnerable to the disease. In addition, the health crisis is affecting many families economically, so the Repsol team of volunteers have been helping food banks and soup kitchens by launching food collection and donation campaigns, food preparation or distribution, and also distributing hygiene kits or essential products.
Thanks to the dissemination that the volunteers in Spain have made of the solidarity campaign in favour of FESBAL (Spanish Federation of Food Banks), more than 11 tons of food will be delivered and, through other actions, more than 2,500 food rations have been distributed.
Peggy Gonzales, a Repsol volunteer in Switzerland, took part in an activity doing the groceries for people considered most vulnerable in the face of the pandemic: "It was a really fun team activity and it was very heartwarming to be thanked by those we were able to help." A volunteer, Fatma Zohra Elias from Algeria, who took part in preparing kits with materials for children in vulnerable situations, feels very grateful for having helped "put a smile on these children's faces" and encourages colleagues to sign up next year.
Other stories from this edition come from Italy, a country that has also joined this year. Gianluca Quaranta says that “it has been a fantastic experience, a moment to reconnect with values that we take for granted. Personally, it was a moment of growth."
Thank you all for participating in the 3rd Repsol International Volunteering Week!