Deutsche Post DHL Group celebrates its 500th reading tutor for children and young people

Board Member for Human Resources Thomas Ogilvie reads aloud about flight and migration to young people at a school in Cologne

  • The Group has been partnering with Stiftung Lesen (German Reading Foundation) since 2007 to strengthen reading and language skills in children and young people
  • As part of Group-wide engagement for refugees, reading tutors are also active in welcome classes and refugee facilities

Deutsche Post DHL Group has been supplying volunteer reading tutors to help strengthen the reading and language skills of children and young people since 2007. Today, the 500th reading tutor will be Board Member for Human Resources Thomas Ogilvie, who will be reading from the book Einfach nur weg - die Flucht der Kinder by Ute Schaeffer to 30 school children at the comprehensive school Katharina-Henoth-Gesamtschule in Cologne.

Some of the young people he will be reading to come from migration backgrounds themselves. Together with Ogilvie, they will discuss subjects such as the reasons refugees flee their homelands and political developments. Deutsche Post DHL Group has also served as the main sponsor of Teach First Deutschland (TFD) ever since inception of the educational initiative. In order to increase educational opportunities for disadvantaged young people, TFD matches "fellows" with schools where they support the teaching staff and develop additional activities that provide permanent support for students. The comprehensive school Katharina-Henoth-Gesamtschule in Cologne is part of this program.

"Reading is crucial to good educational opportunities and integration into our society. We began our reading tutoring program together with Stiftung Lesen ten years ago and now have nearly 500 registered reading tutors in our company. Primarily they help children and young people with language acquisition, but they are also active in facilities for refugees," says Thomas Ogilvie, Board Member for Human Resources and Labor Director at Deutsche Post DHL Group. "I am deeply impressed by our employees' volunteer efforts as reading tutors, within the framework of the refugee initiative and together with Teach First Deutschland. This is one reason I am pleased to be a Deutsche Post DHL Group volunteer today myself as a reading tutor."

Stiftung Lesen wants to show that volunteer work can help promote reading skills as a key qualification for education. This holds true for both children and young people, but initiatives such as this one are especially important for children of refugees. Reading together with someone, both aloud and silently, helps them learn German and gain their bearings in the new culture faster.

Deutsche Post DHL Group has been actively working together with its partner Teach First Deutschland since 2009 to improve educational and occupational opportunities for children and young people, especially those from socially disadvantaged families. In 2016 alone, more than 118 Deutsche Post DHL Group employees brought their experience and professional skills to bear within the scope of over 40 partnership activities such as internships for high school students, workplace tours and job application training seminars.

Activities to celebrate Germany's annual Vorlesetag (Reading Aloud Day) take place at all 110 Teach First Deutschland partnership schools in the various German states. This stimulates the imagination as well as promoting language and reading development in children, thereby improving their chances of good education and a successful future.

Just under two years ago, Deutsche Post DHL Group founded a refugee initiative that works together closely with partners such as Teach First Deutschland and Stiftung Lesen to yield impressive results: Some 16,000 employees at Deutsche Post branches have helped out in more than 1,000 regional aid projects for refugees; 603 employment contracts for young people have been signed; 44 young people have been placed in vocational training programs and 778 in internships. Altogether, that means more than 1,400 internships, training positions and employment contracts have been offered to refugees.

Deutsche Post DHL Group has long cultivated a well-organized infrastructure for promoting volunteerism by Group employees. One important initiative in this context is the annual Global Volunteer Day. In 2016, more than 106,000 employees worldwide took part in projects of their choice on this day, investing their time in nearly 2,500 different initiatives. The Group also administers the Living Responsibility Fund, which is used to fund volunteer activities by Group employees. With its diverse social projects, the Group is making an important contribution to the United Nation's Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development and to its sustainable development goals 4 (quality education) and 17 (partnerships for the goals).

Source: Deutsche Post DHL

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