Corporate Voluntary Service of CANTV

The main purpose of an enterprise is to create wealth for its clients, its workers, and for its shareholders; however, a company such as CANTV -(National Telephone Stock Company of Venezuela, for its initials in Spanish)- is within a nation; a nation which allows it to function, to develop products and services, and to be part of the country’s inhabitants for the time and trajectory it has had in Venezuela.

It is a responsibility we must assume as a modern, flexible, and open company to destine part of the financial resources in order to contribute with the social development of the nation.

This is the main reason why –since 3 years ago- we have thought about carrying out a plan that will support the initiatives developed by community organizations, that provide care and protection to children and youth in high-risk social situations. The main objective is to guarantee that the rights of these children and youth are granted.

Aware of the situation of our society, where approximately 70% of the population lives in poverty, we voluntarily assume the commitment of helping those that work with a great sense of solidarity and vocation for service to deliver opportunities of social insertion to thousands of children and youth throughout the nation; to help people and organizations that dedicate their time and effort to offer solutions to problems of public concern, while attacking its causes and hindering their consequences.

Social Responsibility Program of CANTV

CANTV focuses its efforts on programs that grant donations to community organizations which develop permanent strategies to deliver care and protection to the needy children and youth of the nation.

It concerns children and youth whose rights have been violated: the right to live in a family; to a productive and integral education; to health care and the prevention of diseases; to an adequate nutrition; to be different and special; to their physical safety; to a complete and harmonious development and growth, and to equal and fair opportunities.

The objective is to support and strengthen the work carried out by the network of existing community organizations; thus, to generate answers to the serious public problems of deprivation and infringment of the rights of Venezuelan children and youth. This is achieved through financial contributions which allow:

· To extend attention coverage

· To improve the quality of services given

· To guarantee the continuity of existing programs

· To satisfy the demands of unattended areas with the implementation of strategy with proven effectiveness

· To contribute to the strengthening of these institutions

Corporate Voluntary Service of CANTV

During many years, the company argued that its main objective was to generate wealth, and to increase the income of its shareholders; all this under the premise "The attention of poverty is of exclusive concern of the State." That is why they felt giving supportive contribution to the community as a contradiction, because they argued about costs. That is why Philanthropy was the response to the shareholders’ and executives’ initiative who, moved by moral or religious notions, stated: "When you have privileges, these must be shared."

As years went by, the company understood that it could function well without falling in contradictions. Since the 60’s, arguments such as "The State is not the one and only responsible for solving vital problems of the nation;" "In order to achieve economic progress, social progress is needed;" "Ethics is profitable for the company;" promoted Venezuelan enterprises to adopt solidarity principles towards other social sectors, thus beginning the practice of granting donations to non-profit private organizations.

It is fair to recognize that the managerial responsibility was very significant and important in the development and consolidation of educational activities, as well as the avant-garde vision the national company had when they created the Dividendo Voluntario para la Comunidad, as a collective managerial fund to support non-profit social organizations.

Later on, new tools of managerial responsibility began to appear. Among them, donations in money and kind; institutional agreements; donation of non-incorporated goods; sponsorships; the implementation of own programs of social character linked to the business, or under the criteria of the geographical vicinity; and corporate foundations, executors of the projects related to health, culture, environment, science, sports and social development, among others.

Within the desire to assume social responsibility under a corporate scheme, and given that it is everyone’s commitment, newer tools have been developed in the country which involve the employees of the company. One is the Payroll Deduction Program, where the worker and the company confer an equivalent contribution to a donation fund in order to improve the quality of living of the most vulnerable sectors. The other is the Program of Corporate Voluntary Service, in which the company promotes that its human resources carry out voluntary work, even during working hours.

In this respect, the General Department of Human Resources through the Management of Personnel’s Aid - revealed special interest in the incorporation of retired employees to the process of formation for voluntary participation; this idea was shared by a group of retired workers of the company, who showed their interest to contribute with the nation’s development through voluntary contribution.

Thus, CANTV requested FIPAN (Child, Young and Family Care Private Institutions Federation, for its initials in Spanish) –an institution that gathers the country’s volunteer institutions- for support.

During September 1999, the training of 50 retired employees from different regions of the country began. The main objective was to develop and focus volunteer programs towards high-priority community areas, with the participation of these workers and their families.

During the first stage of training, two workshops on sensitization and motivation, as well as three sessions of Technical Assistance with the retired workers from all the regions were carried out; these allowed the development of the first projects.

During the second stage, the formation of the personnel of the Human Resources Department began; they would be the ones in direct contact with the retired employees from each region.

As a result of this foundation process of active personnel of Human Resources and the retired personnel, the vision and the mission of the volunteers of CANTV were established:

VISION

TO BE A REFERENCE MODEL FOR VENEZUELAN VOLUNTEERS ORIENTED TOWARDS THE INCREASE OF THE QUALITY OF LIFE OF OUR COMMUNITIES

MISSION

TO PROMOTE ACTIONS IN ORDER TO MOTIVATE AND GUIDE THE RETIRED EMPLOYEES OF CANTV TOWARDS A JOINT WORK ON BEHALF OF THE COMMUNITY, THE ENVIRONMENT AND HIMSELF.

The interesting part is that this process has been the product of a decision of a group of retired employees. They asked for the support of the company to encourage voluntary actions based on personal motivation, and to proclaim voluntary work as a responsibility, participation, commitment, and service to others, and that the company would always support the decisions outlined by its retired workers.

At the moment, the volunteer groups are still being advised by FIPAN and by the Department of Attention to the Retired Employees of CANTV. They support the definition of objectives, plans and strategies carried out by the numerous volunteers, more than 140 people nationwide. There are records characterized by age, gender, location, area of specialization, voluntary work that require development, abilities, etc. It is also important to enhance that these voluntary groups are being prepared to perform self-management activities, organizing events that allow the generation of the necessary funds to function and to carry out the outlined projects.

Basic Principles of the Retired Personnel Voluntary Service of CANTV

In the different working sessions, the volunteer workers have defined some Basic Principles which must be known by the volunteer in order for them to participate in the service

Basic Principles:

Respect: We acknowledge the dignity and courage of each and every volunteer, regardless of his political, social, economic and religious condition.

Voluntary Participation: We acknowledge and promote the rights of the retired worker to participate with solidarity, by his own decision and with no payment whatsoever.

Integration: We acknowledge the need to relate to public and private institutions to join efforts which will ease and promote effective actions of the voluntary service.

Transparency: We acknowledge and accept the commitment to maintain in every moment the attitude of rendering precise account of our performance to the organization, as well as to the institutions related to volunteer service.

Past and Future Projects

Since 1999, the retired personnel of CANTV, as well as the First Aid Brigade of the company -being integrated by active personnel- began its voluntary work; the need to deliver aid arose after the tragedy that took place in the Vargas State; thousands of people died as a consequence of the flood produced by strong rains that hit our country during December of the same year.

In this respect, the retired volunteers worked to locate the retired employees of CANTV who lived in the affected areas in order to bring the aid and moral support they required.

The experience our country and our retired employees lived allowed them to appreciate much more the work that can be done for others; they were motivated to develop the next projects; among them:

· To deliver visits and attention to geriatric homes of the Guarico, Aragua and Carabobo States

· To create First Aid Groups

· Aid for children and youth affected by the Vargas State tragedy occurred in December, 1999; delivery of toys and books

· Enhancement of the 4th floor of the Children Hospital; daily visits to perform reading activities for the burnt children.