Biogen Idec Foundation: “Caring Deeply, Changing Lives”
The Biogen Idec Foundation is one of CAF America’s partners in global philanthropy, working to improve the quality of peoples’ lives and contribute to the vitality of the communities in which the company operates, with a special emphasis on innovative ways to promote science literacy and encourage young people to consider science careers. This story is featured in recognition with Biogen Idec Foundation’s participation in the Day of International Giving held on December 10, 2013. Read more about the Day of International Giving here.
Employees at Bigoen Idec India traded in their computers to participate in the company’s third annual, company-wide volunteer day– “Care Deeply Volunteer Day.” Employee volunteers in Gurgaon supported the Khushboo Welfare Society. KWS, which provides multiple services for the development, education and rehabilitation of children, adolescents and young adults with disabilities, is an important contributor to the health and welfare of many in this community. By partnering together, Biogen Idec and KWS create an environment of support and understanding helping to raise awareness and encouraging others to become involved.
“We have always been committed to the company’s credo of Caring Deeply, Changing Lives,” shared Sameer Savkur, Managing Director of Biogen Idec India. “Our employees initiate our volunteer activities and it is my privilege to give them the time off to work with Khushboo and other local organizations. The pride they feel in working together in the community extends when they return to the office and share their experiences.”
Biogen Idec employees learn about the needs of young people in their communities and the employees and patients of KWS learn about a local business and its culture of excellence. Having learned of one patient with Cerebral Palsy’s need for a back brace, Biogen Idec employees raised funds to provide it.
In addition to the annual volunteer event, Biogen Idec has also raised funds for the children by putting up stalls of Khushboo materials and crafts and encouraging the employees to purchase their items. The Employee Engagement team which is accountable to have the year round engagement with employees & care deeply interventions also celebrated Children’s day with Khushboo kids by inviting them to office for a movie & giving them gifts as a token of their support. This year on Care Deeply Day, Biogen Idec volunteers joined KWS staff working to clean the garden, planting trees and cleaning accumulated mud from the rainy season away from the parking and office areas. Biogen Idec’s volunteers helped save valuable time and resources for KWS staff, allowing them to dedicate all of their time to the physical and emotional therapy of their young patients. The volunteers also brought art and school supplies for the patients as well as carpets for the facility. By developing a strong relationship, Biogen Idec employees were able to learn of all the needs of the patients and they have worked to provide these extra materials to their partner organization.
Working together has changed both of our organizations for the better, and our time together has proven that with compassion and team work positive change is possible.
In 2010, Biogen Idec’s international headquarters had operated in Switzerland for over 5 years. Having developed a reputation as a great place to work, the leaders decided to share the skills and expertise of its employees beyond the office walls and into the community. Also, at some point in Natascha Schill’s school days, she got excited about science. At Biogen Idec since 1995(?), Natascha has put her love of science to great use on behalf of patients. She has also spread her love of learning by helping establish Biogen Idec’s partnership with the Kinder Universitaet-Zurich. (Children’s University).
Established in 2008, this program provides lab-based curricula to third- through sixth-graders and serves approximately 700 children per year. It is aimed at making lab learning fun and introducing young students to such topics as microscope use, climate change, and electricity.
Biogen Idec serves as the exclusive Healthcare sponsor of the Kinder Universitaet and the grade 3-6 children, grand-children, nieces and nephews of Biogen Idec employees are eligible to attend the lab courses. “My daughter loves the Kinder-Uni”, says Ayman Noaman, Director of Business Operations in the international HQ. “Even though she is only in 6th grade, she feels like a university student and likes being taught by professors. She comes home and plays school with our younger son, teaching him what she learned that day! I am grateful to Biogen Idec for supporting such an excellent science program and am extra pleased that my children benefit as a result!”
Having experienced the excellence of the Kinder University courses first-hand, Biogen Idec continues to look for ways to support the organization to ensure it is available to all children in the Zurich area. With the enthusiastic support of its employees, Biogen Idec is now entering into the second three year sponsorship. This highlights the company’s commitment to providing children with excellent and exciting science programming and support of the passions of its employees!