Telefónica Czech Republic received Via Bona Award for its versatile financial, material as well as professional support of the Safety Line Association in the US Ambassador’s Residence in Prague yesterday. Telefónica has been the general partner of the Safety Line Association for 17 years.
“We’ve been awarded the Via Bona Award for our long-term and systematic support of local communities and non-for-profit organizations for the third time. We have a great regard for the award. We are also convinced that the real help must be systematic and long-term to make real sense,” says Dana Dvořáková, chairwoman of the Board of Trustees of the O2 Foundation and Corporate Communications Director of Telefónica. The Safety Line Association has been our oldest partnering NGO. We are also proud that the Safety Line Association has been able to help all children who find themselves in a difficult life situation for 17 years already,” adds Dvořáková.
For 17 years, Telefónica has covered all the telecommunications services worth CZK 3 million every year for the Safety Line Association making it possible for all children to make their call. On top of that, the Safety Line Association receives additional CZK 1 million contribution for operation of the organization from the O2 Foundation.
Employees of Telefónica also greatly contribute to the Safety Line Association, either by making financial contributions, or by professional advice, e.g. concerning human resources. In 2008, Telefónica managed to change the telephone number of the Safety Line Association to the new all European format 116 111 required by the European Commission in the record time of 3 months. Therefore, the Czech Republic became one of the first European Union countries to have implemented this number. On this occasion Telefónica also organized an extensive media campaign worth almost CZK 13 for the Safety Line Association building children’s and public awareness of its telephone number.
“NGOs are going through difficult times today, you never know, if you have enough money for the next year. For 17 years Telefónica has provided us with a certainty that the major part of our budget will be covered, and this is something that only a few NGOs can say,” says Darina Rossl, director of the Safety Line Association. “However, the financial and technological support are not the only Telefónica’s contributions. We value the professional advice and permanent support that we get from Telefónica’s employees perhaps even more. It’s just great to have support of such a large multinational company. It is a commitment for us, and at the same time, it proves the professional character and quality of our services,” adds Darina Rossl.
Linka bezpečí was founded 17 years ago and has answered 8.5 million calls from children who find themselves in a critical situation since then. During its existence the Safety Line extended its activities by introducing online services like chat and Internet consulting. It also offers services for parents through its Parents’ Line.
The prestigious award VIA BONA is given to companies and individuals, who support their communities financially, materially and other ways. Candidates are nominated directly by beneficiaries, i.e. NGOs, or companies. The nominations are evaluated in two rounds by an evaluation committee consisting of eight members representing commercial companies, media as well as the non-for profit sector.
The Via Bona Award in the individual category (‘The Heart of the Year’) was awarded to PhDr. Jaroslav Šturma for his all-life unselfish professional work for handicapped children and their families. Mr. Jaroslav Šturma is a long-term member of the Board of Trustees of the O2 Foundation and has been providing free professional advice and consulting to the O2 Foundation for ten years.