Working with Foundation

In 2019, Alior Bank has become strategic partner of Foundation.

The mission of the foundation is to promote readership and social education. In addition, fairy-tale therapy conducted at hospitals by foundation volunteers contributes to supporting good health and higher quality of life. The activities conducted together with the foundation deliver the #HigherCulture (#WyższaKultura) model which is imprinted in the bank’s strategy of social and sponsoring activities. By supporting the Foundation, Alior Bank also supports development of education, culture and readership involvement, and contributes to better health. We contribute to goals number three and four of the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Twenty-nineteen was a year full of joint projects, events and initiatives with Foundation. Below are presented the main ones.

Grand Collection of Books

As strategic partners of Foundation, we got involved in the action carried out by our partner, called “Grand Collection of Books”. It is nation-wide social action which involves both private individuals (donors) and institutions such as kindergartens, schools, public authorities, museums, etc. (collection points). The Grand Collection of Books was conducted not only among the bank’s employees, but also involved almost 100 branch outlets which play the role of open points of collection. Books were brought by our customers as well as other residents of towns and cities. In this way, we have collected more than about 36,000 books which were then transferred to our partner, Foundation, and further on to hospitals, care facilities, community centres, children’s homes and other institutions. A total of more than 603,000 books were collected by the foundation during the Collection action. Due to Alior Bank branches joining the Grand Collection of Books, the initiative expanded from 7 to 77 towns and cities nationwide, and a total of more than 1300 collection points participated in the collection action. We estimate that more than 50,000 people got engaged in the Grand Collection of Books campaign, including about 3500 from Alior Bank.

Engrossed in Reading Academy

In 2019, 82 employees of our bank took part in fairy-tale therapy training and received Fairy-tale Educator certificates. These people regularly go to hospitals where they conduct fairy-tale therapy for children – in addition to reading, they discuss the school set reading, conduct exercises, play games, and just spend time with the patients. Our volunteers took part in the Polish Language Festival sponsored by Alior Bank. During the festival, they conducted, together with foundation members, fairy-tale education activities and workshops for the youngest participants of the festival, as well as educational activities for their parents. The activities were conducted every day for six days.

The Foundation delivers 50 hours of fairy-tale therapy a week throughout Poland, and its audience are about 13,000 children.

„Engrossed in Reading” Benches

„Engrossed in Reading” Benches (Zaczytane Ławki) are urban furniture in the shape of open books which raise interest, inspire and educate. Each bench is equipped with a QR code which allows one to download books in electronic form free of charge. The benches make a Poland tour of exhibitions of “Engrossed in Reading” Benches, and the exhibitions are accompanied by readership events with the participation of Foundation ambassadors (actors, musicians, artists).

In 2019, 12 new „Engrossed in Reading” Benches were created, including three sponsored by Alior Bank – three benches from Alior Bank attracted an audience of 13.5 million.

“Engrossed in Reading” Libraries

Throughout its activity, the foundation established more than 1000 “Engrossed in Reading” Libraries (Zaczytane Biblioteki) in hospitals, children’s homes and community centres, among others. With Alior Bank’s support, 288 new libraries were established in 2019 alone. Thanks to them, patients can have a better time at hospital, because, as research has shown, fairy tales help them to reduce anxiety and fear, as well as promote quicker recovery. The purpose of the Libraries is also to promote readership – the reader can take the book home and does not need to return it to the library. Libraries are regularly replenished by Foundation volunteers. These libraries offer books both for children and for adults. In November, the Thousandth “Engrossed in Reading” Library was established at Warsaw Children’s’ Hospital under Alior Bank’s sponsorship – it was accompanied by a happening with the Foundation ambassadors and Alior Bank’s volunteers.

Readership events

In 2019, the Foundation established 288 new “Engrossed in Reading” Libraries. Ten of them were established under direct sponsorship of Alior Bank. A total of 25,200 direct beneficiaries have used Alior Bank’s libraries.

The Foundation has regularly held readership events throughout Poland. Thirty-two were held in 2019, of which 14 with the participation of Alior Bank. We jointly took part in Warsaw Book Fairs, where we met children and talked to their carers about fairy-tale therapy. In addition, three large outdoor events were held to inaugurate the exhibitions of „Engrossed in Reading” Benches in Krakow, Warsaw and Gdansk. These events were accompanied by educational games, lectures for adults, meetings with ambassadors such as Katarzyna Pakosińska, „Hrabi” Cabaret, Katarzyna Błażejewska-Stuhr, Joanna Jabłczyńska, Monika Mrozowska. Together with the Foundation, the bank also held six readership meetings with the participation of ambassadors – three meetings at „Engrossed in Reading” Benches of Alior Bank, and three at „Engrossed in Reading” Libraries of Alior Bank. In addition, we were actively present at the Polish Language Capital City Festival in Szczebrzeszyn. Alior Bank’s special reading zone for children and their parents. Every day, we conducted fairy-tale therapy workshops and participated in discussion panels.

In 2019, Alior Bank took direct part in 14 readership and literature promotion events. These events attracted a total of about 200,000 participants.

Polish Language Capital City Festival

In August 2019, like in prior years, Alior Bank sponsored the Polish Language Capital City Festival held for the fifth time in Szczebrzeszyn.

Volunteers of the programme engaged in helping got involved in holding the Festival. On the small scene of the festival, together with representatives of Foundation, they conducted fairy-tale education activities for the youngest participants of that event. At the same time, adult participants could take part in educational workshops on fairy-tale education process. This year, a special programme for children was prepared, and they could learn literature in pleasant and active way. The agenda of the Small Capital City of the Polish Language, because that was the name of the part created for children, was rich in musical and literary workshops for the youngest people and their parents.

About 15,000 take part in the festival each year. Workshops for children lasted one hour in six days, and for the adults – one hour in five days.