Because every child needs a warm home

That’s what it’s all about: heating technology that quite literally makes for a warm home. Since the partnership was sealed in 2013, the Vaillant Group has been equipping SOS Children’s Villages with heating technology in some 20 countries, sometimes just one device, sometimes complete systems for entire villages. Like 2015 in Worpswede, Germany. The buildings and installations were as old as the village itself, which was celebrating its 50th anniversary. The need for action in heating technology was urgent. The Vaillant Group replaced the two completely obsolete oil boilers with a modern gas condensing cascade. A regional trade partner installed the new technology, and of course renounced its profit margin. There was no discussion at all.

The Vaillant Group’s partnership with “SOS Children’s Villages worldwide” has been a success story for more than five years. It is about environmentally friendly heating technology, but also about ideas, commitment and joy – about warmth in many facets. For example ...

For the future: insights into the professional world

RUSSIA - What happens after the time in an SOS Children’s Village? A good question. “We wanted to help, provide orientation and insights into the professional world,” says Evgeniy Sotnichenko, Director of the Vaillant Academy Russia. In the summer of 2016, the managers of SOS Children’s ­Villages and Vaillant jointly implemented their idea. During a visit to the Vaillant training centre, young people got their first insights into the world of heating technology: what different types of houses exist, what technologies, what heating requirements ... Interested youngsters were invited to learn more about this and to enrol in training sessions lasting several days. In the summer holidays there followed a two-month internship with Vaillant trade partners. A success. The project “Vaillant Academy” ­has already entered the second round.

The way out: education

RWANDA - In Rwanda, many children cannot even attend primary school. Only very few people can afford a proper vocational training. Therefore, SOS Children’s Villages founded a professional centre in 2005 in the capital Kigali. 250 young people can learn a profession there – from car mechanics to ­computer science to fashion design. The Vaillant Group supported the centre with the #vaillantsmile campaign. During the campaign selfies were collected on which people smile. For every smile, a donation went to SOS Children’s Villages.

Wait and help:“On Hold” campaign

AUSTRIA - “You are at the right place – the Vaillant customer hotline. Currently, all of our employees are on the line with customers. Waiting is not nice, but helping is. Vaillant currently supports SOS Children’s Villages with 50 cents per waiting minute. Thank you for your patience.” This announcement by the nine-year-old Jacob was heard by customers who had to exercise patience in Austria in the telephone call loop of Vaillant. In July and August 2018, Vaillant Austria donated a total of around 10,000 euros for all waiting minutes. They went to the SOS Children’s Village in Seekirchen near Salzburg.

Old tarpaulin, new life: recycling

GERMANY - In the year of the 140th anniversary of the Vaillant Group, a travelling exhibition toured through Europe. The luggage included a review of Vaillant’s history, the present and a glimpse of the future. For the tarpaulin of the truck, the journey went even further: into a workshop for people with disabilities. Thus, in an artful recycling several dozen high-quality laptop bags were made. Vaillant employees could buy them later for the price of 40 euros each. The sales proceeds benefited the SOS Children’s Village in Lüdenscheid. “The bags were sold very fast. I’m still being asked by colleagues where I got mine,“ says Christopher Hucke, Senior Manager Corporate Communications, whose idea it was.

On the move with SOS Children’s Villages: roadshow

HUNGARY - There, where it all began, in Hungary, an idea for something special came up on the occasion of the 140th Vaillant Group anniversary: in September 2015, the Vaillant Truck stopped in six cities on its journey through Hungary. SOS Children’s Villages Hungary came along all the way. “The idea was on the one hand to present the company – its history, its technology, its vision of the future – with the roadshow. On the other hand, we also wanted to introduce the partnership with SOS Children’s Villages and give SOS the opportunity to present themselves,“ explains Marketing Director György Csókay. The end of the tour was celebrated together: at a big family party in Budapest – with a press conference and donation in favour of SOS Children’s Villages.

Full commitment: running for SOS Children’s Villages

FRANCE - They run every year. With commitment, with sweat and with a lot of good humour. Since 2014, colleagues from France have been taking part in running events for SOS Children’s Villages. The races are open for athletes at all sporting levels; children can also take part. Donations are made for every kilometre run. But it is not just about the money, it’s also about the common experience: “We always invite children from the SOS Children’s Villages,” explains Alexandra Deschamps, who oversees the partnership with SOS Children’s Villages for the Vaillant Group in France. “This is a great opportunity to meet the children in person and to do something with them.”

Vaillant Group
Vaillant Group

The best medicine: laughter

BOLIVIA - Laughter is the best medicine, says a German proverb. In 2016, SOS Children’s Villages sought sponsors worldwide for a project that would bring hospital clowns to the SOS Children’s Village Cochabamba in Bolivia. The reason: many of the children who live there have traumatic experiences to deal with. In a course lasting several weeks with three clowns, they learned to express emotions again: joy, but also grief and anger. The SOS mothers and ­educators also benefited from the workshop. The Vaillant Group supported this project.

Christmas and Easter together: Advent calendar

GERMANY - Every year, at Easter, for example, in the workshop of the SOS Children’s Village Lüdenscheid, one hears Christmas carols and finds children eagerly painting Christmas motifs. Why? They are painting for the Vaillant Advent calendar. From the finished pictures, a small jury selects the motif that later adorns the chocolate calendar that is given to Vaillant employees and partners. The creator of the picture wins a trip to an amusement park for all the village children. This makes the little artists proud and is huge fun – not only for the children, but also for the adults from the Vaillant jury, who accompany the excursion group.

Collected: with 1,000 books to the roof of the world

CHINA - In August 2014, a truckload of books reached the SOS Children’s Village Lhasa, which is located high in the Himalayas, the roof of the world. The Chinese sales company had previously collected the books over several months during the stops of the 2014 anniversary roadshow in Beijing, Xi’an and Shanghai. Hundreds of visitors and Vaillant colleagues from all over China came to donate books for the children in Lhasa. In addition to the books, the colleagues from Vaillant China also had sports equipment and school stationery for the children in their luggage.

Small amount, big effect: “spare cents” donation

GERMANY - A few cents regularly from many – most of the time, one doesn’t even notice. But in the end, they pile up, too. With the “spare cents” donation, Vaillant employees in Germany can donate the amount behind the decimal point of their monthly salary to SOS. Many hundreds of colleagues already participate in the voluntary offer.

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