During 2021, as the everyday operations started to adapt to the new normal, so did the social engagement of BALFIN Group, where business growth is accompanied by parallel community development initiatives. This manifesto was initiated by President Samir Mane from the very start, and it has been executed from each group company ever since, in a structured practice of significant importance. Throughout the past year, companies embraced internal values and applied them to their corporate responsibility pillars: Health & Wellbeing, Education, Poverty Alleviation, and Environment.
Health & Wellbeing
Almost all companies of BALFIN Group have reached thousands of people with their initiatives in the Health & Wellbeing pillar. On the occasion of Jumbo’s 10th anniversary in Albania, the company “adopted” ten children of the SOS Village Albania for one year. All their needs are being met during the period – education and entertainment products, clothes, and other items. Jumbo colleagues in Kosovo, Montenegro, and Bosnia and Hercegovina, as well as those of Neptun Kosovo, have equipped several organizations with necessary items to provide specialized care for children and youth. Neptun Macedonia is already a long-term partner of the SOS Village in Skopje. In addition, employees of both companies enjoy the time they spend with the young inhabitants of these villages.
On its 15th anniversary, QTU established an agreement with the Down Syndrome Foundation Albania to cover the expenses of specialized therapy for nine children. The other commercial center of BALFIN Group, TEG, has promoted a healthy lifestyle by donating bicycles for those that cannot afford one.
SPAR celebrated its 5th year in Albania. The company’s social engagement continues to grow stronger as well. Its long-term cooperation with food banks and donations from the proceedings of certain own products have become a tradition.
In-kind donations of education and didactic products for various age groups were coupled with infrastructure renovation, IT items, and scholarships for university students to boost the education system. Green Coast provided a new ICT lab to the school that accommodates all pupils of the Palasa area, supported the kindergartens of Himara with all necessary didactic materials, in addition to covering living expenses for three students that attend the Faculty of Economics in Tirana. Tirana Bank has provided heating appliances to the school in Ksamil. Jumbo in Albania and Kosovo has supported schools with electronic devices that are necessary for the teaching process, books, and stationery items.
Tirana Bank increased the green spaces in the capital with its innovative idea of turning bus stations into little green islands. The biggest contribution to the environment originates from within companies – TEG and QTU lead the practice of responsible waste management, recycling all their paper waste, using solar technology, and trying to reduce the overall consumption of natural resources.
Considering the very nature of a couple of sectors where companies of BALFIN Group are active, various groups of people in need have benefitted from in-kind donations. Tirana Bank has made possible a new house for two elder sisters in Shkodra. Jumbo, in all countries where it operates, has supported numerous organizations to meet their basic needs for everyday products. Fashion Group Albania has provided clothes to families in poverty all over the country, while QTU has helped a hundred kids start the academic year properly with school bags and stationery products. SPAR Albania makes sure year after year that food banks in Tirana have enough food, and also donates to charities part of the proceedings from SPAR branded water bottles.
One of the most distinguished initiatives is the employment program for people with Down syndrome, implemented by FGA and SPAR Albania in order to empower and integrate this community in the society. This initiative is part of the companies’ philosophy as employers that offer equal opportunities.
The long-term projects, as well as focused initiatives of BALFIN Group companies, have reached thousands of people. Be it in cooperation with established organizations, as part of its own responsible operations or even ideas launched by employees, BALFIN Group is committed to becoming a force of change in the corporate social responsibility landscape of the countries where it operates.