With Pledge 1% we inspire our employees to give back to our community. We convert part of our business success into support for nonprofits. Within Gen25, there are various options to start as a volunteer and giving to others. Volunteering can be done individual or as a group and helps to strengthen the effect of teamwork. The feeling of a deeper connection to communities and to others can be realized by engagement. By giving 1% of our time we believe that this is a positive impact for our community which we embrace.

‘As a growing company we feel it is important to give back to our community. We’re excited to join Pledge 1% and are committed to pledging 1% of our time to our community. All staff members are given 2 days annually to volunteer for an organization of their choosing.’ Gijs Martens, Founder & CEO of Gen25.

Every summer, several colleagues are involved with several summer camps for children. This blog focuses on Gerbrand and Jérôme’s story, who have volunteered with a 1-week long camp by a volunteering organization called “Humanitas”, for children between 9 and 11 years old who otherwise would not have the possibility to go on holiday. These children come from different backgrounds, with varying reasons to participate. For example, their parents may not have the funds to go away, the children may need to take care of their ill parents, some are refugee children, there may be issues between mother and father, there may be a history of sexual abuse… the list is endless. The general goal of the camp is to allow children to forget their difficult situation for a week, while giving the parents some room to breathe as well.

On camp, the 56 children are grouped into groups of 6 children and 2 adult group leaders such as Jérôme and Gerbrand. During the whole week this group eats together, does the dishes together and undertakes all kinds of activities together. Throughout the week, a general theme is followed, disguised in a game. This year, we were an international spy organization trying to solve a mystery. This mystery hunt leads to a different country each day, which is reflected in the food that is served that day. Pieces of the mystery are solved during the activities that take place over the week. These activities vary from going to the beach, visiting an open-air museum to learn about the past of the Netherlands, following dance and ethical hacking workshops and all sorts of games. A central theme in each activity is that we try to learn the children new things, in a way that is fun for them. At night, they sleep on bunk beds in large sleeping rooms. It is often quite a challenge to get everyone to be quiet and go to sleep on time, which we try to achieve by reading them bedtime stories. Luckily the exhausting day helps a bit as well, in order for everyone to have a good rest for the next day of fun.