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  • 2018 Corporate Responsibility Report

Corporate volunteering: Our employees in action

As part of our corporate volunteering program, employees volunteer for social action activities. We support this social commitment through a variety of projects and campaigns that give our employees the opportunity to make valuable contributions to strengthening our society. At the same time, however, by volunteering on meaningful projects, they are learning new skills, which also has a positive effect on their everyday work. In 2018, we supported the following projects:

eStart – digital language coaching for refugees
Deutsche Telekom actively supports the eStart program facilitated by the organization Volunteer Vision. By late 2018, 112 Deutsche Telekom employees had helped refugees learn German via a video platform. They meet with their students in a video chat once a week for one hour. With the help of integrated learning materials, they jointly practice homework assignments from a German course. The program is part of our wide-ranging commitment to helping people who have come to Germany as refugees.

IT@school
Encouraging children to play an active and self-confident role in shaping the digital age – that is the idea behind the IT@school initiative, launched by Deutsche Telekom in 2018. As part of this initiative, our employees visit schools, libraries, kindergartens, and youth centers, where they, for example, teach programming courses or hold workshops on media literacy. By late 2018, almost 250 Deutsche Telekom employees were already involved in IT@school at 35 locations throughout Germany. Thanks to their dedication, we were able to offer 23 introductory IT courses at elementary and secondary schools in 2018. These courses utilize the Calliope minicomputer, which is designed for children and helps introduce the subject of programming to elementary school students in an age-appropriate way. The Deutsche Telekom Stiftung has already provided 30 schools with one class set (max. 30 devices) each, which they can keep – additional sets are to be provided to support the “Corporate Volunteers” project.

This approach has helped more than 300 children develop basic knowledge and skills for the digital age, such as logical thinking, an understanding of algorithms, and problem-solving skills. Moreover, we have trained over 40 school and kindergarten teachers in IT topics through the IT@school initiative and given 500 parents a better understanding of media literacy at parents’ evenings. Our employees also go into three day-care centers, two libraries, and two elementary schools to teach STEM img subjects (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) in a fun way. Around 100 children benefited from this approach in 2018. In total, our employees volunteered 750 hours of their time for the IT@school initiative in 2018. We are already in talks with an additional 30 schools regarding future collaborations.

STEM reading mentors
Working in partnership with the German  Reading Foundation, the Deutsche Telekom Stiftung is looking for volunteer STEM reading mentors, both in Germany and abroad, who can inspire children aged between three and ten to take an interest in books that deal with mathematics, natural sciences, and technology. By late 2018, a total of around 1,700 STEM reading mentors had signed up to the network – including 80 Deutsche Telekom employees (as of October 2018).

Christmas toy drive
Each year, the annual “Social Day” of our Start up! initiative gives start-ups sponsored by Deutsche Telekom the opportunity to contribute to a charitable cause. In 2018, they supported a toy drive for Eastern European children in need, which involved collecting and wrapping Christmas gifts. In December 2018, the gifts were sent to Bulgaria, Romania, Moldova, and Ukraine and handed out in orphanages, hospitals, institutes for the disabled, kindergartens, and schools in remote and rural areas.

Christmas campaign – making children’s wishes come true
In 2018, Deutsche Telekom employees once again volunteered to make the Christmas wishes of children and young people living in institutions come true. The children and young people write their name, age, and wish on a paper star. Each star has a maximum value of 30 euros. Employees take one or several stars, buy the desired present, wrap it in festive gift wrap, and hand it in to the organizational team. Once all presents are gathered, they are handed over to the homes.

Donations for "Ein Herz für Kinder"
In December 2018, 1,040 Deutsche Telekom employees supported the television show in aid of the “Ein Herz für Kinder” children’s charity by volunteering at ten locations. This meant that 140 more Deutsche Telekom employees got involved in the campaign this year compared to last year. They volunteered at service centers collecting donations from TV viewers over the telephone.

Support for “Aktion Deutschland Hilft”
We have been supporting the charitable projects of “Aktion Deutschland Hilft” (Germany’s Relief Coalition) with the help of our employees since 2003. As a long-time partner of the organization, Deutsche Telekom is committed to providing emergency aid and thus supports reconstruction and disaster prevention projects. Deutsche Telekom also made a donation of 50,000 euros immediately after the catastrophic earthquakes and tsunami on the Indonesian island of Sulawesi in September 2018.