A World Full of Heart is a World Full of Opportunities                            

This story is part of the Initiative between Association Konekt and AmCham within the USAID’s Partnership for Giving Project, and is recognized as one of the Best Practices for Corporate Philanthropy.

NLB Banka Skopje belongs to systemically significant banks and is the third largest bank in the country with a constant upward trend. NLB Banka Skopje is a commercial bank that performs all banking services for clients from the country and abroad. The Bank is a member of NLB Group, representing a kind of “economic ambassador” of Slovenia and one of the most successful Slovenian investments in North Macedonia.

Besides the successful operation, we at NLB strongly believe that it is important to be a responsible corporate citizen in the community in which we operate and from there, caring for the common good is one of our highest priorities.

Having the responsibility of shaping sustainable future and acting in accordance with well tailored NLB Methodology for CSR, the postulates of our responsible operation are the care of our employees and clients, environment, promotion of entrepreneurship, financial literacy and mentoring, support of sport, art and culture, protection of cultural heritage, community investment and of course corporate philantropy, in accordance with, and as a signatory of, the UN Principles for Responsible Banking.

We are especially proud on the tradition of support offered to socially useful organizations and institutions that bring positive changes and are a strong support in the local community. Working on the principle of transparent reporting on the projects we support and their implementation by the organizations, we have built a system with which we diligently monitor the progress and results of our investment in the community. And as we have a positive experience because through those organizations, we manage to realize our ideas for a better world, we will continue such support in the future. We believe that in that way we can contribute to improving the quality of life and raising the awareness of those in need of help.

Тhe story titled as “A world full of heart is a world full of opportunities“ is precisely a story that, with all its elements, found its place more than anything else under the umbrella of community investments and philanthropy and strong support to organizations that make difference in the society.

And this is how the story goes…

Practice as a Game-changer 

In NLB we do not say in vain that this region is our home. Here are our families, friends, co-workers, neighbors, sportsmen we root for, innkeepers who know how we take our coffee … Here we can breathe with full lungs, create, experience ups and downs, weave ties. It is therefore only natural that we want to actively participate, influence, and improve the quality of life in our home – also by creating opportunities where they are lacking. Our world is namely much more beautiful and colorful when we stand by each other and 𝗰𝗿𝗲𝗮𝘁𝗲 𝗻𝗲𝘄 𝗼𝗽𝗽𝗼𝗿𝘁𝘂𝗻𝗶𝘁𝗶𝗲𝘀 – opportunities such as those that arise with our support.

The transformative Journey

Aware that we cannot change the world for the better on our own, but 𝘁𝗼𝗴𝗲𝘁𝗵𝗲𝗿 with kind-hearted people and organizations who give their hearts, help every day, and thereby 𝗰𝗿𝗲𝗮𝘁𝗲 𝗯𝗲𝘁𝘁𝗲𝗿 𝗳𝗼𝗼𝘁𝗽𝗿𝗶𝗻𝘁𝘀, NLB decided together with them to improve 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗾𝘂𝗮𝗹𝗶𝘁𝘆 𝗼𝗳 𝗹𝗶𝗳𝗲 𝗶𝗻 𝗼𝘂𝗿 𝗵𝗼𝗺𝗲 𝗿𝗲𝗴𝗶𝗼𝗻.

Paving the Road towards Success 

As announced when the business results for the first quarter of this year were presented, the NLB Group decided to donate a total amount of EUR 1.35 million in all markets in our home region where it operates. The employees of the Group proposed almost 100 organisations and with the votes at the end selected more than 30 recipients, including various associations, humanitarian organisations and groups to which the funds will be allocated. In Macedonia, five non-governmental organizations and institutions were officially presented with donations in the total value of 150,000 euros (30,000 euros for each). The winners were selected by the employees of the Bank through an internal survey, recognized as organizations and institutions that bring positive changes and are a strong support in the local community. The recipients of the donations are: the Association for Cystic Fibrosis, the University Clinic for Gynecology and Obstetrics in Skopje, the National Network to end violence against Women and Domestic Violence, the Red Cross of the City of Skopje and the Association for Assistive Technology “Open the Windows”.
Under the same cause NLB Group with donations in all markets where it operates ended last year. Then in Macedonia, NLB Banka Skopje with a donation of 50.000 euros in total and cheered the NY holidays to three organizations: University Clinic for Children’s Diseases, the Center for Support of Persons with Disabilities “Prkos” and the Association for Cystic Fibrosis, whose patron the Bank is, from last year.

We are happy and proud that we have indiscriminately chosen institutions and organizations that are natural partners of citizens which operate in areas that only this sector can serve. The five organizations that received the donations earmarked the funds for socially useful projects that can make a difference.

For example, the Red Cross dedicated the funds for renovation of Solferino Education Center, which is the only facility where the vulnerable population can enjoy human rights, dignified visits and useful workshops organized by trained staff without compensation. Part of the funds are intended for organizing a workshop for psychological support of 60 people in the third age as well as a workshop for children and youth on the topic of “Bullying”.

In the absence of aid and medicines from the Health Insurance Fund, the donated funds to the Cystic Fibrosis Association will be used for the purchase of: physical therapy equipment, inhalers and vitamins for the CF patients.

With the donated funds, the Association for Assistive Technology “Open the Windows” will support 12 users of the Center of AT and will equip two work units that include: all-in-one computers with touch monitors, height-adjustable tables, accessible chairs, a projector and a laptop computers.

Having in mind that the preterm infants are especially at increased risk of morbidity and mortality because of the immaturity of their body systems, and the fact that there are many premature babies and insufficient incubators, the Clinic for gynecology and obstetrics will purchase an incubator.

The National Network to end violence against Women and Domestic Violence will intend the funds for the Women’s Intervention Fund and Women’s Support Centers. The donation will support women and girls – victims of gender-based and family violence who are financially insecure (unemployed, have low incomes, recipients of social assistance), as well as single mothers and women and girls at risk of homelessness in the process of their resocialization and temporary provision of funds and services to satisfy existential needs.

Objectives’ Achievement  

As one of our main objectives is improving the quality of life in the country we operate as a single Bank and in our home region as a Group and it is not surprising that we have put sustainability in its broadest sense at the heart of our business decisions and actions.

Our sustainability journey focuses on tackling environmental, social and governance considerations, aiming to one goal – to empower us and our stakeholders for sustainable future.
And for us, there are no doubts. For us the path is clear. We constantly ask ourselves what kind of traces we leave behind. And that is the reason why in all actions we take, we strive to ensure a brighter, better future for the generations to come and we have incorporated this type of mindful thinking into the everyday operations and our employees. Simply, we strive to create better footprints for the generations to come.

“A powerful community is the one in which everyone contributes in the best way, and success comes when we join forces. Open the windows for 18 years through assistive technology works to give people with disabilities a path to quality education, which is the basis for quality inclusion in the community. A big thank to NLB for getting involved along the way and joining us to mutually improve the quality of life for our users.” – Margarita Gulevska, Open the windows.

“This donation is the largest we have received so far. Through our both funds, assistance has been provided to more than 800 beneficiaries, and the amount received from NLB Bank will enable us to continue to fulfill our mission and help as many women and children as possible to live a life without violence”. – Elena Dimushevska, National network to end violence against women and domestic violence.

„NLB Bank gave us support at a time when the hope for solidarity was slowly fading. Ever since becoming our patron, the Banks has helped many times and we are happy that that help continues and is non-selective. Cystic fibrosis awareness is on a higher level thanks to you. “ – Ivana Atanasovska, Association of cystic fibrosis.

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