INTERVIEW: Kamelija Levenska, MobiMak public relations manager and president of the MobiMak Foundation in Macedonia
Humanity is wherever people are and it has always existed on these territories
MobiMak’s active conscientious citizenship is obvious, what is it due to?
First of all, I would like to thank you for inviting me to discuss this subject and I would like to greet your initiatives for reminding about socially responsible behavior that equally concerns all of us.
MobiMak as a first Macedonian mobile operator, existing since 1996, understands its moral and social obligation to play an active and positive role in the society.
Since July 2001, breaking up from the Macedonian Telecommunications, the role of MobiMak as an active member of the society has been particularly expressed.
The principles of quality, value and service are the basic postulates of our philosophy of working, but we have added a fourth basic postulate – conscientious citizenship.
MobiMak as a company has been present in citizens’ everyday life through its services that it offers and as a subject which is actively involved in the processes taking place in the society and the environment we live in.
We believe that investing in the present with due respect to the past and the future, is the only way to better and brighter tomorrow, for all of us.
On the basis of company’s operating, the concentric circles – the MobiMak symbol is also drafted in the society, with its full central circle, on one hand symbolizing a man who should always be in the center, and the concentric circles symbolize his link with the surroundings, the first concentric circle is for the family and the second is for the society. This story also talks about our direction to invest in the center – in people and what is important for them, for their families, for the society. We have built our strategy for conscientious citizenship right on these ideas.
Many times we have been asked why we invest with such dynamics, what MobiMak gets in return or what the results are from the investments.
We invest because we feel a need to return in the society where we act, it is not only our responsibility, but our wish, too.
MobiMak is a business company, however, it has its own Foundation – following the example of some other world companies. How does it function and how much has been invested so far through the Foundation?
In order to contribute to humanitarian activities, directly and transparently, willing to separate sponsorships from donations, in July 2002 we founded the MobiMak Foundation for Macedonia, under the motto: humanity – as motive and goal. The MobiMak Foundation for Macedonia is a non-profitable organization, with managing board of 7 volunteers from the MobiMak managerial team, strengthened by external expert consulting body and secretariat – chosen by the colleagues in MobiMak. Foundation’s mission is by initiating to contribute to the development of various segments from social life, but also to support activities it generates assets for in many ways. Every year we prepare an annual activity program, with our own projects and actions, but we are also open for support of projects of external people and organizations, that are of social interest in accordance with the Foundation’s tasks and goals. The assets for realization of the Foundation’s projects are mainly from MobiMak, donations from the employees in MobiMak, from other companies, from citizens.
Following the clearly fixed strategy of taking actions and detailed planned activity program, over 200.000 Euro has been invested so far through the MobiMak Foundation for Macedonia for support of various activities and projects for community’s good.
The Foundation’s humanitarian phone numbers are actual, what are the results of their functioning?
The Foundation is very pride that it placed technology in the service of humanity. Initiated by Svetlana Petrovska, who until recently was Foundation’s president and now is in the Foundation’s Managing Board, the possibility for opening humanitarian numbers was prepared. The first number was opened in February 2003 at the request of the media. The goal was to link citizens in a circle of humanity, where they could take part in various humanitarian actions through their mobile phones.
All actions are started after getting detailed data for the needs, consultations with the media and signing a contract with the recipient. So far, through humanitarian lines with the Macedonian citizens, we have helped 18 individuals and the collected and donated fund since February 2003 till today is over 4 million denars. Apart from individuals, we have also opened humanitarian numbers for support of the Macedonian Red Cross program activities, the Special Olympics, the civil society organization “Butterfly”, Skopje Zoo and we are open for constant cooperation with the media for realization of humanitarian activities. A special number has been opened for Mile Stojkoski – the brave man who by wheelchair arrived at the Olympics in Athens and will soon go to Germany for operation. I would like to say that the importance of each of these actions has a big human and uniting story. In each of these actions the media and citizens are involved, the wish to help is common, the moment for a final positive result – coming back from a successful operation and recovering, or completed building of something new and necessary, we all expect them.
We will soon commemorate the opening of the refurbished Gastroenteritis hepatology Department at the Children’s Diseases Clinic as a result of the action with The Vreme and A1 TV, where, with their donations of 100,00 denars, over 13.000 citizens – MobiMak users, have participated so far. This is the first example of a mass action with the Macedonian citizens for Macedonia, after the success of the action to help the tsunami victims with the Macedonian Red Cross.
As far as the MobiMak donation channels are concerned, we already have 8 active, open for different purposes. In the process from opening a donation number to payment of assets to the donation recipient, over 30 people from MobiMak are involved, each in a different part of the process. The Foundation’s Secretariat (volunteers from MobiMak) is responsible for following and managing the procedures, certainly in cooperation with the colleagues from different departments.
Apart from such activities, the MobiMak Foundation for Macedonia is continuously present in the public with some other projects, too.
In our three-year history we have supported over 20 civil society organizations’ projects, we have granted a scholarship to 10 talented children, we have an organization of already traditional race of humanitarian character that we move to a different town every year, we have opened a children’s corner in the Bitola park, we have organized a number of donation activities for handicapped people and children without parents throughout Macedonia…
We are actively involved in the project for revitalization of the Skopje ZOO, we participate in many smaller or bigger activities in cooperation with the ZOO management and we have also built the external part of the chimpanzee Koko’s cage.
Support of traditional values is also in accordance with the MobiMak strategy and the Foundation’s program activities – basic are researches of the Archeological locality Vardarski Rid near Gevgelija and we also take part in refurbishing the monasteries of Sveti Joakim Osogovski and Sveti Jovan Bigorski.
Our cooperators are actively involved in the Foundation’s actions, e.g. Kaliopi, M2 team, Adrijan Gadza, the children from Zlatno Slavejche, Avalon exclusives etc., and as far as all printed materials are concerned, for three years we have had unselfish support from the Europe 92 printing house.
However, children and people with special needs are in our focus and we enter almost all projects with the thought – what is good for children today and what is good for their future. The Foundation is young, we learn from the already established civil society organizations, we cooperate with them, together we realize different projects, we support each other. At the same time we use the MobiMak resources, not only the internal human potentials and technological capacities, but also the company’s contacts with some other subjects from the business sector. Namely, many of the Foundation’s activities would not have happened, or not so quickly and completely, if the support of other human companies – MobiMak partners, had not existed, for example, for the building actions at the Children’s Diseases Clinic, the school Zlatan Sremac, The Center for Pain in Skopje, the Home for Infants in Bitola, the Zoo, for computerization of the Lungs Diseases Clinic in Kozle, the Kocho Racin Center in Bitola, the Zoo in Bitola etc.
What would you draw attention to from the activities in 2005?
In the 2005 plan we have the opening of children parks in Skopje and Tetovo, assistance in organization of a new skate park in Skopje, granting a scholarship to 10 talented children without parents, organization of the race Everyone on wheels for fun and humanity in Strumica, promotion of the new book on Vardarski Rid, organization of children’s manifestations, building the internal part of Koko’s cage, numerous donation activities, actions for cleaning and forestation etc. The cooperation with the Special Olympics, civil society organizations: Polio plus, Idnina and Peperutka continues, as well as the cooperation with the media for new, common actions. The humanitarian numbers are open non-stop and after completion of one action they are converted for some other, depending on the needs.
They say that nowadays humanity is in trend!
They say that nowadays humanity is in trend, but actually humanity is wherever people are and it has always existed on these territories. The feeling for trend was brought by the media that more wholeheartedly enter initiating or support of actions, popularizing them that way.
I am sure that very important is the fact that we have put technology in service of humanity for the last 2 years in Macedonia, so we have accepted telephony as the most accessible channel for mass donations of smaller amounts. Thus there are possibilities for bigger number of citizens not only to help each other, but also to enrich themselves with the feeling of humanity.
Macedonia is small, people are good and human, together we want and we can help each other. Each seriously started initiative will have a successful realization, if approached thoroughly, with respect and dedication. Behind the successful actions there is never only one person or one company, humanity is a chain of many rings. Unless the whole chain is animated, each idea will remain only a good intention.