Omega 365’s mission to be “Big enough to deliver, small enough to care”, extends beyond the bounds of our organization and industry, and sees us offering a helping hand to the less fortunate. By supporting and driving worthy causes aligned with Omega 365’s company values, the Omega 365 team is able to share its success with those people that need it most.
Omega 365 sees the value of supporting the upcoming generations. Not only do the children define our future, but helping and developing them yields tangible and lasting results. We have been involved in projects close to our headquarters in Ølensvåg, Norway, as well as commitments in developing regions of Ukraine and Russia. In November 2009, we started working with the Norwegian Blue Cross to support their TUBA project to help teenagers and young adults who are victims of alcohol and substance abuse in the family.
There are great benefits of engaging in the development of our local community. Ølensvåg, Norway, is a small community with a dynamic business life. We wish to support the continued growth of the town, and we engage actively in creating better conditions for growing up. Omega 365 has been involved in the building of sports grounds to contribute to the increased availability of recreational activities.
We have been involved in a number of community projects both in Norway and abroad:
In 2022 Omega 365’s Christmas donation was given earlier than usual in response to the refugee crisis in Ukraine. In March of 2022, the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) received 1 million NOK from Omega 365 to support their work in Ukraine and its neighboring countries.
Since the outbreak of war in Ukraine on 24 February 2022, the UN estimates that over three million people have fled the country. According to UNICEF, more than one million of the refugees are children. We must look back to World War II to find comparable numbers. There are many worthy humanitarian and aid organizations that are assisting in this crisis; Omega 365 chose to lend its support to the Norwegian Refugee Council.
“We are grateful for the generous support from Omega 365 to our work in Ukraine. With these funds we are able to protect the most vulnerable people and respond to increased needs,” says NRC’s Secretary General, Jan Egeland.
"We are saddened and appalled by the war in Ukraine. We see this contribution to the Norwegian Refugee Council as the most effective way that we, as an organization, can help the millions of people directly affected by the war," says Omega 365’s Corporate Communications Manager, Lauren McPherson Simonsen.
"The Norwegian Refugee Council is a reputable humanitarian organization where more than 90 per cent of funds received go directly to fulfilling the organization’s purpose. We wanted to offer rapid assistance to an established organization that could make a positive difference as quickly as possible,” she adds.
“In addition to this monetary gift, we will be exploring other ways of cooperating with NRC in the months to come.”
The Norwegian Refugee Council is one of Norway's largest private aid organizations working internationally and the only one specializing in providing help and protection to refugees. It is a continuation of Europahjelpen (The European Aid), which was started in 1946, in the wake of World War II.
The Norwegian Refugee Council operates several relief efforts for refugees around the world, and on March 8 the organization announced an emergency relief plan for Ukrainians fleeing their home county. The relief plan aims to help 800,000 people in Ukraine and its neighboring countries over the next six months, with a total cost of around NOK 700 million kroner.
Omega 365’s donation for 2020 was NOK 1 million over two years to the Brain & Behavior Research Foundation (BBRF). The Brain & Behavior Research Foundation is a global nonprofit organization based in New York. Since 1987 the foundation has been committed to alleviating the suffering caused by mental illness by awarding grants to researchers worldwide that will lead to advances and breakthroughs in scientific research.
“This year countries and citizens have had to adapt due to the pandemic. Local guidelines and restrictions have an impact on our daily lives, which is not easy for everyone; some might have felt lonely not being able to meet their family, colleagues and friends, some might have experienced an increased workload and stress, others might be far from their family without the ability to see them anytime soon, and many have been worried for how the pandemic would evolve. Bringing attention to our mental health in the middle of a pandemic is therefore important,” says CEO in Omega 365, Petter Aalvik in his Christmas greeting for 2020, and emphasizes that our mental health is as important as our physical health and needs care, maintenance and attention.
Omega 365’s donation is a general donation, meaning that the funds can be used where they are most needed. The entire sum will be used for research as all administrative fees are covered by separate donation funds. The BBRF funds research investigating conditions such as addiction, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), anxiety, autism, bipolar disorder, borderline personality disorder (BPD), depression, eating disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and schizophrenia.
“I would like to extend a personal thank you for the generous gift of $100,000 from Omega 365 Group towards general research to the Brain & Behavior Research Foundation (BBRF). This gift to the Foundation means a great deal to the progress of our research funding, and ultimately to those whose lives we touch,” says Jeffrey Borenstein, CEO & President i BBRF, in a thank you letter to Omega 365.
Hurricane Harvey left massive destruction in the US in 2017, and among the affected places was Houston where Omega 365 has a branch office. In light of the destruction, Omega 365 started a fundraiser for employees on all Omega 365 offices. Omega 365 donated a start contribution of $10 000 and matched all contributions from employees up to another $10 000. After the fundraising campaign had run for two weeks, the total donation sum amounted to $15 500. The donation was transferred to the Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund in Houston.
"I am proud of Omega 365 and all employees who have contributed in this campaign. I addition to our campaign there are many who have contributed via other channels or have directly helped with cleanup for friends and family, or through a charitable organization. It is important to help when we can, and I thank Omega 365 and all our employees for their contributions," says President at Omega 365's Houston office, Øyvind Vik.
The Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund is a relief fund for those affected by the Hurricane Harvey. The Relief Fund was started by the mayor in Houston, Sylvester Turner and County Judge Ed Emmett, after they received an overwhelming number of inquiries from citizens and companies who wanted to help after the storm. The Relief Fund will contribute to finance help services and organizations in the area. Read more about the Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund here.
The branch office in Houston decided to cancel this 2017 Christmas party and donate the resources as a part of the donation of $10 000 from Omega 365. Øyvind Vik explained that it felt wrong to use time and resources on the annual Christmas party when so many out there were still in need of help.
Over the duration of two years, Omega 365 has contributed with over NOK 1 million in Christmas gifts for CARE's savings and loan groups which enable girls and women in Congo to become economically independent. This gives them the opportunity to provide their families with food, healthcare services, and education for the children.
“We have chosen to support this project because we see that it gives people in poor countries the opportunity to be more independent and therefore secures a solid and safe future for children. Via Omega 365’s gift, all employees are involved in helping women gain the financial skills they need to support their families with food, healthcare services and education for their children,” says Aslaug Østrem Nesheim, Manager for Omega 365’s Service Center.
Omega 365’s contribution to CARE helps the women in the savings and loan groups take up loans and invest in activities which increase revenue. The “bank” also acts as a joint insurance, in case anyone should experience a crisis. Through the savings and loan system, the women get an opportunity to participate in the local resource management and contribute to the development of the society.
“We do not give money directly to the groups, but train them in managing and organizing a savings bank with insurance options and the opportunity to take up a loan. These actions provide results that last. When these women become financially secure, they have more time to learn how to earn a living and discuss common problems. The meetings in the CARE savings and loan groups also provide members with the opportunity to ask questions about difficult topics, like sexual violence and maternal health,” says Helene Hansson, Corporate Manager in Care Norway.
"It is important for us to take care of our employees in every situation. If something were to happen, either you travel for work or leisure, it can be extra difficult when you are abroad facing a foreign language and different culture. Omega 365 has employees on assignment worldwide and our managers will not always have the opportunity to ensure support immediately. The Norwegian Church Abroad is therefore ready to assist our people in these situations", says HSEQ Manager in Omega 365, Karina Hovden Stava.
Omega 365 has since 2013 had an agreement with the Norwegian Church Abroad regarding emergency procedures including a range of supportive services both directly to the one affected, for next of kin and for Omega 365 as an employer. The Norwegian Church Abroad's members know the local culture, language and the conditions in the country and can therefore be an important partner in a crisis, and will be able to contribute with their unique services.
"Our competency is rooted in knowing the local area, in supportive services, counselling and personal follow-ups. We will be there to talk with the affected and take the role as a supportive and compassionate helping figure", says Martin Alvsvåg, Project Manager for the Norwegian Church Abroad's business. The Church can also contribute with hospital visits, help with recovery, and take care of next of kin, and can be someone to call after a difficult incident.
The emergency plan agreement also includes support for crisis management in psycho-sociological guidance, a 24 hour emergency phone, facilitation of memorials and vigils, counselling when creating emergency plans, and help in relation to next of kin and emergency calls.
Omega 365 is one of 228 companies in Norway who have an emergency plan agreement with the Norwegian Church Abroad. The Norwegian Church Abroad has today, churches in more than 30 countries across the world, in addition to ministers who travel and cover an addition of 50 countries.
“Doctors Without Borders is an organization that people believe in – and so do we. In donating our Christmas gifts to Doctors Without Borders, we will reach the people that need our help most; that is what our team wants. Our employees want to support organizations that achieve results and we believe Doctors Without Borders does just that,” says Omega 365’s Service Center Manager, Aslaug Østrem Nesheim.
Forty-one years ago a group of French doctors and journalists started Doctors Without Borders, following the Biafra War and the famine in Nigeria. Today, Doctors Without Borders is active in more than 400 projects, in over 60 countries, across Africa, Asia, Latin America and Europe.
Omega 365’s 2013 Christmas contribution offers assistance to thousands of individuals suffering in world regions plagued by war and catastrophes. Through Doctors Without Borders, we are helping refugees in southern Sudan, providing medical aid in Haiti, and supporting HIV/AIDS treatment and prevention in Lesotho.
“Contributions to our projects provide aid and health services in areas of war and crises. With your help, we are able to ensure that people remain alert to forgotten abuses and crises, because fewer people die, when more people know,” says Cecilie Kaltenborn, Secretary-General of Doctors without Borders, Norway.
TV-aksjonen is an annual national Norwegian charit fundraising event that since 1974 has been run by Norwegian public broadcaster NRK in conjunction with selected organizations. The fundraiser is the world's largest, measured in terms of donated value per capita and number of participants. The event is central to Norwegian society in as much as it is viewed as the most famous and trusted charity fundraiser in the country. The campaign is held on a Sunday in October each year, and on the selected day NRK devotes most of its airtime to informing the public about the organization and that year's special cause. The goal is for 100,000 bounty bearers to visit all households in Norway within two hours on the day of the event.
The beneficiary of each year's event is decided by a fund-raising committee at NRK, which also receives detailed follow-up reports from the selected charity on the spending of the raised money. Charities vary, with causes including combating poverty, providing healthcare, clearing minefields, protecting women, and the environment. Every year, 7000 fantastic volunteers work across the country organizing the TV campaign in their municipality.
Omega 365 has given a yearly donation to this national charity fundraising event since 2010.
In November 2009 we started working with the Norwegian Blue Cross organisation to support their Kompasset project. Kompasset is aimed at helping teenagers and young adults who are victims of alcohol and substance abuse in the family. The offer is free and users do not need referral from doctors or psychiatrists. Blue Cross opened their first TUBA office in Bergen in October 2009, and we are excited to be working with them for the next three years.
In our local community of Ølen we have been active in the buildings of two new artificial grass football fields. At Lundeneset Vidaregåande Skule (boarding school), Omega 365 worked with several other Ølensvåg companies to build a floodlighted field right next to the school. The field was finished in spring 2006, and is free to use for students, local sports teams and the public alike.
Another field has now been constructed in central Ølen. Omega 365 has contributed to the financing, as well being the construction developer for the project. This is another joint effort with local companies, which led to a state-of-the-art artificial grass field now being used by all ages in the Ølen sports clubs.
The town of Murmansk and the areas surrounding it struggles with social problems, mainly due to poverty and unemployment. Children are especially victimised by this, as they often have parents who are not capable of giving them the sufficient care, both materially and emotionally.
Many children live in poor conditions, and even on the street. Save the Children has been working to better the situations of these children, and Omega 365 has supported their street children programme since 2006. In building refuges and activity centres for children, the organisation is hoping to reach underprivileged children throughout the area, and make their lives better by giving them a safe place to stay.
The Murmansk office of Save the Children has a few key points that they especially highlight in their work with the local community:
Several hundred children living on the streets of Murmansk have already been helped by these projects, and Omega 365 is proud to contribute to the good cause.
Korosten is a small city in Ukraine that was struck by disaster on April 26, 1986, when the Chernobyl nuclear plant exploded. The city is located less than 100 kilometres from Chernobyl, and the effects have been felt ever since.
Today’s children in Korosten did not live through the Chernobyl disaster, but have felt the social and economic effects of the radioactive blast every day of their lives. Many of them live life on the street, often due to the loss of family members and always through desperation. Omega 365 was moved by the plight of the local children to the extent that we entered into a three-year joint venture (administrated by THK Stiftelsen) to fund the establishment of a mother and child centre in the area.
Additionally, from 2003 to 2005, Omega 365 employees have opted not to receive a Christmas gift from their employer, and rather put the money towards the Ukrainian Children’s Fund. With the help of Omega 365’s employees, the children’s home in Korosten was built and finished by the Christmas of 2006.