Amazon Belgium’s first Impact Week took place over the week of 3rd July and Amazonians from the Retail, Marketplace, Public Policy, PR, Public Sector, Building Management, and Security teams took part. They volunteered to mentor young adults from different backgrounds with Play4Peace, or to clean the canal with Canal it Up.

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The volunteering activities supported Amazon’s Leadership Principles of Strive to be Earth’s Best Employer, and Success and Scale Bring Broad Responsibility.

Mentoring young people

Play4Peace’s mission is to break down social and cultural barriers through sports and education for young people, aged between 17 and 25 years old.

The organisation helps young people in their personal and professional development through sports activities, conferences, talks and travel, and it was selected in 2021 to represent the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and raise awareness about the UN’s 2030 Sustainable Development Goals. Play4Peace is also under the patronage of the Belgian King Philippe, and the US Embassy and US Mission to the European Union are institutional partners.  

Ultimately Play4Peace is a ‘society in which every young person can develop and be involved regardless of their difference’. Each week, the association enables more than 350 young people to participate free of charge in sports activities; 600 young people have been enabled by its Back2School and Back2Sport programmes; and 800 youngsters have participated in conferences and training for their personal development.

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During Impact Week, nine Amazonians worked with a group of twelve young people and helped them with their CVs, taught them interview skills, and reviewed their LinkedIn profiles to optimise their chances of finding work. Sofía Trénor, Director of EU Public Policy for AWS, will continue acting as a teacher and mentor at the Play4Peace Academy which seeks to teach skills for entrepreneurship.

Clean the canal

Canal it Up aims to create a clean, plastic-free canal in the west of Brussels, and fights against a constant stream of rubbish, bad water quality, and a lack of biodiversity. Ultimately if the rubbish is not removed, it makes its way up to the River Scheldt and further into the North Sea. The organisation intervenes by raising awareness of the problem and on a weekly basis welcomes volunteers to collect rubbish using canoes. Canal it Up is also currently working on installing a rubbish barrier, which will be a permanent structure positioned close to the Molenbeek lock to prevent rubbish from continuing further down the canal and removing it from the water altogether. Once the waste is collected, Canal it Up use creative solutions to recycle the rubbish collected and they campaign tirelessly to improve water quality and green the canal.

Thirty Amazonians volunteered to ‘fish for trash’ with canoes, and in total collected 68kg of old plastic bottles, containers, old shoes, and other waste from the water.

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