Meet The Clouders – Festive special
07.12.2023 | 5 min read
Welcome to our ‘Meet The Clouders’ series. Today, we’ll be talking to Aleksandra (Ola) Bienas, who is 10Clouds’ People Partner. On a daily basis, she is responsible for co-creating the people strategy, implementing it in the organization, as well as operational work and consulting at 10Clouds. She is one of the first people that our 10Clouders meet when they join us, as she also takes part in the recruitment process. But in her spare time, Aleksandra is also a keen volunteer. Today we wanted to talk to her a little about the spirit of giving (not only) during the festive season.
At 10Clouds, you’re part of our brilliant HR team. What does your role involve?
I’m a People Partner at 10Clouds, which means that first and foremost I’m here to support every single 10Clouder to thrive. My skills lie in listening and relationship building, and I use these to create an employee-centric work environment, which I believe is the cornerstone of business success.
I’m open to new ideas and initiatives, and take the lead on many of them. I’m also engaged in supporting our employees at every stage of their professional journey – starting from recruitment, through onboarding, ongoing development, all the way to offboarding. I’m also co-responsible for important employee satisfaction indicators, monitoring of how values are understood and whether we are guided by them.
You’ve now been with us for eight months. What first drew you to 10Clouds?
The short answer is values.
From the very beginning I felt that the values 10Clouds has chosen to abide by really shine through in every area of our work.
This was already apparent to me during my own recruitment, and I became even more certain of it in my first few weeks in the role.
Honesty and openness are key to my team’s work. I feel supported, understood, and heard. This may sound idealistic, but when it’s translated into everyday actions, I feel that I’m able to thrive, even if the tasks are challenging. I also love the fact that my role allows me to have a direct impact on how these values permeate every area of the business.
Christmas is fast approaching and many of us associate it with the spirit of giving. You’ve been volunteering with ‘Szafa Dobra’ – the ‘Wardrobe of Good Will’. Could you tell us a bit more about this initiative?
‘Szafa Dobra’ was initially a place open to people in need who fled the war in Ukraine and came to Krakow. This was a place where they could get free clothing, footwear and accessories.
From March 2023, the initiative was also open to people experiencing hardship under the care of the Municipal Social Welfare Center in Krakow. (MOPS).
My duties as a volunteer were varied. They included:
- Registering beneficiaries
- Handing out clothing, shoes, underwear and toiletries
- Sorting through the clothes donated by the people of Kraków
- Preparing packages of goods given to beneficiaries
I volunteered with Szafa Dobra for almost a year. At the end of November 2023, the initiative was closed, largely due to lowered demand. We hope it means that an increasing number of beneficiaries have settled in their new environment and require less immediate support. Any clothing donations gathered since the initiative’s closure will be sent directly to Ukraine.
As a result of my volunteer work, I was able to learn some Ukrainian and get a better understanding of how NGOs work, but most of all I met wonderful people united in the belief that together we are doing something good.
Many people want to support a charity during the festive season or do something good for their community, but they don’t know where to start. What would you advise?
There are many popular charitable activities at this time of year – in Poland the biggest ones include Szlachetna Paczka and Święty Mikołaj dla Seniora – but I’m a huge fan of finding something locally. It’s worth taking a deep dive into Facebook Groups in your local area to find a nearby initiative.
For example, the foundation I was volunteering with, Internationaler Bund Polska, organizes ‘Walks with the elderly’. This project has actually expanded to cover not just walks, but also regular meetings with elderly people in their homes and general companionship. If someone has a hobby or something they would like to share with others, they can contact the foundation and conduct workshops at os. Górali 24 (Kraków) in the Education and Support Center. So if you live in or around Kraków, this is something you could consider joining.
Here is a full list of they ways that you can get involved:
1) Volunteering in Education and Support Center in Kraków
2) Conducting language conversations
3) Administrative, technical and IT support.
4) Assistance in creating the foundation’s social media content
5) Walks with the elderly
6) Being a mentor for European Solidarity Corps volunteers
But I think it’s crucial to remember that helping others is important not only during the Holiday season, but all year long. If you’re able to dedicate a small amount of time or money on a regular basis, this can make a big difference.
And finally, what’s your festive wish this year?
It may be a cliche to say this, but I’m honestly wishing for peace. There are currently more than twenty wars around the world and it breaks my heart every day. I wish that regardless of where you live, your faith, culture or ethnicity, everyone is able to spend time with their loved ones without fear. I am lucky enough to have that priviledge and I wish this feeling of joy and safety was possible for everyone.
Thank you Ola and all the best for the festive season.