Around 3,550 AkzoNobel employees voted in the 2011 Best Practices Competition to choose last year’s best Community Program project in the company. Decorative Paints Mumbai was selected from the 15 finalists for their community project. The first prize winning project was entitled: ‘Fruitful way to offer poor farmers a sustainable future.’ Company volunteers helped set up a ‘model’ farm by transforming a half-acre plot of arid land into a lush, green site in one of Mumbai’s poorest areas. Their initiative set in motion similar projects, which resulted in 150 acres of land being converted into productive farms. Now local residents are able to be self-sufficient and create a sustainable way of life.
Marine and Protective Coatings in Shanghai, China, won the Second Prize for their ‘The world is water’ project. A detailed program was developed to stimulate children’s interest in water and issues surrounding it, educating them on how important water is to the environment. Activities ranged from visits to an aquarium (photo below) to explore marine life, a sewage treatment plant to learn how waste water is treated, as well as collecting litter from beaches.
The Third Prize was awarded to Pulp and Paper Chemicals in Bahia, Brazil, for their ‘Keeping poor youngsters on the right track’ project. The volunteering employees committed to making life better for some young children living in poor circumstances in Bahia who were at risk for getting into dangerous or unhealthy situations after school. So the volunteers worked together to acquire a house which they converted into a community space for the children – complete with a computer room and internet access – which will help 100 children and adolescents to gain a better education (pictured below).
The three winners receive cash prizes of €30,000, €20,000 and €10,000, respectively, to be spent by employees involved in the winning projects on good causes in their own countries, in the spirit of the Community Program. In a special congratulations letter signed by our CEO, Hans Wijers, the employees involved in the winning projects were complimented with their contributions to their communities.
2010 Winner: ‘Help with Healthy Living’
With this initiative more than 150 volunteering colleagues from Marine & Protective Coatings, Industrial Coatings and Powder Coatings have helped establish a health clinic which has become an indispensable part of life for residents of four villages in Bangalore. As well as offering consultations, basic medication and treatment free of charge, the center gives information on matters such as HIV/AIDS, personal hygiene and the hazards of smoking, while also providing advice for managing conditions such as diabetes.
2009 Winner: ‘Surrounding orphans with love’
A warm and comfortable family environment was created for the children at the Dae-ja-won Orphanage with the ‘Surrounding orphans with love’ project . Our colleagues from Polymer Chemicals in Kyungju, South Korea set to work, cleaning and gardening, to help get the site in order. A roster is now in place for the team to visit each month, where they spend time with the children as well as continuing to provide practical support.
2008 Winner: ‘Clean water means healthy pupils’
Our colleagues from Decorative Paints in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam helped to install water pipes and educate children and residents how to use the new system, as well as raise awareness about the importance of clean water in 22 primary schools in 6 provinces in Central Vietnam.
2007 Winner: Little Sunshine House
Visits to help children study, play and generally feel loved and happy, make a real difference at The Little unshine House. The youngsters there are seriously ill with kidney disease, and need love and care as well as financial support.
2006 Winner: Key to Life
Children in the Itupeva area of São Roque da Chave in Brazil are learning the Key to Life and face a brighter future with better prospects, thanks to the innovative project which won first prize in Akzo Nobel’s Best Practice Competition.