Almost 3,000 AkzoNobel employees voted in the 2012 Best Practices Competition to choose last year’s best Community Program project in the company. Marine & Protective Coatings Seoul was selected from the 15 finalists for their community project. The first prize winning project was entitled: ‘Dream-helpers’ make dreams of disabled children come true.’ Company volunteers helped set up a one-on-one buddy system for the 30 disabled children at the Hanwoori Community Welfare Center. They take turns to visit and plan outings for the children, aged between eight and 17, so they can enjoy activities such as swimming and fishing. As well as enjoying the trips, the youngsters felt less isolated and had the opportunity to socialize with their peers.
Pulp & Performance Chemicals in Eunápolis, Brazil won the Second Prize for their ‘Textile relycling gives poor women the chance to earn a living’ project. A scheme by well-known Brazilian shirt-maker Dudalina inspired a similar project in the poor Vila Vitória community. Instead of throwing away leftover fabric, the company donates it as patchwork kits to underprivileged people who can use them to make goods to sell. Volunteers knew this would work in Vila Vitória – but although the women there could sew, they had no equipment. With support from the Community Program, the project has developed to give them the opportunity to earn their own living.
The Third Prize was awarded to a cross-business unit collaboration by Industrial Coatings, Marine & Protective Coatings, Decorative Paints, Powder Coatings and Functional Chemicals in Mumbai, India, for their ‘Small dreams’ give deprived children a brighter future’ project. Under the slogan 'Small Dreams', a dedicated group of volunteers have improved the lives of children and their families living in need and poverty. With a focus on education and health, projects have included a school renovation, support for a mobile school and organizing much-needed health camps. The aim was to make a sustainable contribution, helping not just those, currently in need, but ensuring future generations would also benefit from the group’s efforts (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, Ton Büchner, the employees involved in the winning projects were complimented with their contributions to their communities.
2011 Winner: ‘Fruitful way to offer poor farmers a sustainable future’
Company volunteers from Decorative Paints in Mumbai 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.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.