Arnhem, 23 December 2004 – Akzo Nobel and the ICCO (the Dutch Inter-Church Organization for Development Cooperation) have officially signed a cooperation agreement to jointly support two HIV/AIDS projects in the Johannesburg area of South Africa. Today’s signing puts the seal on a partnership which began when the ICCO helped Akzo Nobel to organize a support project in South Africa, designed to distribute the proceeds of a charity initiative involving the company’s employees in the Netherlands.
Dutch employees raised more than EUR 26,500 during the year-long campaign—which saw Akzo Nobel Nederland sponsor people for cycling to work—and, after becoming involved in helping to distribute the funds, the ICCO offered to double the amount of money. The proceeds are now being used to support the Sabelani Life Skills Project and Lambano Baby Sanctuary.
Commenting on the agreement, Rob Prins, Chairman of the Board of Akzo Nobel Nederland, said: “Akzo Nobel aims to contribute to social development and healthcare in the communities around our sites, especially in developing countries. This initial combined donation of EUR 53,000 by Akzo Nobel and ICCO makes clear our commitment.”
Added Jack van Ham, General Director of ICCO: “For ICCO, the collaboration with Akzo Nobel is a good addition to our existing HIV/AIDS activities in South Africa. Of course, it is important for Akzo Nobel that the funds are fully used to the benefit of both projects, which is one of the reasons why they sought to work together with ICCO. The partnership enables optimal use to be made of our expertise and network. ICCO has decided to double Akzo Nobel’s donation because we value the initiative and because it fits in fully with our ambitions.”
In October 2003, Akzo Nobel Nederland launched its Cycling for Fun(d) initiative aimed at encouraging employees—by sponsoring every kilometer cycled—to cycle to work and use “pedal power” to raise money for a good cause. A year later, the total raised amounted to EUR 26,500.
The two projects supported by the proceeds—Sabelani and Lambano—were proposed by Akzo Nobel’s Powder Coatings site in Johannesburg. Sabelani provides information on HIV/AIDS prevention at ten secondary schools. The money donated by Akzo Nobel and the ICCO will be used in a number of areas, including the organization of educational events and to purchase educational material. Employees at the company’s coatings site in Johannesburg also provide their organizational knowledge to support Sabelani.
The Lambano Sanctuary provides a home to orphaned children with HIV/AIDS. Volunteers are permanently active to ensure that children are brought up in a family setting as much as possible. Akzo Nobel and the ICCO arrange such things as additional medication, baby feed and the training of volunteers.
Akzo Nobel and the ICCO hope to expand their collaboration in 2005 to include other projects in developing countries.
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