International Development Projects and Disaster Relief – Africa
To allow young people to take charge of their own development and future – that is what the Urban Youth Fund of UN-HABITAT seeks to promote. Throughout the world the Fund supports youth projects that contribute to achieving the UN Millennium Development Goals. Assistance is given particularly to projects that build sustainable independent structures.
For example, young people in the slums of Dipolog City in the Philippines are being helped to improve their own living conditions. Funds are granted annually on a competitive basis. The best project teams receive financial aid, coaching for their projects and participate in training courses on project management and fundraising.
The BASF Stiftung was providing start-up financing for five projects supported by the Urban Youth Fund. It also sponsored education and training for participating project coordinators in Africa, Asia and Latin America.
With support from the BASF Stiftung, a charitable foundation based in Ludwigshafen, UN-Habitat was able to continue this project in 2013. Together with a Canadian university an e-learning platform has been developed to give young people worldwide (e.g. Kenya, Tanzania and India) access to tools that can be used in developing and managing projects in the field of Social Enterprises and Sustainable Development. The increasing availability of the internet and smartphones in developing countries opens up new possibilities for training and coaching: An efficient and economical tool to reach more people.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), in developing countries 40 - 60% of children under five suffer from vitamin A deficiency. Since the human body cannot synthesize vitamin A, it must be supplied through the diet. However, many people in emerging and developing countries cannot afford sufficient quantities of vitamin-A-rich foods such as fish and meat, or have no supply source.
The Democratic Republic of the Congo has among the highest rates of under- and malnourished people in the world. Around 58% of children suffer from vitamin A deficiency and some 96,000 die each year from the consequences.
The BASF Stiftung has used donations from the BASF 2007 Christmas fund-raising campaign to support the national UNICEF program for enriching basic nutrition with vitamins and micronutrients and to help with its practical implementation. An adequate supply of vitamin A is one of the best ways to fight malnutrition and poverty in developing countries. The BASF Stiftung has therefore supported UNICEF in teaching local people to supplement foods with important vitamins and to use a test kit to measure vitamin A content.
Approximately one third of the population of Sub-Saharan Africa is between 15 and 24 years old. The region therefore rates as the youngest in the world. At the same time, the youth unemployment rate is estimated to be 12%. Sixty per cent of the region's young people live on less than a dollar a day and their prospects for the future are poor.
One way out of the situation is to support young people who start their own business and thereby create jobs. The BASF Stiftung, together with the International Labor Organization (ILO), supports the Youth to Youth Fund, which helps to provide and evaluate scholarships and training programs aimed at advancing the economic development of young people. By starting their own businesses, they can improve their situation and contribute to their country's long-term development. The funding program has met with strong demand. In 2010 there were around 700 applications. In 2011 the BASF Stiftung supported the Fund for five selected projects in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda.
With donations from the 2016 Christmas charity campaign, BASF Stiftung supports a World Food Programme project in Ethiopia (Jijiga region) that provides alternative sources of income to 500 households (local families as well as refugees). The project will also support environmental protection initiatives such as planting trees on degraded sites and distributing alternative energy sources in three refugee camps in the region of Jijiga.
Due to the climate phenomenon El Niño, parts of Ethiopia suffer from the worst drought they have experienced in 50 years. Millions of people are not able to meet their immediate food needs. Additionally, the country has taken in 730,000 registered refugees - more than any other African country. The local population as well as the refugee population have limited opportunities to work to support themselves and their families. The entire population, locals and refugees alike, competes for limited resources such as food and energy. Refugees, in particular, sometimes suffer up to 10 days a month from gaps in their food supply.
Refugees and domestic communities participating in the project will receive training to acquire skills in agriculture, craftsmanship and commercial activities. It is a first step to independence and a vital contribution for refugees toward integration in their host country. This training opens up the opportunity to 3.500 people in the project region to lead an autonomous life.
DAFI, the Deutsche Akademische Flüchtlingsinitiative Albert Einstein (Albert Einstein German Academic Refugee Initiative), enables recognized refugees to begin or continue studies in their respective host countries. This allows talented students, even those under difficult circumstances, to be given the chance of a self-determined future. Many of the scholars subsequently become involved in the reconstruction and development of their home countries, e.g. working as engineers, teachers or doctors.
If it is not possible for them to return, DAFI scholars often support the development of refugee communities in their host country. Over a three-year period, the BASF Stiftung finances approximately 20 scholarships in West Africa every year. DAFI is a successful, evaluated initiative coordinated globally by UNHCR (UN High Commissioner for Refugees).
The BASF Stiftung's partner is the German Foundation for UN Refugee Aid – UNO-Flüchtlingshilfe –, a non-profit association that supports projects for refugees in and outside Germany. UN Refugee Aid has been the German donation partner of UNHCR, the United Nations refugee agency, for over 30 years.
With the donation funds raised during the BASF Christmas Donation Campaign 2017, BASF Stiftung supports the project „Learn & Play!“, through which the Refugee Agency of the United Nations (UNHCR) provides access to education for children in Kenyan refugee camps. Project partner of BASF Stiftung is UNO-Flüchtlingshilfe e.V., the German partner of UNHCR.
People from neighbouring crisis-stricken countries have found refuge in Kenyan camps, among them are many children. Many of those children can not go to school on a regular basis as there are not enough classrooms and well-trained teachers.
Within the framework of „Learn & Play!“, UNHCR builds and renovates classrooms, provides teaching material and trains teachers to work with traumatized children. Sports and leisure are important activities within the project as well as introducing the young people to computers in class.
The donations enable among other things more than 23.400 children to go to school.
The funds raised as part of the 2014 Christmas donations campaign, in which BASF SE and its employees, as well as employees of the German group companies, participated, are being used in the Turkana region in Kenya to improve the educational services in the region. Only 18% of Turkana's population can read or write, and only half of the children aged between 6 and 13 attend elementary school.
An extensive education program is being initiated in Turkana by Save the Children. The aim is to improve the quality of education and increase the share of children and young people attending and finishing school. The aim is to use measures such as teacher trainings, mobile libraries and learning centers in order to initiate a change in the quality of education and the learning environment. Small scholarships for transport, school uniforms, school meals and learning materials will also allow children and young people from particularly low-income families to attend school. At the same time, awareness of the importance of school education will be raised among the population at large. Save the Children is cooperating with municipal authorities, schools and administrative authorities on this project.
A long period of drought in East Africa during the summer of 2011 caused the displacement of thousands of people and numerous deaths of people and livestock. The BASF Stiftung, in cooperation with UNHCR (the United Nations refugee agency), provided affected children with emergency aid in the form of life-saving food supplies such as water and peanut butter.
In addition, companies and employees donated to BASF Stiftung to support a long-term drought prevention project in north-east Kenya. The project, which is being conducted in cooperation with UN-HABITAT, involves making the Daua River on the Kenya-Ethiopia border usable for agriculture. Water tanks are being built to store water for drought periods. New irrigation systems will keep pastures and fields fertile for longer. Young people are learning how to control the storage and distribution of drinking and household water. In future, it will be easier to bridge drought periods and numerous families will be independent of external water and food supplies.
In 2009, the BASF Stiftung, in cooperation with UN-HABITAT, began to set up a health center in the Kibera slum area of Nairobi to improve the poor medical care of the population. The focus is particularly on the needs of disabled children who otherwise can take little part in social life.
As well as providing physiotherapeutic treatment and medical examinations, the center offers educational programs and is a meeting place for young people and neighbors. It has improved the quality of life of the local people and created new jobs. The center has been operating since December 2011.
In 2012, the BASF Stiftung decided to continue its commitment to Kibera and extend the existing health center to include Africa's first telehealth center. Together with UN-HABITAT and other partners, the foundation has made available medical devices and technical equipment for remote diagnosis. This allows people who cannot reach a municipal hospital to benefit from medical care. In this way, the BASF Stiftung has made an innovative contribution to improving the living conditions of the Kibera slum.
Among the slum dwellers of Munhava, Mozambique, particularly the young people live in great uncertainty with regard to their economic, social, ecological and health future. The BASF Stiftung helps to improve the living conditions of Munhava's population. In collaboration with UN-HABITAT, it is financing the construction of a Multifunctional Clean Energy Center (MCEC). The building will provide access to energy and sanitary facilities.
The center's design includes locally available renewable energy sources (human waste and sewage, solar energy and wind). Public toilets are connected to biogas plants. Solar installations supply power for lighting the complex as well as private homes, allowing the replacement of kerosene lamps. Construction will be completed by the end of 2014. To reduce youth unemployment, young people will be responsible for the daily operation and management of the facilities. At least 200 young persons will benefit from the training courses and be guaranteed a sustainable income.
More than a billion people worldwide do not have access to clean drinking water. In South Africa, more than three million people suffer from the consequences of a lack of water. By donating to the BASF Stiftung, BASF and its employees are committed to fundamental improvements in the living conditions of the people of South Africa.
The BASF Stiftung's project partner is the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), which is working with the local community of the Maloti-Drakensberg Mountains, the country's main water source, to develop a stable drinking water system. In the short term this will give 20,000 people – in the long term one million – access to cleaner, cheaper drinking water.
The project involves not only installing the necessary technical equipment, but also the practical guidance and expertise needed to use water as a resource, and sustainable water management. Locals will be responsible for implementing the project and passing on their knowledge, ensuring that the work will be continued after the project's completion. Part of the revenue from the project will go back into the project, so that the drinking water supply will be financed on a sustained basis and can be extended. At the same time, implementation of the project will create numerous new jobs – essential in a region where almost 50% of the population is unemployed.
In rural areas of South Africa nearly one child in five is underdeveloped – a consequence of chronic malnutrition. Affected children are in a permanently weakened state and much more susceptible to infections and diarrheal diseases. The BASF Stiftung and UNICEF help where public health programs are currently not sufficient.
More than 30,000 children in the Limpopo and Eastern Cape provinces have already been provided with vitamin A. In addition, children have been given deworming tablets to prevent weight loss. Health workers also measure the mid-upper arm circumference to detect possible malnutrition and, where necessary, treat children with therapeutic supplements.
Health education for health workers and parents is an important aspect of the UNICEF health program. The consequences of vitamin A deficiency, in particular, are often underestimated and the resulting malnutrition is recognized too late. Together with representatives from the villages, UNICEF is therefore developing appropriate radio spots and information material.
In order to give young people perspectives for their future, the BASF Stiftung has joined forces with the German Commission for UNESCO and the National Commission for UNESCO in South Africa to implement a 3-year project aimed at reducing youth unemployment.
The aim of STEP (Student Training for Entrepreneurial Promotion) is to significantly increase the number of start-ups in South Africa in order to allow a large number of new jobs to be created. As part of university education, several hundreds of students annually are given theoretical and action-oriented knowledge on entrepreneurship, plus a refundable start-up capital to start their own businesses. In addition, importance is given to the psychology of the successful entrepreneur, sustainable business ideas as well as to scientifically accompany the learning processes. At the same time, advisory and support facilities are being set up for young start-up companies and the institutionalization of the training into the university curricula is supported.
In order to give young people perspectives for their future, the BASF Stiftung has joined forces with the German Commission for UNESCO and the National Commissions for UNESCO in Kenya and Uganda to implement a 3-year project aimed at reducing youth unemployment in both project countries.
The aim of STEP (Student Training for Entrepreneurial Promotion) is to significantly increase the number of start-ups in Uganda and Kenya in order to allow a large number of new jobs to be created. As part of university education, several hundreds of students annually are given theoretical and action-oriented knowledge on entrepreneurship, plus a refundable start-up capital to start their own businesses. In addition, importance is given to the psychology of the successful entrepreneur, sustainable business ideas as well as to scientifically accompany the learning processes. At the same time, advisory and support facilities are being set up for young start-up companies and the institutionalization of the training into the university curricula is supported.
Professors and students explained the working methods of the STEP program and summarized their impressions in a video.
In spring 2014, the outbreak of the Ebola virus in West Africa has developed into a large-scale epidemic. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates the number of victims significantly higher than the officially reported 15,200 cases of illness and 5,500 deaths.
With the funds, the BASF Stiftung is supporting the disaster relief by UNICEF, the United Nations Children’s Fund as well as the UN World Food Programme (WFP).
WFP delivers food assistance for Ebola patients as well as affected families and communities. In addition, WFP provides transport and logistics support for the entire humanitarian community.
UNICEF, the United Nations Children's Fund, particularly deals with keeping the public informed. The organization also supports children whose parents are suffering from Ebola or have already died from it. The containment of the disease is to be achieved, but also the care of children, by improving their access to health care, food and education.