International Development Projects and Disaster Relief – America
Vila Brasilandia is one of the poorest areas of Sao Paulo, nearly 250,000 residents suffer from difficult living conditions and lack of space. Almost two thirds of the slum dwellers of Vila Brasilandia are no older than 24. But these children and young people lack of opportunities.
BASF Brazil and the BASF Stiftung contributed to improving the prospects of the inhabitants in the BASF 2008 Christmas fund-raising campaign.
The Foundation was supported by donations from BASF employees in Germany. The BASF Stiftung project is being implemented by the United Nations Human Settlements Program, UN-HABITAT. It will offer young people new opportunities with training courses and continuing education that allow them to become independent.
Through the World Food Programme (WFP), BASF Stiftung supports a school gardening project in Putumayo, Columbia. Trainings are provided to parents, teachers and smallholder farmers to help them learn efficient ways to manage funds, maintain school gardens, reduce transportation costs, diversify school meals and implement nutrition education into schools.
Children in poor, remote areas of the country have been particularly vulnerable to the effects of the internal conflict in Colombia, sometimes facing recruitment as child soldiers. For these children, Government-sponsored boarding schools provide not only an education, but also protection against violence. WFP has been concentrating its efforts on Putumayo, one of the regions worst affected by the conflict on the border with Peru and Ecuador, where a total of 10,700 children and adolescents in 41 public boarding schools are receiving assistance. Due to Putumayo’s remoteness, delivering food to the WFP-supported schools in the area is costly and logistically challenging.
On Nov 24, 2016, after 52 years of internal conflict, the Government of Colombia and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) signed a peace contract in Havana, Cuba. While this holds the promise of durable peace, decades of conflict have left a legacy of displacement, food insecurity, lost livelihoods and tensions within households and communities. In 2014, it was estimated that there were 5.9 million internally-displaced people in Colombia. Approximately 43 percent of Colombians consider themselves food insecure due to lack of access to basic staples and nutritious foods.
El Salvador is the smallest and the most densely populated of the Central American countries. 40 percent of the approximately 6.2 million residents are younger than 18 years. El Salvador is also one of the most violent countries in the American continent. Especially criminal youth gangs known as "maras" are taking through robbery, extortion, assault, drug trafficking or abduction. Between 2005 and 2011, 5,300 children and young people have been murdered.
The UNICEF-project in the municipality of Santo Tomas, near the capital city of San Salvador wants to protect adolescents from getting into the maelstrom of violence and crime. At the same time they must receive new prospects for their future through better education. Therefore, the BASF Stiftung has decided to support UNICEF, at five schools in Santo Tomas to reach and promote approximately 5,000 children and young people. Firstly, the schools are being renovated, so that the pupils feel safe and secure. In addition, opportunities will be created to perform sports or cultural events. Secondly, UNICEF supports the creation of student initiatives, working for the maintenance of their schools, plan events such as sports events or concerts or implement campaigns. To coordinate the different child protection programs that are carried out in the community, UNICEF sets up a local Children's Rights Committee.
People in the rural district of Chiquimula, about 180 km east of Guatemala City, near the border to El Salvador and Honduras, have only limited access to clean drinking water. The BASF Stiftung is therefore supporting the construction of facilities for collecting and treating rain water.
The UNEP (United Nations Environment Programme) project also includes setting up a training center where the population will be able to learn how they can build further facilities themselves and maintain the existing ones. UNEP is working together with various local partners: the Ministry of Environment, local community representatives, the Chiquimula development agency and San Carlos University. The drinking water is sold at a price that covers costs, so that the people of Chiquimula can operate the facilities autonomously, independently and sustainably. This ensures an environmentally friendly and cost-effective drinking water supply in the long term.
The Haiti earthquake in January 2010 is considered to have been one of the most severe on the American continent. According to estimates, at least 200,000 people were killed and 300,000 injured. The instability of many buildings contributed to the amount of 2 million people left homeless. Shops, schools, streets and the electric power supply were destroyed. The economic damage exceeded the gross domestic product and confirms the island state's position in the list of “least developed countries”.
In this situation it was important to BASF to alleviate the acute need as well as to achieve long-term results. BASF Corporation USA initially financed life-saving aid such as food, water and tents provided by the American Red Cross. BASF SE donated to BASF Stiftung, which is supporting the construction of a shelter resource center in the capital, Port-au-Prince, together with its partner UN-HABITAT.
The center serves as the starting point for the reconstruction of the city. It ensures training of craftspeople and provision of building materials, coordinates suppliers and offers risk minimization training in the building sector.
In 2012 50 local construction workers were trained in good construction practice. With more than 2000 visitors and 150 community meetings held the center made a significant contribution to the cohesion within the neighborhood. Numerous awareness campaigns reached more than 100 central community figures and up to 400 schoolchildren.
The support of BASF contributes to immediate needs alleviation and promotes long-term self-sufficiency.
Youth unemployment is a huge challenge for many societies globally. In Mexico, according to findings of the World Bank in 2013, the youth unemployment rate of 9.4% significantly exceeds the unemployment rate of 4.9% among the Mexican overall population.
To increase employment opportunities for young people, the BASF Stiftung supports the program STEP (Student Training for Entrepreneurial Promotion) in two universities in Mexico City implemented by the German Commission for UNESCO in close cooperation with the Mexican National Commission for UNESCO. The project is designed for three years.
STEP aims to foster entrepreneurship through the transfer of business qualifications and the strengthening of the student’s entrepreneurial self-consciousness. As a result the increase of the number of start-ups in Mexico and the creation of new jobs are envisaged.
The program includes the training of several university teachers as STEP multiplicators during a Train-the-Trainers workshop, implemented by Leuphana University Lueneburg. This enables the teachers to provide the students in a twelve module course the theoretical and practical knowledge needed to start a business. While the students receive a starting capital to turn their own business ideas into reality, the teachers provide assistance and raise awareness for the importance of sustainable management as well as for sustainable business ideas. The Mexican National Commission for UNESCO as associated part of the national Ministry of Education is a suitable partner for achieving the goal of institutionalizing the program STEP within the academic educational system. The Leuphana University Lueneburg accompanies the STEP-project with a scientific evaluation measuring the number of start-ups and the creation of new working opportunities attributable to the STEP-training.
Mexico City is affected by gradual desertification. Population growth, deforestation and smog have disrupted the ecological balance. Often, the existing infrastructure is in a poor state. There is not enough water to supply all users throughout the year. Consequently, children go to schools where the sanitary facilities are not working. Diseases are spreading because there is a lack of water even for hand-washing. Irregular school attendance is the result.
With their donations to the BASF Stiftung, BASF and its employees are supporting a project intended to provide long-term help. In Chalco, a settlement at the edge of Mexico City, rain-water treatment facilities are being built in cooperation with UN-HABITAT. They will ensure that some 2,000 pupils have a reliable supply of clean water. Furthermore, children and teachers are learning to operate and maintain the facilities, so that they will be independent of the inadequate water supply. A local environmental organization is involved in the project implementation. In the future, it will be able to implement similar schemes independently at other schools.
School meals are a great way to combine healthy and balanced feeding with school attendance. By school meals children receive a regular meal and improve their health. In addition, school meals motivate parents to send their children to school and give children the opportunity of an education. Since many children suffer from malnutrition in Nicaragua, the National School Feeding Programme in Nicaragua wants to expand the school meals.
Together with the World Food Programme (WFP) BASF Stiftung supports the School Gardening Project in Nicaragua. The establishment of school gardens is to show students what foods can be easily grown and how they are processed in the school lunch. For the establishment of school gardens, schools are equipped with the necessary materials such as shovels, wheelbarrows or seeds and schools have access to education and guidance material on the subject of gardening and nutrition of home-grown food. In addition, school committees are elected to learn in different workshops in gardening how to take over the independent supervision of school gardens.
With donations from the Christmas Donation Campaign 2018, BASF Stiftung supports a project from the UN Children’s Fund UNICEF that strengthens inclusive education in Peru.
In Peru, many children with disabilities don’t attend any kind of schooling. This is particularly the case in rural areas in the Andes or in the Amazon, where there are no educational opportunities for them, since a majority of the schools cannot offer them inclusive schooling.
The project aims to provide elementary school teachers in the Carabayllo district in the Lima region and in the Calleria and Masisea districts in the Ucayali region with training on working with children with disabilities. They will be empowered to apply inclusive teaching methods. Furthermore, the project aims to support local authorities in reaching out to the affected families directly and in strengthening the social awareness for the targeted support of children with disabilities. UNICEF works with the Peruvian Ministry of Education in order to ensure the long-term effect of the project. The project results will be processed for further implementation at other schools.