International Development Projects and Disaster Relief
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 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.
Emergency Relief Ebola
UNICEF and UN World Food Programme, 2014, West Africa
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.
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.
Establishment of school gardens in Nicaragua, UN World Food Programme, 2014, Nicaragua
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.
Bangladesh is the most densely populated country in the world. Many Bangladeshis have never been to school and work as day laborers in the field. The government in 1993 introduced compulsory education, so that the enrollment rate has risen to over 90 percent. However, not all children regularly attend school and complete primary school. The Nilphamari and Rangpur region is one of the poorest in Bangladesh. Some 15,000 children aged between 6 and 14 do not participate in school, because they have to work to contribute to the family’s income or they have to deal with long distances to school.
In the two districts, Nilphamari and Rangpur, World Vision conducts a project where comprehensive help for self-help, mainly in the areas of income generation and health is achieved. For example, BASF Stiftung promotes the establishment of 20 training centers for working children of primary school age, and the training of assistants to teachers. 1,000 households with working children receive an endowment so that families can create another source of income and are no longer dependent on the child's income.
On November 15, 2007, Cyclone Sidr destroyed large areas of southern Bangladesh. It is estimated that a total of nine million people were affected, 4,000 people lost their lives, and many were injured.
The destruction of hundreds of school buildings has often made a return to normal life and the education of children and young people impossible.
To provide long-term aid, the BASF Stiftung, in cooperation with UN-HABITAT, decided to restore and modernize a school. Since the Subid Khali School is part of a historic complex established in 1934, a traditional frame structure of columns, beams and brick walls was used in construction. After the first and second floors had been built, a follow-up project added a third floor to the building. With 1,500 pupils, the school serves a catchment area of 65,000 people. The building also functions as a community center and will provide shelter in the event of future cyclones. The ground floor has been kept open to minimize potential flood damage.
In China the quality of school education varies widely across the country. In particular, many schools in rural areas such as Liangshan and Ya´an (Sichuan province), which are regularly affected by natural catastrophes, are struggling to offer their students a good education.
The school infrastructure is in need of substantial improvement, the size of school buildings is limited and there is a lack of suitable teaching materials and qualified staff. Therefore students from these rural areas often have the lowest scores in comparative educational studies on a national and regional level. The aim of the program run by Save the Children, which is supported by BASF Stiftung, a charitable foundation based in Ludwigshafen, is to improve the quality of education and access to schools for around 10,000 children in rural areas over a period of three years. For instance, teachers and head teachers are being trained in didactic and management methods and traumatized children are being given psychological and social support. Teachers are also being trained to be able to deal more effectively with the posteffects of the natural catastrophes that often occur.
In 2008, a devastating earthquake in central China destroyed a vast number of buildings. Around 5.8 million people lost their homes, sick people lost their medical care centers, children and teachers lost their schools.
BASF and its employees supported the victims of the China earthquake by giving donations to the BASF Stiftung, which, together with UN-HABITAT, financed the erection of large, sturdy tents to provide affected people with shelter and medical care. Local workers manufactured the tents from locally available materials. After putting up the tents, they received their first income after the disaster. Long-term aid was devoted particularly to the reconstruction of a school in Yongquan village. During construction, special attention was paid to the building's earthquake safety to ensure that it would not be destroyed by future quakes.
In April 2013, Sichuan province was hit by a strong earthquake. The school in Yongquan village is located less than 15 km from the epicenter. But this time it survived with little damage. With the support provided by BASF Stiftung, a charitable foundation based in Ludwigshafen, UN-Habitat was able to perform the necessary repairs (e.g. toilets and fences) in the outdoor area and to mend the few cracks that had appeared to prevent weather damage of the school building.
Cambodia is one of the world's poorest countries. Nearly 40% of children drop out of school before the sixth grade to contribute to the family income by working or begging. To break the cycle of hunger, poverty and lack of education, the BASF Stiftung supported the school meal program of the UN World Food Programme. BASF and its employees donated to the BASF Stiftung for this purpose in the 2012 Christmas fundraising campaign.
Pupils in the Cambodian preschools and primary schools involved receive a nourishing meal every day. This alone motivates parents to send their children to school regularly. The girls and boys are also given supplementary food such as rice or beans to take home to their families. The sustainability of the scheme is ensured by the creation of school gardens, the equipping of the schools with energy-efficient cooking facilities, further training for teachers, and education in all areas of health care, nutrition and hygiene.
Sou Sokhei is one of the best students in class at the Phlong primary school in Pongro Krom commune, Chikreng district, in the province of Siem Reap. This grade 6 student comes to school regularly and placed 3rd in the school year 2012-2013. Her favorite subject is Khmer literature. “In the future, I want to be a teacher in my school”, Sokhei said. When asked why she dreams to be a teacher, she proudly replied “I want the next generations to be well-educated and I want to build human resources in my community”.
Sokhei was born in a poor family. She was keen on studying since she entered her first school year and dreams of continuing onto higher education. Thanks to WFP’s food scholarship programme, she is able to stay in school rather than work in the field.
Sokhei’s mother, Kol Kheoun, is a farmer owning a small hectare of farm land and works as a casual laborer in the nearby villages after the harvesting season, but she does not always make enough money to support the family. As a single parent of two daughters and two sons whose husband died six years ago due to illness, she is very dedicated to send her daughters to school and keep them there.
WFP’s food scholarship programme really plays a vital role in releasing financial burden in the family and shaping the life of Sokhei and her sister, Sokhim. Sokhim is 16 years old and now is in grade 9. She also received food scholarship from WFP when she was in grade 4, 5 and 6.
Food scholarship helps to increase family access to food for the entire household. “With a monthly contribution of 10 kg of rice, it keeps me to study even harder”, said Sokhei adding that “we used to feel isolated as we are poor, but after being admitted to the programme, we do not have such a feeling anymore”.
Students in grades 4 to 6 are at the highest risk to drop-out from school especially among girls who will leave their school-age to work in the fields to support the family. Food scholarship is a strong incentive for parents to keep their children in school, said Mom Lagn, Phlong Primary school director. He told the food scholarship students attend school regularly.
“The programme really helps to improve the quality of education in the rural and remote areas”. The drop-out rate has decreased and the attendance rate has increased over the years, emphasized Mom Lagn, adding that "without WFP’s intervention, most girls would have quit their study to help the families”.
WFP’s food scholarship programme started in Phlong Primary school in 2010. The programme is targeted to children from poor households in grade 4, 5 and 6 to improve access to and quality of education. The scholarship students must attend school regularly.
A project conducted by the BASF Stiftung and UN-HABITAT in the Indian city of Mangalore aims to provide school pupils with clean drinking water. Clean water is a growing challenge for this city of 500,000 people. This applies to both access and use.
The BASF Stiftung is therefore supporting a project that will supply clean water to approx. 5,000 students in 25 schools as well as the surrounding communities and at the same time teach the importance of drinking water.
Furthermore, at eight of the 25 schools, "water laboratories" are being set up, where pupils will learn to test the quality of the water. Two other schools are being equipped with "water classrooms", where pupils will follow the water cycle and learn water conservation methods. Some of the schools will also receive "water test kits" that will be used to check the water quality in the communities.
The disastrous tsunami that destroyed large parts of South-East Asia in 2004 also struck the east coast of India, causing serious damage. One region that was particularly hard hit was Cuddalore in the south-east of the country. Although relief programs have already been carried out there, they have not brought any permanent improvement in the situation.
The BASF Stiftung therefore decided to support long-term reconstruction measures. Combined fundraising for BASF Stiftung by BASF and its employees led to a project in cooperation with UN-HABITAT that has given 13,000 people access to clean drinking water and functioning sewage systems. Hand water pumps were installed, sewage pipes laid or restored, and sanitary facilities built in schools. Special consideration was given to the needs of girls and disabled children, since these groups are otherwise frequently unable to attend school.
The BASF Stiftung supported a UNICEF project with donations from the 2007 Christmas fundraising campaign. The campaign has allowed the distribution of vitamin A syrup in India, preventing serious deficiency symptoms in children. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), in developing countries 40 to 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.
In August 2008, a breach in a dam caused the Koshi River located on the border between Nepal and India to overflow its banks and flood areas in Sunsari and Saptari (Nepal) and in the state of Bihar (India). More than three million people were affected and lost their homes, crops and sources of income.
The BASF Stiftung, together with UN-HABITAT, is supporting reconstruction work. The construction of water treatment plants and sewage systems were supported to provide access to clean drinking water. In addition, communities have been trained to maintain the facilities themselves. The BASF Stiftung has also sponsored further training in water management and hygiene. A total of about 2,200 people have benefited from the project.
UNESCO Japan, 2011, 2012
University of the Sacred Heart, Tokyo, 2013
UNESCO Japan, 2014
The earthquake of March 11, 2011, and the tsunami destroyed an area of around 560 square kilometers. More than 20,000 people were reported missing or dead. Hundreds of thousands lost their homes and lived in emergency accommodations. The BASF Stiftung provided immediate assistance by donating to the Central Community Chest of Japan, a non-profit relief agency that coordinated aid after the disaster.
In addition, BASF and its employees supported various projects of the BASF Stiftung in cooperation with UNESCO and other partners:
1. Bringing Back Smiles: The project provides medium- to long-term help to Japanese primary to junior high school pupils who have been affected by the disaster, to their parents and teachers. Psychosocial activities assist with trauma recovery, and training sessions prepare for future disasters and reduce their risk.
2. As another measure for trauma processing and management BASF Stiftung has supported a project of the Opera Byacco. There, the students have collected new experiences through various artistic approaches and got a perspective for the future.
3. Even though it is two years since the tsunami struck, many children are still living in emergency accommodations. Their education and their daily lives suffer as the result of the lack of space. It is therefore particularly important to build playgrounds and recreation areas and to create places of refuge where children can feel free to talk about their experiences. The destruction of familiar surroundings always leads to a weakening of ties to their home. The aim of the project run by the University of the Sacred Heart and supported by the BASF Stiftung is to help these children to continue to maintain those ties and to prevent migration. Together with neighbors and architects, the children have the opportunity to build these facilities using natural materials to allow them to escape from the stress of everyday life and to strengthen their confidence in themselves.
4. To ensure that children and young people continue their schooling, BASF Stiftung has chosen a scholarship program of UNESCO Japan to support. Due to the financial resources of the BASF Stiftung eight scholarships in the amount of 20,000 yen will be paid to needy students for the next three years.
The high number of refugees continues to challenge the socio-economic situation in Jordan. In 2014, more than 350,000 refugee children and youth lived in Jordan. Only 60 per cent out of the 220,000 school-aged refugees can attend school. The lack of schooling also negatively reflects on the integration of youth in the Jordan society. Therefore, there is a great demand for alternative learning opportunities for out-of-school children.
The BASF Christmas Donation Campaign 2015 in favor of BASF Stiftung supports a UNICEF project which aims at improving the educational situation for children and youth in local communities and refugee camps in Jordan and the integration into the local society.
In order to meet the increased need for learning opportunities, UNICEF develops Child Friendly Spaces into “Makani” learning centers. The learning centers will not only improve the access to education, they will also deliver life-skills training. In addition, psychosocial services help children coming from war to process what they have been through. The centers are not limited to refugee children, they also provide education to vulnerable children living in Jordan. Additionally, the young people can participate in joint projects that will benefit the community. The project therefore supports the integration of refugee children and youth as well as prevents the danger of a “lost generation”. Community based committees promote the understanding between refugees and host communities which builds social cohesion.
In 2015, more than 1.3 million Syrian refugee children and youth lived in crowded accommodations and camps in Jordan, Egypt, Turkey, Lebanon and Iraq. The continuing civil war in their home country has left its marks on the physical and emotional situation of the children. Even though the Jordan government allows every refugee child to participate in public formal education, every second school-aged child in Jordan does not regularly attend school. The main cause for that are circumstances following flight and displacement, which often force children to contribute to the family income.
Aiming to enable Syrian refugee children to access formal education, the BASF Stiftung supports the Cash Assistance Program of the UNO-Fluechtlingshilfe. The project is being implemented by UNHCR (United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees).
Based on findings of UNHCR, the low family income is the main barrier to access education. For this reason, UNHCR conducts need-assessments to identify the most vulnerable Syrian families in Jordan. UNHCR provides these families with financial support through a Cash Assistance Program. The program covers the basic needs of the family, so that children do not have to contribute to the family’s income. At the same time it enables the parents to buy school uniforms, books and pens so that they can attend school. The program gives children, living under harsh circumstances, the chance to escape child labor and to have a self-determined future.
The Syrian conflict has devastating consequences for the children: So far violence and war have forced more than 1.3 Million Syrian boys and girls to flee their homeland. Many of them arrive in the surrounded host countries being disturbed and feeling lost. Every hour there are new refugees arriving at refugee camps in the neighboring countries like Lebanon and Jordan.
In this situation it is very important to make it possible for Syrian refugee-children to continue their school education and thereby giving them the prospect of a better future. The funds raised during the Christmas Donation Campaign 2013 support UNICEF in implementing education activities for Syrian children in refugee camps in the surrounded countries. BASF and its employees donated to BASF Stiftung for this purpose.
UNICEF establishes additional school classes on the ground, provides psycho-social assistance for traumatized children and hands out basic school supplies. The routine of everyday school life brings back a piece of normality and security in the children’s life.
In May 2008, Cyclone Nargis caused enormous damage in the Ayeyarwady region of Myanmar. More than 2.5 million people were affected.
BASF and its employees supported the victims of this natural disaster together with the BASF Stiftung and UN-HABITAT.
Large, sturdy, multifunctional tents were erected, providing emergency shelter as well as school and sanitation facilities. A special aspect was that the tents were produced by local labor from locally available materials. They also ensured initial provision of a basic income after the disaster. In addition, 22 temporary schools were built, providing education for many years.
On 25th of April 2015, a 7.8 magnitude earthquake hit large parts of Nepal. More than 8.500 people lost their lives; hundreds of thousands were forced to flee from very remote areas.
BASF SE contributed to relief efforts in Nepal by donating to the BASF Stiftung, which supports the disaster relief activities of its partners, WFP and UNICEF.
The funds contribute in providing the most needed basic supplies such as food, drinking water, medical care and sanitary products in large parts of Nepal. These items are important to avoid further aggravation of the situation through the spread of diseases. Additionally, UNICEF creates ‘Child Friendly Spaces’ supporting traumatized children.
Immediately after the flood of October 2010, BASF and its employees in more than 20 countries donated a total of some €785,000 for emergency aid by UN organizations. In addition, BASF Group companies in Pakistan and their employees provided assistance on the ground, for example aid packages containing food, medicines and other urgently needed relief supplies for affected people, and organized distribution centers near BASF sites in Karachi, Lahore, Faisalbad and Sialkot.
Thatta was one of the regions hardest hit by the flood disaster. In the village of Gul Mohammad Gandhro, around 100 fishing families, whose houses had been completely swept away, had lost everything and were living in emergency shelters. The construction of new houses was financed by the Japanese government and BASF Stiftung and carried out by UN-HABITAT with the help of the local community. A donation from BASF SE to the BASF Stiftung contributed to funding the new houses.
Work on new accommodation for the fisher people of Gul Mohammad Gandhro in the Thatta district began in February 2011 and the houses were finally handed over to their new owners at the end of May 2012. The village now has more than 100 permanent homes as well as community facilities such as sanitary facilities and a water tank.
Pakistan's 2008 earthquake was devastating. Hundreds of people lost their lives and thousands were made homeless. As a result, the BASF Stiftung and BASF Pakistan supported their partner UN-HABITAT in the reconstruction of a destroyed primary school in Muzaffarabad, Tariqabad, Pakistan.
In addition to new classrooms, financing included equipping the school with furniture and teaching materials. As the school was being rebuilt, special attention was paid to earthquake safety to minimize the risk of damage from future quakes. At the same time, local workers were made familiar with earthquake-resistant technologies from which other communities can benefit.
Disaster Relief for Victims of Typhoon Haiyan
UNICEF and UN World Food Programme, 2013, Philippines
On the 8th of November typhoon Haiyan swept across the Philippines and left 6,000 people dead and 28,000 injured.
Haiyan, also known as Yolanda reached a wind speed of up to 235 km per hour. Therefore, it is one of the most powerful typhoons that have ever been recorded worldwide. It had devastating effects on big parts of the landscapes and carried away human beings, cars and ships. More than one million houses were heavily damaged or completely destroyed.
BASF SE donated to BASF Stiftung in order to help the people affected by the typhoon. BASF Stiftung supports the emergency relief of two international organizations – the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the World Food Programme (WFP).
The funds supported several emergency measures on the Philippines, including emergency food supplies, ready-to-use therapeutic food for children, emergency medical kits, water and hygiene packages.
The typhoons Ketsana and Parma in October 2009 caused severe damage in the Philippines. More than 500,000 people were displaced, around 40,000 residential buildings were destroyed or badly damaged and houses, streets, power lines and crops were destroyed. Together with UN-HABITAT, the BASF Stiftung financed the reconstruction of 15 houses for 28 poor families, thereby helping to improve the situation of these people in the long term.
During implementation of the project, it was readjusted by the project partners a number of times. In June 2012 the new buildings were officially opened and handed over to their new residents. One of the project partners documented the reconstruction on film.
A seaquake in the Indian Ocean in December 2004 generated a tidal wave that inundated thousands of kilometers of coastlines. The tsunami killed more than 230,000 people, countless numbers were injured and more than 1.7 million lost their homes.
The tsunami also caused tremendous damage in Sri Lanka. Fishermen and their families, among the country's poorest population groups, were hit particularly severely by the disaster.
The BASF Stiftung therefore initiated an employee fundraising campaign. The Foundation, in cooperation with UN-HABITAT, used the money raised to finance the rebuilding of a destroyed fish market hall and construct a fish market in Galle, Sri Lanka. This will create new jobs, support the local fishing industry and encourage tourism, making a lasting contribution to the reconstruction of destroyed areas and to the economic structure of the community. In January 2011, the rehabilitated infrastructure was inaugurated by local politicians and representatives of UN-HABITAT and the BASF Stiftung. The new market offers excellent, state-of-the-art facilities and high standards of hygiene. In Thailand, donations from BASF and its employees supported the reconstruction of a school, the Royal Baan Thap Lamu School in Pang Nga province.
The floods in May 2014 in the Balkans are considered the worst in the region since weather records. Many cities were flooded, infrastructure and homes have been destroyed by the floods and mudslides - more than a million people, of which approximately 500,000 children, have been affected.
Due to the devastating effects of flooding in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia and Serbia, BASF Stiftung has initiated a project with its long-time partner UNICEF. The projects measure is to rebuild and re-establish damaged preschools and schools. Additionally, affected children receive psychosocial care to better cope with their traumatic experiences. Together with BASF managers in the region as well as experts from international organizations, BASF Stiftung has assessed the situation and decided to support the emergency relief project of UNICEF.
Between mid-May and early July 2013, heavy rains caused severe flooding in seven countries of Central Europe. The flood of 2013 has resulted to severe flooding in large parts of Germany, especially in the south and east. Mainly affected were the states of Saxony-Anhalt, Saxony and Bavaria. In some places, the rivers reached record water levels.
Due to the flooding, around 6.68 billion euros in damages incurred. The disaster led to a large helpfulness in Germany. BASF and its employees donated diligently to provide emergency care for the affected people and to repair the damage. BASF Stiftung used the funds to support various organizations with donations for emergency assistance and the elimination of flood damage as well as some employees who were in distress by the floods.
In Romania, one of the poorest countries in Europe, 25 % of the population lives below the poverty line. In particular, the high rate of emigration of the workforce poses huge challenges to society.
Under these circumstances, the situation of the many children left behind by migrant workers is very difficult, and social isolation, low self-esteem and declining academic performance are often the result. The project that is being run by Save the Children with support from the BASF Stiftung, a charitable foundation based in Ludwigshafen, is intended to provide children with stability, security and better prospects in the future. The focus is on activities such as supervising homework, providing psychological counseling and creating facilities for leisure and recreation. This ensures a better social inclusion and participation of the affected children and enables them to take advantage of educational opportunities. At the same time, training and advice is provided to key players in education, government and the wider community, such as teachers, carers, family members and local officials.