Roche Children's Walk 2014: Roche employees participate in sponsored walk to support vulnerable children in Malawi and around the world

Basel, 16 June 2014

Today, Roche employees at more than 120 company sites around the world have been showing their solidarity with children in need by raising funds through sponsored walks. The donations will be used to support day-care centers for orphans and educational initiatives in Malawi, as well as children’s charities in their own countries.

The Roche Children’s Walk is a sustainable, long-term philanthropic project and each year an important event in our calendar
Severin SchwanCEO of Roche

This year marks the 11th anniversary of the Roche Children’s Walk. Over 132’000 walking employees have participated over the years and joined efforts for a common cause. With the donations raised, Roche was able to support to date 17’000 orphan children in cooperation with ECPP (European Coalition of Positive People) and UNICEF Switzerland.

“The Roche Children’s Walk is a sustainable, long-term philanthropic project and each year an important event in our calendar”, says Severin Schwan, CEO of Roche. “Thanks to the continued support of our employees, we have been able to touch and improve the lives of many children who are in need and have to rely on the assistance of others. Because we know that the projects make a real difference, Roche doubles the amount of money raised.”

Since Roche also assumes all walk and funding administrative expenses, no donations are spent on bureaucracy or fundraising costs.  External audits ensure that all funds are used to benefit the children.

A representative group of employees who have led the fundraising are given the opportunity to travel to Malawi to see first-hand how the funds are used to help support and improve the lives of the children.

Further information about projects supported through the Roche Children’s Walk

Roche is cooperating with two experienced organizations – ECPP (European Coalition of Positive People) and UNICEF Switzerland – through which we support clearly defined projects. The project run by ECPP focuses on three day centers for AIDS orphans in Malawi, as well as scholarship assistance for secondary and post-secondary education for some of the orphans. The Roche funding provided to UNICEF Switzerland is supporting classroom construction and other support to primary schools as well as the construction of a new teacher training college. The projects have three common objectives: Providing assistance, security, hygiene and a meal; supporting academic learning and education; and developing skills to help children become self-sufficient.

Partnership between Roche and the European Coalition of Positive People (ECPP)

Roche and the ECPP ( are working in partnership to provide direct aid to orphans in Malawi. The partnership builds, equips, manages and maintains orphan centres in rural southern Malawi, cares for orphans and provides financial assistance to children who want to enter secondary education.

Partnership with UNICEF

Part of the money raised also continues to support schools and education in Malawi through collaboration with UNICEF ( After constructing 18 classrooms plus related hygiene facilities and teachers rooms at local schools as the first phase, the focus has shifted to the dire lack of trained teachers for schools throughout the country. UNICEF Switzerland in conjunction with UNICEF Malawi has initiated a collaboration for the construction of a teachers college in southern region of Malawi. A portion of the Children's Walk funds assists the assessment, planning and creation of this new community resource. A teacher college for up to 540 students will both help address the critical need for primary school teachers as well as offer a critical career and future for young people finishing secondary school.

About Roche

Headquartered in Basel, Switzerland, Roche is a leader in research-focused healthcare with combined strengths in pharmaceuticals and diagnostics. Roche is the world’s largest biotech company, with truly differentiated medicines in oncology, immunology, infectious diseases, ophthalmology and neuroscience. Roche is also the world leader in in vitro diagnostics and tissue-based cancer diagnostics, and a frontrunner in diabetes management. Roche’s personalised healthcare strategy aims at providing medicines and diagnostics that enable tangible improvements in the health, quality of life and survival of patients. Founded in 1896, Roche has been making important contributions to global health for more than a century. Twenty-four medicines developed by Roche are included in the World Health Organisation Model Lists of Essential Medicines, among them life-saving antibiotics, antimalarials and chemotherapy.

In 2013 the Roche Group employed over 85,000 people worldwide, invested 8.7 billion Swiss francs in R&D and posted sales of 46.8 billion Swiss francs. Genentech, in the United States, is a wholly owned member of the Roche Group. Roche is the majority shareholder in Chugai Pharmaceutical, Japan. For more information, please visit

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