Roche Children's Walk 2011: Employees worldwide walk on the same day to raise awareness for vulnerable children in Malawi and around the world

Basel, 16 June 2011

Every year since 2003 Roche employees raise awareness for children in need by walking to collect donations for day-care centres in Malawi and children’s charities in their own countries. Their commitment is supported by Roche, which organises the Children's Walk and matches donations collected by employees.

To date, the Roche Children's Walk has raised over 7 million Swiss francs to provide lasting assistance to provide school uniforms and meals for over 13,000 orphans, support close to 100 children every year to pursue secondary education and more than 100 young adults to receive post-secondary education, including training student teachers. In addition, 3000 young people have received training in practical skills such as knitting, tin-smithing and carpentry to enable communities to become more self-sufficient for a brighter future.

Roche’s CEO Severin Schwan said: “The Children’s Walk is an important day in the Roche calendar. Not only does it unite employees from all over the world behind one good cause. It also serves to remind us that each one of us can have an impact and improve other people’s lives.”

Today, on the International Day of the African Child, the event will be taking place for the eighth time, uniting about 15,000 employees at more than 100 sites in the world.

Around 80’000 Roche walkers worldwide have taken part in the sponsored walk since its inception in 2003. After every year’s walk, employees who have led the fundraising results at their site are given the opportunity to travel to Malawi to see at first hand how the daycare centres Roche supports are helping children.

Roche works with the European Coalition of Positive People (ECPP) to support 5 day-care centres in Malawi that look after more than 3,000 children who have been orphaned by AIDS. Part of the money raised also supports the educational initiatives set up jointly by UNICEF Switzerland and UNICEF Malawi to improve schools and education in Malawi, a country where orphans are often prevented by their poverty from attending school or learning a profession.

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.

Further information on the ECPP can be found at

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 is now shifting to the dire lack of trained teachers for schools throughout the country. UNICEF Switzerland in conjunction with UNICEF Malawi is initiating a programme for the construction of a teachers college in southern region of Malawi. A portion of the Children's Walk funds will assist the assessment, planning and creation of this new community resource. A teacher college for up to 400 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, virology, inflammation, metabolism and CNS. Roche is also the world leader in in-vitro diagnostics, tissue-based cancer diagnostics and a pioneer in diabetes management. Roche’s personalised healthcare strategy aims at providing medicines and diagnostic tools that enable tangible improvements in the health, quality of life and survival of patients. In 2010, Roche had over 80’000 employees worldwide and invested over 9 billion Swiss francs in R&D. The Group posted sales of 47.5 billion Swiss francs. Genentech, United States, is a wholly owned member of the Roche Group. Roche has a majority stake in Chugai Pharmaceutical, Japan. For more information:

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