Basel, 16 June 2016
Roche employees raise funds for vulnerable children in over 90 communities around the world
A record number of countries and sites participate in the 13th Roche Children's Walk
Today, Roche (SIX: RO, ROG; OTCQX: RHHBY) employees in 70 countries and 141 sites come together to participate in the 2016 Roche Children’s Walk, which takes place on the International Day of the African Child. All of the funds raised through the global event will be used to support children in need, either in local communities in which Roche operates or in Malawi, one of the world’s poorest countries, ranking 173 out of 188 on the Human Development Index.
“The Roche Children’s Walk is our signature global annual event and we are proud to support children in need in over 90 communities around the world. We strongly believe that our support must be sustainable and this is why we partner with organisations that help local communities to learn and develop their own capabilities in time,” says Severin Schwan, CEO of Roche. “Much of the funds raised around the world will go towards supporting schools and teachers in countries and areas where there is a dire need. In 2016, the company will again match the money raised by employees.”
Roche employees have a long history of supporting education efforts in Malawi. Since 2003, the funds raised have helped over 17,000 pupils who were able to gain secondary education. Roche also supported young adults to learn a trade that allows them to find a job or create their own company. Over 100 students have graduated or will graduate from university with Roche’s support, thus gaining tertiary education which is not easily accessible to students who come from an underprivileged background.
Over a period of five years, Roche partnered with UNICEF for the construction of a Teacher’s Training Centre (TTC) in Malawi which will enable the training of 560 young teachers per year. Education coverage is particularly low, due to high primary school dropout and repetition rates, but also through the dramatic loss of life incurred in the 90s during the HIV/AIDS epidemic. The orphan centres as well as the TTC were handed back to their local communities and are now fully self-sustaining.
At the end of 2015, Roche embarked on a new collaboration with ActionAid Malawi, aiming to support the construction of four Model preschools (so called Community Based Childcare Centers) as well as improving another 20 further Satellite preschools. Construction on the four model preschools is almost completed, while the planning process in the satellite preschools is in its early phase. The purpose of this project is to improve the lives and well-being of approximately 4,300 children. In the Early Childhood Development (ECDs), the children will receive early childcare and education, as well as regular health monitoring and feeding. The ECDs will also enhance the capacity and motivation of 240 caregivers on site. The project will be completed by April 2019, at which time the centres should be self-sustaining.
About Roche Children’s Walk
Since 2003, over 150,000 Roche employees have walked at 141 sites, raising over 12.5 million CHF to date. The Roche Children’s Walk is the signature global event in the company. Roche employees have continuously raised money for children in need by joining the annual walk which takes place on 16th June – the International Day of the African Child. With the purpose of encouraging self-sustainable living through education and health programmes, money collected by Roche employees during the global event is matched by Roche. A portion of funds raised are used to support local children's initiatives, while the rest go toward children's initiatives in Malawi, one of the least developed countries in the world. With 62% of the population living below the international poverty line of USD 1.25 per day and 790.000 children orphaned due to HIV/AIDS, our goal is to foster long-term sustainable change by assisting with efforts such as providing food, education and health promotion for the children of Malawi.
About ActionAid Malawi
The Roger Federer Foundation has launched a ten year early childhood education initiative in Malawi with its partner ActionAid Malawi in 2011. ActionAid Malawi is a non-governmental national development organisation that was founded in Malawi in 1990. It is a member of the South Africa-based international federation of more than 40 national ActionAid organisations. However, ActionAid Malawi is an entirely local non-governmental organisation that operates and makes its decisions independently and is managed exclusively by local employees. It is focused on fighting poverty and is active in 14 of Malawi's districts. ActionAid Malawi specialises in helping rural and particularly isolated areas through long-term programmes. Involving local communities and fostering their sense of ownership are a particular focus of its work and part of its consistent approach. In its role as a consultant to the Malawian government, ActionAid Malawi gives this often marginalised segment of the population a voice in the capital city.
About United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund - UNICEF
Founded in 1946 and mandated by the United Nations General Assembly and guided by the Convention on the Rights of the Child, UNICEF advocates for the protection of children's rights, helps children across the world meet basic needs and expand their opportunities to reach their full potential. Working in 190 countries and territories to translate the commitment to the wellbeing of children into practical action, UNICEF focuses special efforts on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere. For more information, please visit unicef.org. For information about UNICEF Switzerland, please visit UNICEF.ch.
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