The idea is quite simple, says the relief organisation Mary's Meals e.V.: German children pack a school bag for African children and thus enable then to attend school.
Kuraray participates in Mary’s Meals backpack project for Malawi and Liberia
The contents are precisely defined. Old school bags, sports bags or backpacks must only contain the listed items of daily use and school stationery and (new) personal hygiene products. The bags are collected, sent to Malawi or Liberia and enable the children there to attend school. At the same time, Mary's Meals is collecting donations so that these children can also be fed.
"A good cause and a cause that I want to contribute to," thought Nicole Gawron, trainee industrial clerk at Kuraray in Troisdorf. Encouraged by her sister-in-law, Nicole at Kuraray started publicising the campaign – as did her brother at his company and friends in her youth group. About 1,800 backpacks came together, 23 of them from Kuraray alone. Kuraray is also sponsoring the truck with which her brother will now drive the bags to the collection point in Mannheim so that Mary's Meals can send them on to Africa.
"The idea in fact evolved in our group," says Nicole." "Since the age of 14, my brother and I have been active in a Polish Catholic youth group. And each of the members of this group has approached his or her school, local community, family or company about the campaign and collected donations." Her parents Zygmunt and Sylvia have been "infected", as her father puts it. He helped load up the truck in Troisdorf with the Kuraray backpacks that were sent off last week.
When asked about their reasons for their commitment, father and daughter are very matter-of-fact: "Education helps people out of the poverty trap," says Nicole, "but the families there can't afford a school bag."
Mary's Meals has its origins in a Scottish charity that provided aid during the 1992 Balkan war. The effort evolved into a relief organisation in 1993 that initially cared for orphaned children in Romania and later other children in Eastern Europe, various African countries, Asia and Central America.
Jörg Theesfeld, Head of Sales, Marketing & Technical Service
Kuraray Europe GmbH, Business Area PVB,
Mülheimer Straße 26, D-53840 Troisdorf, Germany
Phone +49 (0) 22 41 / 2555 200
Fax +49 (0) 22 41 / 2555 299