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Van den Bosch extends its cooperation with UNICEF the Netherlands. In 2021, the 10-year partnership will focus on combating child malnutrition in Burundi through the Maman Lumière programme. Besides this, Van den Bosch is again supporting the innovative Plastic Bricks project, under which plastic waste is transformed into building blocks for classrooms in Ivory Coast.
As a logistics service provider, Van den Bosch operates the transport of raw materials in Europe, but also in Africa, where food transport forms a large part of the activities. The continent also features prominently in UNICEF’s activities. For that reason Van den Bosch chose to enter into partnership with the UN Children's Rights Organisation in 2011. CEO Rico Daandels explains: "Being active in the African market, issues such as malnutrition and children's rights are of immediate concern to us. That is why we are fulfilling our social responsibility by making a serious contribution to various development projects, such as Plastic Bricks, and now also Maman Lumière."
Mamans Lumières combat malnutrition
Despite the very fertile soil, Burundi has the highest percentage of chronically malnourished children in the world. Through the Maman Lumière programme, UNICEF enlists local role model mothers to combat malnutrition. These mothers learn about healthy food and are given seeds to plant nutrient-rich vegetable gardens. They then share these skills and knowledge with mothers in the area. "In 2021, our support will go to this special project, through which we will make a clear connection with the food market", says Daandels. "With our support, we are aiming to make a meaningful contribution to tackling malnutrition and assisting the Mamans Lumières."
Plastic waste as building blocks for classrooms
Besides that, there is continuing support of the innovative development project, Plastic Bricks. This plastic recycling programme focuses on converting plastic waste into building blocks for classrooms in Ivory Coast. In that country, more than one and a half million children are unable to attend school because there simply are not enough classrooms. Furthermore, the country is very polluted because only five percent of all the plastic is recycled. But now that mothers and young people are collecting the plastic waste and selling it at a good price to the factory, they are being taken out of poverty and the waste is being recycled. The project achieved excellent results in 2020. 295 tons of plastic waste was recycled, resulting in 56 classrooms being built with recycled plastic building blocks. As a result, 2800 children can now go to school.
Van den Bosch has had a strategic partnership with UNICEF Netherlands since 2011. Over the past decade, we supported various development projects in Africa. Support for tackling malnutrition in Mozambique is one example of this. Successful results have been achieved: in 2016, infant mortality was down 66% compared with 1990. Support for the Football for Water project in Ghana also produced positive results. This programme is aimed at providing safe drinking water and clean toilets in schools. "We are proud of the results achieved and look forward to our further cooperation with UNICEF the Netherlands and the promising projects we support", concludes Daandels.