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Van den Bosch and UNICEF Netherlands are extending their long-standing partnership by two years. Support will continue to go to the innovative recycling programme Recycling Plastic, Creating Schools in Ivory Coast, formerly known as Plastic Bricks. What’s new is the programme, Climate Smart Villages in Madagascar, which Van den Bosch is committing to for the next two years.
In Madagascar, 78% of the population lives in poverty; 42% of children under the age of 5 are malnourished, and access to clean water is very limited. Furthermore, Madagascar is in the top 4 countries hardest hit by climate change. Extreme droughts are increasingly prevalent in the south, causing already fragile harvests to fail and further reducing food security. UNICEF’s Climate Smart Villages project focuses on the construction of drinking water amenities and irrigation systems, eco toilets and sustainable facilities for (solar) electricity and the Internet.
Thanks in part to Van den Bosch’s support, UNICEF is able to help 20 vulnerable villages in southern Madagascar by providing facilities and knowledge transfer, thus making the villages more resilient and sustainable. They are also encouraging entrepreneurship in the villages and investing in knowledge about climate change among local authorities, adults and children. Through the project they hope to reach about 50,000 people, of which 25,000 children.
Combatting malnutrition through sustainability
Rico Daandels, CEO of Van den Bosch, explains: “As an international logistics service provider, sustainability is an important item on the agenda for us as well. Every day we are involved in the transport of food, with Africa representing a major part of our market. We are supporting this project in Madagascar through our Corporate Social Responsibility programme, expressly connecting with issues such as nutrition and sustainability. We aim through this decision to make another structural contribution to UNICEF’s meaningful work in the fight against malnutrition.” Suzanne Laszlo, director UNICEF Netherlands: "We are extremely happy with the extension of our partnership with Van den Bosch. The focus of our cooperation is on sustainability and system strengthening, which will help us achieve greater impact in the areas of climate, education and safe drinking water."
Building blocks from plastic waste
In addition, Van den Bosch will again be supporting the successful programme of Recycling Plastic, Creating Schools in Ivory Coast over the next two years. Formerly known as Plastic Bricks. In 2019, Van den Bosch was one of the first partners to commit to this innovative recycling project, which turns plastic waste into building blocks for schools. Much progress has been made in recent years. For example, 3,100 tonnes of plastic have now been recycled, with which 299 classrooms have been built. As a result, 15,000 children have gained access to education and 200 vulnerable women have been trained in waste recycling and entrepreneurship.
Over the next two years, UNICEF Netherlands will continue to contribute to the goal of building a total of 528 classrooms by 2025, giving around 25,000 children access to education. Besides that, at least 60 teachers will be trained over the next two years and 16 schools will be equipped with toilets and water points. Finally, UNICEF is investigating whether the plastic waste can also be used to develop other products, such as roof tiles and school desks.
Van den Bosch has had a strategic partnership with UNICEF Netherlands since 2011. Support has been given to a variety of projects over the last decade, from tackling malnutrition to focusing on hygiene, education and emergency response to humanitarian disasters.