29-Jan-2016 Düsseldorf / Germany
Happy fifth birthday, Fritz Henkel Foundation!
Five years ago, Henkel created the Fritz Henkel Foundation to strengthen the social commitment of the company and its employees. Since then, more than 2000 projects have received support in the amount of almost 10 million euros.
The foundation combines social engagement close to Henkel offices, international emergency aid and the activities of the MIT Initiative in Germany, which supports the social commitment of Henkel employees and pensioners. Together with Henkel’s brands the foundation supports social projects which help make life better for people around the world. “Social engagement is highly valued at Henkel. We thank all friends and sponsors of the foundation for their support over the last five years, and we look forward to taking on new projects together in the future,” says Kirsten Sánchez Marín, Managing Director of the Fritz Henkel Foundation.
The foundation places high priority on education and equal opportunities. This is why it has been supporting the “Teach First Deutschland” education initiative as main sponsor since 2013. As part of the initiative, university graduates from all academic fields spend two years volunteering at schools in socially disadvantaged areas.
When natural disasters occur, the foundation also provides immediate, unbureaucratic aid anywhere in the world – for example in the aftermath of the floods in Germany, Austria and the Czech Republic in the summer of 2013, and in the wake of the earthquake in Nepal last year. The goal is to make a difference in the long term: When typhoon “Haiyan” hit the Philippines in November 2013, the foundation not only provided immediate financial relief to those affected, but has also been supporting local aid organizations with the rebuilding effort ever since.
Over the course of the last year, refugee aid has become an increasingly important topic. To do its part, Henkel works with trans-regional aid organizations to equip refugee accommodation facilities near Henkel offices in Germany with laundry detergent, cleaning agents and personal hygiene products. In addition, many of its employees volunteer in refugee aid projects. These range from facilitating the refugees’ arrival, through helping out in accommodation facilities and all the way to long-term integration projects, such as reading mentorships or music lessons for children. Henkel, in turn, supports its employees’ commitments with donations in kind as well as paid leave from work for up to eight days a year. The Fritz Henkel Foundation supports the volunteering with financial contributions.
In 2016, Henkel and the Fritz Henkel Foundation are going to focus its social work even more on the integration of refugees. For instance, job application training sessions were started with external partners in January. Further projects such as internship offers, targeted coaching, scholarships and language development courses are also in the works.