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Date  08-08-2013

Maersk - Partnering to support Burkina Faso community

Maersk Line in UAE partners with customers and suppliers to raise the standard of living in Burkina Faso.

Burkina Faso, which translates into `Land of Honest People`, is a poor country even by West African standards. The lack of development and the poverty is felt in the way the people live, their difficulties in sending their children to school and limited access to health care facilities. But Maersk Line is now showing how that improvement is possible.

Involving every single person

Maersk Line in UAE partnered to support the community of Saaba, Burkina Faso; most recently by hosting a fundraising event with food, games, music and entertainment. The fundraiser was a huge success with more than 800 visitors attending, including customers, suppliers and colleagues.

Priya Sujeet, Human Resources Manager for the UAE cluster comments, `When we started laying down the plan to execute the Maersk Line Cares initiative, we had a list of NGOs active in African countries to choose from. While donating money is seemingly an easy option, our vision with this cause was to involve every single person in the organisation.`

`We also knew that partnering with the right NGO was going to be crucial to the success of this initiative,` she adds. That is where Kologh Naba came into the picture. This non-profit organisation headed by Else Trarerup was registered in 2003. Since then it has been dedicating efforts to improve the standard of living in the community of Saaba, Burkina Faso. Providing vocational training is one of the key initiatives towards this goal.

Partnering with Customers

A major achievement for the project has been getting customers to support the drive for Burkina Faso. Throughout the journey, customers` responses have been very positive. Their enthusiastic support through sponsorships and gift contributions for game stalls at the fundraiser has played a pivotal role in converting the project from vision to reality.

Joel Rodricks, Sales Director for the UAE Cluster, adds, `Every single visitor I met had only good things to say about the event and truly enjoyed themselves. Not only have we strengthened our existing partnership with our customers; we have also set a good standard on what we wish to do for our annual CSR event.`

The ultimate goal for CSR projects in the future is to add sustainable value to the communities Maersk Line operates in by partnering with customers, says Lars Oestergaard Nielsen, Managing Director for the UAE Cluster.

`While the project has had many benefits in terms of teambuilding, interaction with customers and so forth; at the end of the day it is about us as a group of people wanting to collectively do something good for the community in Saaba. It has been truly amazing to see the effort and dedication that the whole office has put into supporting this cause and I have been equally impressed with the support from our customers and suppliers in helping us realise our vision.`

Thanks to the generosity of participating partners, the container carrying basic amenities and school supplies for the Burkinabe` students arrived in Saaba, Burkina Faso on 6 June 2013.
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