Porsche commemorates three years of “Empowering the Future” in ChinaUNICEF and Porsche deepen partnership at anniversary ceremony
Shanghai/Beijing. At a ceremony held at the Porsche Centre Beijing Central on June 7, Porsche China observed the third anniversary since the start of its philanthropic partnership with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) on their Mobile Educational and Training Resource Units (METRU) programme. Marking the milestone with the birth of another longterm collaboration, Porsche and UNICEF also signed a letter of intent to work together on a future project entitled Integrated Early China Development (IECD), for which Porsche pledged to donate four Cayenne SUVs and contribute more than 23 million RMB for three years. Throughout the event, joined by Mr. Guo Chunming, Division Director for Primary and Secondary School Teacher Training, Department of Teacher Education, Ministry of Education, Mrs. Gillian Mellsop, UNICEF Representative to China and Mr. Helmut Broeker, Chief Executive Officer of Porsche China, guests learned about the past and future of Porsche’s commitment to improving children’s education and empowering the futures of the underprivileged youth of China.
The METRU programme is a joint effort by both organisations to improve access to quality education for students and teachers at schools in the remote areas of Sichuan, Gansu and Yunnan Provinces. It was originally created in 2009 to aid victims of the Wenchuan and Gansu earthquakes by improving teaching and learning quality at disadvantaged schools through UNICEF educational training and Porsche financial and logistical support. Central to the success of the project has always been the need to provide reliable transport for instructors and educational resources in the rural areas normally considered too isolated to receive regular aid and support. Therefore, for the past three years, Porsche has contributed specially modified Cayenne SUVs that use their outstanding off-road abilities to navigate the difficult terrain and ensure that the schools receive their aid.
Since 2009, that combination of Porsche resources and UNICEF technical expertise has already achieved outstanding results. Initially conceived to reach 55,000 students and 3,000 teachers at 500 schools across Sichuan and Gansu Provinces from 2009 to 2012, METRU expanded last December as a result of its rapid success. Now, it aims to improve the situation of 131,804 students and 8,189 teachers at 441 schools across Sichuan and Gansu Provinces. In addition, its coverage has been extended to include Yunnan Province, backed by two more Cayenne, for a new total five-year commitment until 2014. As confirmed in March 2012, the project parameters are already being rapidly fulfilled once again: By the end of the month, UNICEF and Porsche had delivered training, qualified instructors and resources to more than 7,800 teachers and 117,000 students across 435 schools in Sichuan and Gansu Provinces.
“We feel honoured that only three years after launching our initiative for ‘Empowering the Future’ of the youth of China, we have already touched so many lives and may soon have the opportunity to reach even more,” said Mr. Helmut Broeker, Chief Executive Officer of Porsche China. “Our goal from the start has been to improve the long-term prospects of young people in underprivileged regions. I hope that through our expanded partnership with UNICEF, as well as the increasing contributions from our Porsche Centres throughout the country, we can continue making better lives possible for more children in China.”
Looking towards the future, Porsche and UNICEF will have the opportunity to prompt even more progress soon as they proceed with plans to develop their forthcoming IECD project. IECD will aim to facilitate early childhood development (ECD) in Sichuan and Guizhou Provinces in an effort to provide much-needed care and assistance even earlier in the lives of children in rural areas. True to its name, IECD will be designed to deliver a comprehensive package of essential health, nutrition, prenatal care and advice, early stimulation, and social protection and referral services to extremely vulnerable mothers and children under three.
“Early interventions — even prenatal care before a child is born — are among the most effective ways to break the intergenerational transmission of poverty, overcome vulnerability and feelings of social exclusion and enhance school readiness,” said Ms. Gillian Mellsop, UNICEF Representative to China. “We are delighted that we will have another opportunity with Porsche to help even more children move towards brighter futures from the very start of their lives.”
Under “Empowering the Future,” Porsche has also been raising public awareness and funds to improve children’s education in China outside of its support of METRU operations. Since 2009, the marque has donated a total of 15.2 million RMB — of which more than two million came from contributions by the Porsche Centres of Wenzhou and Xi’an, as well as the customers of the Porsche Centre Shanghai Puxi — and six Porsche Cayenne SUVs to finance the programme. This assistance has come on top of the RMB 5.4 million in relief aid the marque sent to UNICEF immediately after the Sichuan earthquake. Beyond METRU, Porsche has also partnered with the Sichuan Fine Arts Institute (SFAI) to hold an annual Art Contest for the up-and-coming young artists of Sichuan; this October, the competition completes its third cycle. Today - three years after developing the first of its philanthropic initiatives and soon to be managing three - Porsche is well on its way towards building the foundation for a long-term platform in China that is truly capable of empowering the futures of entire generations.