Refugee aid making more impact together

Shanghai, January 14, 2016. Global technology group Freudenberg announced today that its fundraising initiative for refugees has raised over 1.6 million euro within 4 months by end of 2015. With these funds, Freudenberg will be supporting refugee aid projects until 2019, ranging from local initiatives to international cooperation projects, some of which the company's employees are also involved in as volunteers.

"For us, success never means merely financial success, but also always accepting our social responsibility as a company", said Dr. Mohsen Sohi, CEO of the Freudenberg Group. "We are proud of the commitment of each individual", said Sohi. Freudenberg is already funding some 30 aid projects and intends to support additional initiatives up to 2019 from donations received as well as through a further company donation.

Among the 1.6 million Euros raised, some 538,500 Euros have been donated from Freudenberg colleagues, retired former employees and Partners across the world, a sum that the company has tripled. In China, Freudenberg employees actively took part in donations initiatives at different sites in Shanghai, Suzhou, Nantong, Wuxi and Taiwan, among others. "I still remember China received lots of support from Europe and worldwide after the Sichuan earthquake disaster in 2008 – also from Freudenberg colleagues worldwide. For example, Freudenberg helped rebuild an elementary school in Sichuan Province and has been supporting this school through funding and employee volunteering ever since. Even though we are far away from Europe, we are part of a global community and we want to make our contribution." said Wu Qian, HR manager at Chem-Trend, a Freudenberg company. Together with other volunteers from Chem-Trend and Klüber Lubrication, she helped organize a flea market at the Qingpu plant in Shanghai to raise money for the Freudenberg refugee aid project.

60 million people are fleeing civil war, poverty and terrorism worldwide, – the highest number that the UNHCR has ever recorded. Half of them are children. The number of people fleeing from countries such as Syria, Iraq or Afghanistan to Europe has been growing substantially since 2015. In the case of Germany, more than one million refugees were registered in the country in 2015, compared to around 202,000 in 2014. The financial support as well as education aid from Freudenberg has been playing an important role for the supported organizations who help refugees to integrate into their new homes.

Settling down and feeling at home in a foreign country requires more than just somewhere to live. Understanding and speaking the language, as well as getting to know the different cultural events and peculiarities, are all particularly important. This is precisely where the Freudenberg-funded initiatives come into play. One example is that Freudenberg has now donated 150,000 Euros to the Goethe-Institut, a leading institution for German language and culture, with the aim of facilitating access to language training and education for as many young refugees in Germany as possible. There are other education projects being supported by Freudenberg such as "Without Dictionaries" adding a playful dimension to language learning, while skilled professionals provide individual tuition.