Freudenberg fundraising campaign reaches one million mark

Weinheim, November 20, 2015. Global technology group Freudenberg’s fundraising initiative for refugees has reached the one million mark. So far, employees and shareholders around the world have donated more than 350,000 Euros for refugee aid: by the start of the holiday season at the end of the year, the company will have tripled that amount. Through this initiative, Freudenberg is supporting numerous projects in which the company’s employees are also involved as volunteers. Freudenberg has now donated 150,000 Euros to the Goethe-Institut with the aim of facilitating access to language training and education for as many young refugees in Germany as possible.

Freudenberg employees have repeatedly reported from their projects that there is a great need for language teaching. Learning German as quickly as possible, going to school or undertaking vocational training are top priorities among young refugees in particular. This group is at the heart of Freudenberg’s fundraising campaign.

Education has traditionally been a focus of the company’s social commitment. “For us, it was clear that we wanted our initiative to support language training more systematically and on a broader level”, explained Dr. Mohsen Sohi, CEO of Freudenberg Group. “As someone who was not raised in Germany, I am all the more convinced: if a young person really “arrives”, integrates himself, builds the self-confidence needed to take control of his own life – all that stands and falls on his language skills.”

As a leading institution for German language and culture, the Goethe-Institut will receive 150,000 Euros from the Freudenberg refugee aid project for its nationwide facilities. “A glance at the newspaper is enough to know that the thousands of refugees flocking to Germany from various crisis regions are presenting us with very particular challenges. For this reason, it is extremely welcome that the Freudenberg Group has recognized a field for its social commitment here. We are delighted that Freudenberg is supporting the Goethe-Institut’s refugee projects and are most grateful for their donation”, said Dr. Roland Meinert, Head of Germany’s 12 Goethe-Institut locations.

75,000 Euros of the Freudenberg donation will be used to fund German courses for young refugees who are not yet entitled to state-subsidized education in accordance with the asylum process. "We want to help where the need is greatest and to supplement public funding so that as many young people as possible can benefit", explained Dr. Ernst Schön, Chairman of the company's Donations Committee and former member of the Freudenberg Management Board. 50,000 Euros have been earmarked for the development of teaching materials specifically for the refugee target group.

The Goethe-Institut will receive a further 25,000 Euros to provide volunteers with a basic knowledge of German teaching. This will help them to assist refugees more effectively in taking their first steps in the German language. Promoting employee engagement is a central concern for Freudenberg. At all corporate locations in Germany located in the vicinity of a Goethe-Institut, the donation will benefit employee volunteers who wish to participate in one of these training courses. The remaining amount will be used to support volunteers throughout Germany.

In September, the Freudenberg Group appealed to all employees, retirees and shareholders to support a global fundraising campaign for refugees. The appeal will run up to the start of the holiday season. In addition, Freudenberg will make one million Euros available to support the integration of refugees over the coming years. The Freudenberg Foundation, which has been dedicated to social projects for decades, has been asked by the company to earmark a further half million Euros.

You will receive further information about the Goethe-Institut and its refugee aid projects at the Goethe-Institut press office:
Dr. Jörg Schumacher, Head of Communications/ Pressesprecher Goethe-Institut Head Office
Tel: 089 15921-249
Fax 089 15921-414

About the Freudenberg Group
Freudenberg is a global technology group that strengthens its customers and society long-term through forward-looking innovations. Together with its partners, customers and the world of science, the Freudenberg Group develops leading-edge technologies, and excellent products, solutions and services for more than 30 market segments and for thousands of applications: seals, vibration control components, nonwovens, filters, specialty chemicals, medical and mechatronic products, IT services and the most modern cleaning products.

Innovation strength, strong customer orientation, diversity and team spirit are the cornerstones of our Group. Commitment to excellence, reliability and pro-active, responsible action belong to the company's core values lived for more than 165 years.

In 2014, the Freudenberg Group employed over 40,000 people in some 60 countries worldwide and generated sales of more than 7 billion Euros (including pro-rata consolidation of 50:50 joint ventures).

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