Air Liquide Foundation: Supporting 18 micro-initiatives in 10 countries

February 9, 2010

Through its program set up to promote micro-initiatives that encourage local development, the Air Liquide Foundation supported 18 philanthropic projects in 10 countries in 2009, in the areas of education and training, healthcare, micro-entrepreneurship, the environment and disabilities.

In the area of education and training, the Air Liquide Foundation focuses on the fight against illiteracy and promotes training for young people. In Madagascar, the Foundation is helping to equip several high schools with scientific media libraries. In Burkina Faso, the Foundation financed the construction of a training center for women that offers courses in reading, professional competencies and introductory sessions to micro-credit.

In the area of healthcare, the Air Liquide Foundation supports organizations that administer care to the most disadvantaged or that offer emergency first aid and relief. In France, the Foundation made it possible for the emergency response crew for the city of Paris (Protection Civile de Paris) to acquire defibrillators used in medical emergencies. In South Africa, the Foundation is participating in the initiative of a train-hospital that is scouring the country to offer the poorest members of the population a system of modern and economical care. It is thus financing the unit that offers psychological support to patients and their families. In Thailand, the Foundation is helping to train medical teams that work in Burmese refugee camps located in the north of the country. It is participating in the creation of pedagogical materials for chronic illnesses for use by camp medical personnel.

In the micro-entrepreneurship area, the Foundation encourages economic initiatives that help to improve the living conditions of the disadvantaged. In Ghana, it is offering support in the form of training and equipment to more than 100 farmers trained in agro-forestry. Combining food crops and tree planting, agro-forestry allows them to diversify their sources of income and rebuild biodiversity in farmed regions. In Madagascar, the Foundation is contributing to the effort to support 1 000 fish farmers in the Haute Matsiatra region in the center of the country, by giving them access to rice plantation fish cultivation techniques. This practice, which combines rice-growing and fish farming on a single parcel of land, offers the advantage of feeding fish at lower cost using rice culture residues.

Each of the micro-initiatives supported by the Foundation is monitored by a volunteer employee sponsor for the Air Liquide Group. Thus, the Foundation offers Air Liquide employees who are willing to invest in solidarity initiatives an opportunity to participate in the preliminary assessment of projects and subsequent follow-up.