12/05/2008, Düsseldorf, Germany / Rocky Hill, Conn.

 

Special project marks anniversary of employee volunteering program

 

 

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Name Cindy Demers
  VP Corporate Communications
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Name Wulf Klüppelholz
  Corporate Communications, Financial Communications
Phone +49-211-797-1875
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Henkel Supports Families in Guatemala

Henkel’s MIT initiative (Make an Impact on Tomorrow), which supports the volunteer work of Henkel employees and retirees, is celebrating its 10th anniversary. The record is a proud one: More than 5,000 Henkel volunteers have been involved in some 7,000 projects in more than 110 countries.

To mark this anniversary, Henkel provided special funding of 100,000 euros for a selected project. From 86 applications, the “HELPS Changing Lives” project in Guatemala was chosen. The subsidy and the active support of a local MIT team will now help 120 families to help themselves.

Through donations amounting to around 13 million euros, the MIT initiative has helped more than 68,000 children during the past 10 years. In addition to financial support, Henkel assists its employees with their projects through in-kind and product donations or paid time off from work. Their commitment makes Henkel employees and retirees all over the world into a vital link between the company and the communities in which it operates.

HELPS Changing Lives – 100,000 euros for 120 families in Guatemala

Guatemala is a very poor, rural country. According to information provided by the government, 90 percent of the population live in poverty. HELPS Changing Lives helps communities to fight poverty, the dangerous use of open fires, the lack of clean water, and the low agricultural productivity. The program for 120 families includes various components, such as improvement of the infrastructure, access to educational and health facilities, and training the people how to cultivate grain. MIT applicant Kirsten Sánchez Marín has been working for Henkel for 10 years, the past two years in Guatemala.

Sánchez Marín has already implemented four other MIT projects supported by Henkel, in Mexico, Argentina and Georgia. Having made several trips to the rural regions of her new home, Guatemala, the poverty and hopelessness she witnessed among the villagers she met particularly saddened her. “Life is especially difficult for women in Guatemala,” Sánchez Marín explains. “They are married off at a very young age and have little opportunity to obtain an education. Once they have given birth to several children, they are often abandoned overnight by their husbands. Through education, we can make it possible for these women to support themselves. I am looking forward to working on this project, which is to be carried out jointly by the community, the HELPS organization and Henkel.”

HELPS International 
The U.S. aid organization HELPS International has been initiating self-help programs since 1984. Programs involving health, education, economic development, agriculture and environmental protection are developed and carried out in line with local needs. HELPS aims are to increase freedom, stability, and personal opportunities for the indigenous people in Latin America and lastingly reducing poverty there. To ensure that these objectives can be achieved and maintained, HELPS International works with other non-profit organizations, companies, local entities, and national governments. For further information, go to: www.helpsintl.org.

Henkel Smile and MIT in 2009
In addition to the anniversary project, the activities of Henkel Smile, the Henkel corporate citizenship program – with its three core elements, MIT (employee engagement), Henkel Friendship Initiative (emergency fund) and Social Partnerships (company and brand engagement) – will continue unchanged. Of the 86 applications for the anniversary project, 74 projects will be recommended to receive the annual MIT grants. For these and other MIT projects worldwide, 1.65 million euros will be allocated in 2009. Henkel subsidized 1,306 projects in 2008.

Henkel reports comprehensively on its corporate citizenship engagement at http://www.henkel.com/smile

Henkel in North America
Henkel markets a wide range of well-known consumer and industrial brands in North America, including Dial® soap, Purex® laundry detergent, Right Guard® antiperspirants, got2b® hair gels, and Loctite® adhesives. 

For more than 130 years, Henkel has been a leader with brands and technologies that make people's lives easier, better and more beautiful. Henkel operates in three business areas – Home Care, Personal Care, and Adhesive Technologies – and is ranked among the Fortune Global 500 companies. More than 60 percent of Henkel’s sales are in consumer goods, while the industrial business accounts for almost 40 percent of the company’s total sales. In fiscal 2007, Henkel generated sales of 13,074 million euros and operating profit of 1,344 million euros. Our more than 55,000 employees worldwide are dedicated to fulfilling our corporate claim, "A Brand like a Friend," and ensuring that people in more than 125 countries can trust in brands and technologies from Henkel.