We support and develop initiatives that help improve the social conditions in the communities where we are active.
Education projects form the backbone of Bekaert’s social funding and other community-building activities, because we believe that education and learning help create a sustainable future.
Covid-19 brought another dimension to our responsible actions that help support society. From the outbreak of the pandemic onwards, we have engaged and supported the communities where we are active with protection awareness initiatives and with donations and voluntary help to medical and care centers around the world.
In China, Bekaert has continued building strong relationships with various schools. Bekaert Weihai, for example, has been supporting the Xiyuan Center Kindergarten since 2015. To celebrate International Children’s Day in 2020, Bekaert Weihai initiated a project to support the kindergarten with education materials that stimulate the childrens’ creative thinking.
The Bekaert India team collected food, clothes and stationery for the annual ‘Joy of giving’ project. In February 2020, they donated the goods to a local organization that supports children through education and social well-being. The team in India also donated computers to schools in the neighborhood of Bekaert’s operations.
IdealAlambrec-Bekaert, our subsidiary in Ecuador, supported the Universidad de Cuenca and its Architect & Urbanism Faculty with the design and the building of a house for a family in need. Colleagues from our plant in Ecuador gave guidance to the students and donated Armex® reinforcement solutions.
From the outbreak of the new corona virus onward, Bekaert has taken initiatives to donate personal protection equipment to hospitals and local communities.
In China, our teams supported the epidemic control efforts in nine cities through donations of face masks, hand sanitizer and other protective materials. A group of colleagues also volunteered with local health organizations and participated in blood donations.
Another example is Bekaert Lipetsk in Russia. The plant donated reusable fabric masks, protective suits and hand sanitizer to the local school and medical center, and installed plastic screens in the polyclinic to assure safe distancing between medical staff and patients.
Our plants in Slovakia and Belgium donated face masks to local communities, medical centers and retirement homes. Bekaert Orrville (US) donated N95 masks to a New York hospital, while the Bekaert team in Sardegna (Italy) provided 8 000 masks to the local hospital in Cagliari.
Volunteers of the Bekaert team in Burgos (Spain) manually assembled face shields made of recycled materials and newly created parts using a 3D printer. They donated hundreds of face shields to the local hospitals.
Bekaert’s joint ventures in Brazil donated sanitizers and more than 20 000 face masks and shields to the municipalities of Itaúna, Contagem and Sabará. Moreover, 200 mattresses and 50 beds were provided to a local field hospital, and another 400 mattresses to the government for distribution to hospitals in the state of Minas Gerais.
Three tons of coated steel wire were offered to the State Secretariat for Public Security for the production of 5 million face masks.
Our joint ventures and partner ArcelorMittal, together with the Senai/MG Center for Innovation and Technology and other organizations, volunteered in the repair of over 150 mechanical respirators for hospitals in Brazil.
With the campaign ‘Masks for All’, Belgo Bekaert Arames and Belgo Minera Bekaert initiated a sewing program of face masks by unemployed citizens thus stimulating temporary employment in the region. Our joint ventures also supplied the materials to sew 138 000 face masks.
In total, Bekaert donated 92 000 face masks and 121 000 FFP2 masks to medical centers, retirement homes and communities worldwide.
There was also extraordinary news beyond Covid-19. The team in Slovakia is very proud of two colleagues who saved other people’s lives by donating bone marrow. The chance to find a bone marrow match with a non-relative is only 1%. Our colleagues became the only hope for the two patients and the donation was successful.
Acma & Acmanet, subsidiaries of Bekaert in Chile, participate in a program called “Renca Participa”. The program seeks to find employment for people from the Renca community in Santiago who have lost their jobs due to the Covid-19 pandemic. This initiative aims at promoting the economic development of the community. The colleagues from Acma also helped build a recreation park in Renca.
Colleagues from Acma helped with the construction of the parc “Parque Las Palmeras” in Renca (Chile).
Following the success of last year, the team from Bekaert in Lipetsk (Russia) built a second playground for children in Gryazi. This was a joint initiative between Bekaert and the local authorities.