Mercedes in front seat on char­ity drive

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - MOTORING -

Mercedes- Benz will or­ga­nize a visit later this month to Ya’an, Sichuan prov­ince, to aid in projects that are re­pair­ing dam­age caused by the earth­quake in April.

When the re­gion was hit by a mag­ni­tude-7 earth­quake on April 20, Bei­jing Benz Au­to­mo­tive Co Ltd and Bei­jing Mercedes-Benz Sales Ser­vice Co Ltd im­me­di­ately re­sponded with a 20- mil­lion- yuan dona­tion on the same day, the largest dona­tion of any au­tomaker in China.

BMBS and BBAC man­age­ment teams, em­ploy­ees se­lected by a spe­cial com­pe­ti­tion, Star Am­bas­sadors from NGO part­ners, deal­ers and cus­tomer rep­re­sen­ta­tives, as well as phi­lan­thropists will join with lo­cal res­i­dents and stu­dents in ground-break­ing for some of the re­con­struc­tion projects in the area sup­ported by Mercedes- Benz. The projects, ap­proved af­ter thor­ough field re­search, sup­port the re­con­struc­tion of lo­cal panda sanc­tu­ar­ies and re­search cen­ters, four town­ship hos­pi­tals, a pri­mary school, and vil­lages that will demon­strate eco­log­i­cally sus­tain­able life­styles.

Pro­tect­ing pan­das

Part of the dis­as­ter area in Ya’an be­longs to the Sichuan Gi­ant Panda Sanc­tu­ar­ies, a World Nat­u­ral Her­itage site.

A to­tal of 3 mil­lion yuan will be used in the MercedesBenz As­sis­tance Pro­gram ded­i­cated to the China Con­ser­va­tion and Re­search Center for the Gi­ant Panda in Ya’an and Du­jiangyan.

The two sites will each get 1.5 mil­lion yuan dur­ing the du­ra­tion of the pro­gram from 2013 to 2015.

As part of the pro­gram, Mercedes-Benz will spon­sor two more gi­ant pan­das.

The car­maker will also as­sist the Ya’an panda re­search center in re­build­ing fa­cil­i­ties dam­aged in the earth­quake, and help build new roads, re­fur­bish the panda habi­tat and play­ground, and pur­chase new train­ing toys for the pan­das.

Her­itage pro­tec­tion

The April 20 earth­quake not only dam­aged the sanc­tu­ar­ies but also de­stroyed the houses of lo­cal res­i­dents sur­round­ing the re­serves, as well as the mon­i­tor­ing and ser­vice fa­cil­i­ties of the World Her­itage site.

In re­sponse, UNESCO ini­ti­ated a post- earth­quake as­sis­tance project in Ya’an, sup­ported by a dona­tion of 2 mil­lion yuan from MercedesBenz through the Star Fund.

As part of this, train­ing will be given to the man­age­ment of the re­serves to im­prove their ca­pa­bil­i­ties with a spe­cial fo­cus on dis­as­ter preven­tion, dis­as­ter risk man­age­ment and post-dis­as­ter man­age­ment.

Some re­con­structed vil­lages will also be se­lected for demon­stra­tions of best prac­tices for eco­log­i­cally sus­tain­able de­vel­op­ment.

Med­i­cal care

Mercedes- Benz and the China Youth De­vel­op­ment Foun­da­tion — or CYDF — jointly de­cided to do­nate 6 mil­lion yuan from the Star Fund to re­build four hos­pi­tals in each of the four earth­quakestricken towns in Ya’an, and to pro­vide ex­ten­sive train­ing for lo­cal hos­pi­tal prac­ti­tion­ers.

The project will be car­ried out in co­op­er­a­tion with the China Foun­da­tion for Poverty Al­le­vi­a­tion.

Aimed at im­prov­ing med­i­cal care in the ru­ral dis­as­ter ar­eas, the project will ben­e­fit more than 36,000 lo­cal res­i­dents when fully com­pleted in 2015.

And the all- new hos­pi­tals will be able to re­sist an earth­quake as strong as mag­ni­tude 8.

Ed­u­ca­tion sup­port

Mercedes-Benz is also co­op­er­at­ing with CYDF in postearthquake re­con­struc­tion of the Shiyang No 1 Pri­mary School in Tian­quan County with a dona­tion of 9 mil­lion yuan from the Star Fund.

With 51 fac­ulty and staff pro­vid­ing school­ing to 817 stu­dents in 23 classes af­ter planned com­ple­tion in 2015, the new school will have a com­pre­hen­sive teach­ing center, and stu­dents will also en­joy a new dor­mi­tory, can­teen, and play­ground.

More­over, Mercedes-Benz will equip the new school with ad­vanced ed­u­ca­tional tools, in­clud­ing com­put­ers, mu­sic in­stru­ment, sports equip­ment and mul­ti­me­dia de­vices.

This fol­lows MercedesBenz’s sup­port for ed­u­ca­tion with the Happy Mu­sic Class­room Pro­gram.

The pro­gram has al­ready built mu­sic classrooms for 400 Hope Schools in 29 prov­inces and au­ton­o­mous re­gions, of­fer­ing mu­sic ed­u­ca­tion op­por­tu­ni­ties for more than 100,000 un­der­priv­i­leged chil­dren.

At the same time, the pro­gram has also built eight Star Bases for mu­sic ed­u­ca­tion in co­op­er­a­tion with uni­ver­si­ties such as Harbin Nor­mal Univer­sity, and also sup­plied ed­u­ca­tion re­sources, teacher train­ing and vol­un­teer sup­port to the Hope Schools.

Com­mit­ment to China

The ef­forts in Ya’an again demon­strate Mercedes-Benz’s long- term com­mit­ment to China, and its lead­er­ship in re­gard to cor­po­rate so­cial re­spon­si­bil­ity.

In ad­di­tion to dis­as­ter relief, the Mercedes-Benz Star Fund is ac­tive in other ar­eas, pro­vid­ing com­pre­hen­sive sup­port for the Chi­nese so­ci­ety.

It fo­cuses on five core CSR pil­lars: en­vi­ron­men­tal pro­tec­tion, cul­ture of driv­ing, ed­u­ca­tional sup­port, the de­vel­op­ment of mu­sic, arts and sports, as well as so­cial care pro­grams.

Stu­dents of the school, now study­ing in tem­po­rary classrooms, re­joice at the news that Mercedes-Benz will help build a new, big­ger school.

The Happy Mu­sic Class­room Pro­gram has ben­e­fited more than 100,000 stu­dents in 29 prov­inces and au­ton­o­mous re­gions.

In ad­di­tion to Xinghui and Xin­grui (above), Mercedes-Benz will spon­sor another pair of pan­das (be­low).

This tem­po­rary town­ship hos­pi­tal in Baox­ing county was built with as­sis­tance from Mercedes-Benz. The au­tomaker has promised to re­build four hos­pi­tals in quake-stricken Ya’an.

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