Mercedes in front seat on charity drive
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.