AAK has long been an active member of the communities in which it operates through direct participation in projects and activities, or through sponsorship. One of our long term community engagement projects is the support of a local school in Uruguay, close to AAK’s production site.
For three years now, AAK Uruguay has been collaborating with a school located in the same neighborhood as the company’s factory. The public school is crowded and serves a high number of students from low-income families.
From a small donation
“In 2015, we renovated our office and donated some furniture, computer chairs and monitors to the school. The grateful staff enthusiastically accepted all the goods, even small things such as tableware for the students’ lunch meals. This made it clear to us that resources were scarce and that there were plenty of opportunities to further help the school”, says María Soledad Cardozo, one of the initiators of the collaboration and Regional Manager for Applications and Product Quality, AAK Uruguay.
In 2016, AAK donated a shipping container to be used as a warehouse in order to generate space for teaching purposes in the school building. The container was installed, “decorated” and hand-painted by the students’ parents, personnel from the school and AAK employees. Another project that year was the complete renovation of the school vegetable garden, to which new seedlings, plants and even a funny-looking scarecrow was added. Children of AAK employees also joined this activity and they were delighted to help out with the planting and watering.
In 2017, AAK collaborated with the annual School Festival fundraising. AAK employees donated both used and brand-new items that were sold at an auction or in a “flea market” stand. They also brought homemade food to sell and toys to be used as prizes in raffle games. During the festival, AAK employees operated stands, helped out with raffle games and even made pizzas that were sold at the festival.
To a strong relationship
The plan for the coming years is to help repair the school library, to organize a fundraising to obtain books and table games for the library as well as participate in the annual School Festival. Within each activity, the passion and enthusiasm among school members and AAK employees is contagious. “What started with a small donation of some used furniture has grown into a strong relationship of which both the school and we at AAK Uruguay are grateful for and proud of”, says María Soledad Cardozo.