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International Volunteer Day: volunteering in Lafarge reaches 30 countries

The International Volunteer Day, organized by the United Nations, takes place on December 5th. Volunteering is growing fast within Lafarge. Since the start of 2014, volunteers from Lafarge operations in 30 countries have contributed more than 100 000 hours to supporting local communities and building better cities. Find out more about volunteering through initiatives and images!

In the context of our Sustainability Ambitions program, we have committed to reaching 1 million volunteering hours each year by 2020.

This ambitious target was introduced to ensure Lafarge's programs with local communities could create more value.  As a result of this initiative, more and more programs are leveraging the considerable skills and expertise of our teams to specifically address areas of need (such as job creation & education, provision of affordable housing and preservation of water resources & biodiversity), working closely with the local community and its associations.  As a result, these programs become, by nature, more long-term and more sustainable, based on partnership and a greater balance of financial and non-financial support.

In addition, our teams are benefitting from their time dedicated to volunteering: opportunities to make a difference on key local topics as well as building morale and teamwork as well as additional skills.

Although volunteering took place on an ad hoc basis before, a specific global ambition on this topic has enabled it to develop very quickly.  According to data collected at the end of November, the commitment of teams around the world, supported by a dedicated network of sponsors and project teams has seen an exceptional acceleration across the Group.

  • More than 100,000 volunteering hours achieved (growing from 30,000 in 2012 and 57,000 in 2013);
  • 30 countries are represented, including seven newcomers this year: Brazil, Bangladesh, China, Indonesia, Poland, Russia and Zimbabwe;
  • A community of more than 9,000 volunteers worldwide supporting more than 700 different programs.

"Volunteering represents a significant contribution by Group and its teams. These results show how it can make a difference in reinforcing our image and improving links with our communities and supporting people development," explains Alexandra Rocca, Executive Vice-President Communications, Public Affairs and Sustainable Development.

"Aside from surpassing an important milestone, it is great to see the level of participation by teams right around the world.  As well as all of the volunteers themselves, I'd also like to congratulate the sponsors of this topic in every country, who have ensured the professionalism of these programs, particularly in ensuring volunteering is always undertaken in a safe environment." 

"The acceleration and experience gained this year should be of great benefit as we maintain our focus on developing programs in partnership with our stakeholders designed to create shared value for communities as well as for our business."

Our Sustainability Ambition 2020 for volunteering

We have made a commitment as part of our Sustainability Ambitions 2020: Contribute 1 million volunteer hours per year to locally selected projects in the realm of job creation, biodiversity, water conservation, skills training, affordable housing or health.


Introduction to International Volunteer Day

International Volunteer Day (IVD), organized by the United Nations in 1985, is celebrated on December 5th each year. It provides an opportunity for volunteers and volunteer organizations to work together on projects and campaigns to promote their contributions to the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), at a local, national and international level.






World AIDS Day: 13 years and counting for Lafarge program

HIV/AIDS affects more than 35 million people globally, and remains a reality of daily life for many. Once again this year, December 1st marks World AIDS Day, an opportunity to bring forward the awareness and prevention programs developed by Lafarge in our affected countries since 2001.

HIV / AIDS: a far-reaching commitment

Since 2001, the Group has recognized HIV/AIDS as a priority and implemented a specific program including several awareness and prevention actions.  Now in its 13th year, the Lafarge program has expanded to cover thousands of employees, contractors, families and people in local communities where Lafarge operates.  These programs feed into the Health promotion and wellness pillar of the Group's Health Strategy.

"We will continue to participate with various prevention initiatives as guided by local health authorities, says Mikateko Shisana, Group Health VP. We believe that our program is succeeding because of the commitment of our employees in using the services are provided. We'd like to recognize the countries that support our employees and stakeholders in fighting the HIV/AIDS pandemic."


Some of these activities include:

  • Voluntary Counselling and Testing
  • HIV/AIDS awareness and education
  • Management of Sexually Transmitted Infections
  • Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission
  • Community Outreach programs
  • Condom distribution to employees and contractors
  • Information, Education and Communication (IEC) materials are produced and distributed on an ongoing basis, and have now expanded to include key health topics such as Malaria, Diabetes, Hypertension, Hepatitis, and Breast and Prostate cancers.

Key actions on the ground in sub-Saharan African countries

As a result of these programs across the Group, significant progress has been made in recent years, particularly in sub-Saharan African countries, which continue to be the most impacted by this disease:

  • In Uganda, 596 employees, contractors, dependents and community members are on active HIV/AIDS care and management.  An additional 30,000 people have benefited from outreach programs in the community.
  • Lafarge Malawi was the first private sector organization to formally launch an HIV/AIDS policy in 1997.
  • In Tanzania, 735 employees and contractors have benefited from the Lafarge HIV/AIDS program.
  • In Kenya, 100% of employees participated in HIV counselling and testing programs. Over 40,000 residents within a 10km radius of the Mombasa Plant have also benefited from the "Investing in the health of our employees and the community" program.
  • In Nigeria, 168 Peer Educators have been trained since 2007 to provide follow-up on treatments and useful local contacts.
  • In Cameroon, 866 employees, contractors and family members affected by HIV have benefited from sensitization, screening tests and the distribution of preservatives.
  • In Zambia, mobile clinics now offer screening and medicare to local communities.
  • In South Africa, 1,944 out of 2,219 employees have had HIV testing (over 87% participation!).  All managers across all 5 product lines have also undergone a Wellness Managers Workshop.    


World AIDS Day

In addition to ongoing programs, several countries are commemorating December 1st  this year with specially planned activities to mobilize and bring awareness to employees and neighboring communities.

  • The Mombasa Plant will have a skit highlighting important HIV messages, and candles will be lit in all sites in Kenya.
  • South African employees will participate in a "Who wants to be a Health-ionaire" game show challenge and treated to lunch.
  • A Raffle Draw, voluntary counseling and testing and an AIDS Sports Bonanza will be held in Tanzania.
  • At Lafarge HQ in France, employees participate in a solidarity sale for "Dessine-Moi un Mouton", a charity that supports children and families affected by HIV/AIDS.
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