At the end of November 2010, Lonza inaugurated the Youkeng Primary School in Jiaoling, China. It was the highlight of a sponsorship program in which Lonza supported the reconstruction and renovation of this school. Sponsoring, donations and memberships are integral elements of Lonza’s commitment to social responsibility.
Happy smiling children, bright flowers, lively marching music and curious villagers – for Stefan Borgas and his colleagues the opening of the Jiaoling Primary School was a special event full of emotion, away from the usual business routine. The joy and curiosity of the children during the science lesson held by Lukas Utiger and the R&D specialists Jingjun Wei and Xiaohong Liu from the Nansha site, as well as the participation of Stefan Borgas and Roman Quinter in the English lessons, providing students with English names, were memorable for visitors and pupils alike.
“Over a year ago, when I heard about this project for the first time, I was really enthusiastic. Today, I am very happy and deeply touched to see a brand-new school in front of us, with modern teaching facilities such as the multi-media room, the PC room and the science lab, in which children can train their brains and teachers enjoy their work. And of course I am proud that the Youkeng Primary School has decided to bear Lonza in its name in the future,” stated Stefan Borgas in his opening remarks at the ceremony. “This project is a globally visible example of a public-private partnership that really works, resulting from a shared vision of improving the quality of life of the people in our neighborhoods.”
The support for the Youkeng school was part of our 2010 sponsorship activities. A strong commitment to good corporate citizenship is one of Lonza’s core values. We want to be a reliable, long-term and active partner, and engage at the earliest possible stage of any project to optimize the use of available resources. Accordingly, we focus our resources on a small number of projects where our engagement can make a significant difference. Another important criterion for us is to sponsor projects that are located in or related to the communities where we work and live, with a focus on science, schools, education, charity, health, social welfare, culture, community and youth. With that in mind, Lonza chose to support the building, establishment and educational program of the Youkeng school, which was recommended by the Nansha District Government and Jiaoling Education Bureau. Lonza donated RMB 1.5 million (approximately 200 000 USD) for a new building of 500 square meters, renovation of the existing two-storey classroom building, a new sports- and playground, as well equipment such as computers, a science lab and furniture.
“After six months of construction work, a wholly new-looking Youkeng Primary School is appearing in front of you. Lonza not only focuses on its business development, but also dedicates itself to education and social welfare. Its donations to mitigate the effects of poverty, with a focus on education, set an excellent example to society at large. To commemorate Lonza’s generosity and make it more widely known, we would like to rename the school Youkeng Lonza Primary School,” said Mr Jianxiong Lin, Chief Executive of Jiaoling.
To provide sustainable support, Lonza also encourages and supports its employees in providing voluntary services to help those in need. A company’s team of volunteers at Nansha and Guangzhou will come back on a regular basis to assist in teaching, with a focus on science. In this way, Lonza will continue to be connected with the school for a long time to come.
“With the generous help of Lonza, we have witnessed a big change taking place at our school. Now we have a new classroom building, covering 500 square meters, a proper playground and lots of modern teaching facilities, enabling us to enjoy the same standards as children in cities do. You cannot imagine how excited and grateful we are. We all realize that, without your concern and support, our dreams could not come true,” said the student speaker Shuru Yang, and concluded: “We would like to take this opportunity to say thank you very much once again to all the people from Lonza. We promise, we will study hard and will not disappoint you. Please trust us, we will surely win.”