The WACKER Relief Fund is dedicated to providing unbureaucratic, long-term aid, especially in the wake of natural disasters. The fund’s board members and trustees work on a voluntary basis. So far, Wacker Chemie AG has matched all employee contributions to the fund.
One of the first projects that the relief fund supported after its foundation in 2005 was the construction of the school in Kosgoda, Sri Lanka. The fund continues to support the running of this school. Located in a region destroyed by the 2004 tsunami, the school was opened in 2006. The WACKER Relief Fund uses its cent-donation program to finance school operations for its current enrollment of around 220 students. Plus, there are another 180 students in the associated kindergarten and orphanage, not to mention the young people attending the affiliated vocational training center.
The roughly 4,500 employees who participated in the WACKER Relief Fund’s cent-donation program consent to having their monthly salary rounded down to the nearest euro – the difference in cents is then donated to the relief fund. On average, the participating employees donate 50 cents per month. This amount is then matched by the company for a monthly total of over €4,500, which equates to an annual donation of about €54,000.
In the spring of 2015, large areas of Nepal were devastated by two severe earthquakes in which more than 9,000 people died and 600,000 homes were destroyed. The WACKER Relief Fund selected a project for school development and maintenance, and supports the student-run charitable organization Namaste Nepal S-GmbH based in Freiberg. Since 2005, this charity has worked with a Nepalese aid organization on the reconstruction and operation of a total of seven schools and kindergartens in the Sindhupalchok province. A secondary school in Gati and an elementary school in Singarche were completed in November 2018. The elementary school and kindergarten in Dandakateri were able to resume operations during the period under review.
Following the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, the WACKER Relief Fund supported the reconstruction of the school in Gressier, and has been sponsoring ongoing school operations, including meals, since 2011. Over 800 students currently attend the school center, which consists of a kindergarten, elementary school and high school.
Parts of the Lower Bavaria region were hit by a once-in-a-century flood in June 2016, which affected many of WACKER’s employees. The WACKER Relief Fund gave the district of Rottal-Inn a donation of €100,000 in emergency aid for flood victims. The company also asked employees to support affected colleagues by making donations to the fund. Employees responded in large numbers, donating approximately €156,000. The company matched employee donations and increased this amount by an additional €188,000, making total of €500,000 available for disbursement. In order to distribute the donated funds as fairly as possible, the WACKER Relief Fund developed a distribution concept that was used for reviewing requests for aid from affected employees. The money was then paid to flood victims over the course of 2017.
WACKER Greater China employees work as volunteers for WACKER HELP, a charitable initiative founded in 2005 with the aim of improving the educational opportunities of disadvantaged children. The initiative provides long-term support for a school in the Chinese province of Sichuan. The elementary school in the village of Fujia was destroyed in the major earthquake that struck Sichuan in 2008. With a donation of RMB 1 million (over €100,000), WACKER’s relief fund financed the school’s reconstruction. It reopened in 2009 and was named WACKER Fujia Village Primary School. Since 2009, WACKER HELP has supported more than 300 schoolchildren there. Thanks to the donations of WACKER Greater China employees, the school has been able to provide these children with daily hot lunches since 2011. In 2012, WACKER HELP started to offer disadvantaged students in Fujia an annual scholarship until they reach high-school age.
WACKER Fujia Village Primary School is not the only WACKER relief project in China. Since 2006, WACKER Greater China and its employees have endowed 17 libraries at elementary schools as well as a music room in Qimen County in Anhui Province and in Liannan Yao Autonomous County in Guangdong Province.