CAIRO: Al-Ahram Beverages Company (ABC) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Sawiris Foundation for Social Development, donating LE 40 million to fund health, environment, education and culture projects.
“ABC is keen on fulfilling its role in Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), Marc Busain, ABC’s CEO, said.
Busain said ABC chose to join forces with the Sawiris Foundation because of its extensive efforts in the past nine years in Egypt. He added that ABC provided them with the best means to reach as many people as possible.
According to Gannat El-Samalouty, the Sawiris Foundation executive director, this collaboration sets an example for the private sector to be active in serving the community.
She added that CSR in Egypt should be about believing in the major role the private sector can play in the community.
Busain added that ABC’s CSR vision works on the international level, which further motivates them to be the best representatives of Egypt. He explained that CSR starts internally within the company to be able to work best externally.
Over the past year they have worked on sending over 10,000 children to school, he said.
“Health is on the top of our agenda, said El-Samalouty.
Combating Hepatitis C Virus among children is the one of the main projects to be implemented within this initiative, she said.
The Egyptian Liver Care Society (ELCS) and the Association for the Protection of Environment (APE) will also join forces with the Sawiris Foundation in this project.
Wahid Doss, president of ELCS, confirmed that the project will be launched under the slogan of “Children without Virus C, and will aim at treating children with the disease in addition to training medical staff on treatment methods.
The Sawiris Foundation for Social Development was founded in 2001 with an endowment from the Sawiris family. Since the date of its establishment, it has contributed to the welfare of the Egyptian community.
The foundation’s projects are implemented through effective partnerships with a variety of NGOs in different sectors like health, training and employment, micro-credit, research and scholarships and community development.
“The foundation cooperates with NGOs that have the ideas but lack the funds, El-Samalouty said.
She explained that the NGOs go through a strict evaluation process after the foundation receives its proposal.
“Return on Investment (ROI) is one of our criteria for choosing the NGOs, Samih Sawiris, board member of the foundation and chairman of Orascom Hotels and Development (OHD), said during the press conference.
ABC was privatized in 1997 and then acquired by Heineken Group in 2002. ABC has been involved in CSR programs, although it usually comes under fire because of its alcoholic products. Busain said that there is no link between what a company produces and helping the underprivileged.