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Wednesday, July 24, 2024

BASF’s commitment to children’s comprehensive development

By Anh Dao

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When inaugurating an outdoor playground for children in HCMC’s Binh Tan District early this month, Erick Contreras, managing director of BASF Vietnam, plainly put it: “Learning via playing is very important for children’s development. We want to provide a vivid outdoor space for children to interact, play and learn other skills.” BASF Vietnam is an affiliate of German-invested chemical manufacturer BASF.

The playground in Binh Tan District is the fourth one of its type developed in HCMC by BASF Vietnam in collaboration with the social enterprise Think Playgrounds, and the seventh one nationwide. The facility, part of the company’s corporate social responsibility (CSR) program, is also where BASF Vietnam manifests its spirit of sustainability, as amenities there are mainly made from reused or recycled materials that are friendly to the environment.

“We want to convey the important significance of using materials of sustainability to young people. This (playground) is not merely a summer gift for children in Binh Tan District, but is also aimed to celebrate the World Environment Day. I hope this will benefit not only the community, but also our planet,” Erick Contreras said.

The playground, built within the Tan Tao Culture-Sports Center, will help 18,000 children in Binh Tan and the vicinity to enjoy themselves in fun games and beautifully-decorated amenities, enable them to develop creativity and other skills, and learn about the significance of preserving natural resources. Materials used to make amenities there include eucalyptus wood from replanted forests, worn-out tyres, ropes, and recycled plastic sheets among others, and are installed by BASF volunteers and locals.

On November 3, 2022, BASF Vietnam opened a playground in the city’s District 12, an outlying locality which is home to a high proportion of migrant workers like Binh Tan District.

The program to build playgrounds for children was launched in 2019, and apart from three playgrounds in HCMC, four others have been built in Hanoi City and Yen Bai Province. BASF Vietnam has committed to continue this program to benefit more children and “to improve connectivity among people in the community, especially in poverty-stricken areas,” according to the company’s general director.

Supporting education

In recent years, BASF Vietnam has launched numerous CSR projects, especially in education, across the country.

An outstanding program is the BASF Kids’ Lab, organized annually since 2011 in collaboration with the HCMC Department of Education and Training. The key aim of the program is to equip children aged between 6 and 12 with knowledge about natural sciences closely aligned to real life. This program has later been expanded to other provinces including Binh Duong and Hau Giang.

To date, the BASF Kids’ Lab has attracted 5,000-plus children who can have fun while exploring the world of sciences, especially chemistry, under the guidance of BASF volunteers and tertiary students. Since 2018, 12 fun games under BASF Virtual Lab, an extension of this program, have been available in Vietnamese to give easier access to children.

BASF Vietnam has also initiated a program to renovate or build schools, which is part of the project to upgrade schools across the country with the non-government organization Saigon Children’s Charity serving as the coordinator.

Most recenty, BASF Vietnam has collaborated with partners to start work on renovating the program’s seventh school in the Mekong Delta province of Tra Vinh. The school renovation project has been completed this year, providing two new classrooms and a playground for some 100 elementary students.

Apart from this school, the program has helped build, upgrade or renovate six other schools in Dong Nai, Hau Giang and An Giang provinces. The program also supported schools to upgrade toilets, playgrounds and fences.

BASF Vietnam has also offered full scholarships for students with difficult backgrounds. To date, 20 scholarships spanning four years for higher-education students have been awarded, helping them overcome financial hardships to pursue their study.

“BASF has successfully combined business with environmental protection and social responsibility,” Erick Contreras said at the inauguration of the playground for children in Binh Tan District in early June. “We want to contribute to young people’s comprehensive development to ensure their success in the future.”

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