Society

Education projects form the backbone of Bekaert’s social funding and other community-building activities. In addition, we support local activities and projects for social, cultural and economic development, as well as for disaster relief.

Supporting educational and training initiatives

We believe that education and learning is the key to a sustainable future. Accordingly, we support initiatives worldwide that focus on helping the communities we are active in through education and learning.

Since the devastating earthquake in the Manabí region of Ecuador in April 2016, the IdealAlambrec-Bekaert plant (Ecuador) supported the education program of 50 technical college students. In the first phase, our technicians gave 50 hours of construction training to 2 local professors, focusing on earthquake resistant construction methods in sensitive areas. In the second phase, the teachers passed on their knowledge with the help of our technicians to 50 students. About 1 200 training hours were given in total.

Bekaert continued the support to the National 4-H Council and became a silver sponsor. 4-H is the largest youth development and empowerment organization in the US, reaching more than 7 million 4-H youth in urban neighborhoods, suburban schoolyards and rural farming communities. In April 2016, 4-H launched its Grow True Leaders campaign to empower youth with the opportunity to share their voice and show how they are making a difference in their communities.
In China, Bekaert has continued building strong relationships with various schools. At Weihai Xiyuan Zhongxin Kindergarten, Bekaert funded a Science Discovery Playroom designed to help children develop their logical thinking. Bekaert also continued its support to the Shanghai Pudong Lianying Primary School with volunteer work and the donation of books. 
Also our joint ventures in Brazil have a long tradition of supporting educational projects. In 2016 a science education project was set up to create interest in science and awareness for the environment amongst students. A science exhibition where children could perform 50 experiments in physics, mathematics and biology and an environmental award that promotes ecological awareness are part of the project. 

Supporting social community initiatives

We support community initiatives that aim to improve societal conditions in the places where we are active, among others through disaster relief actions.

When the Manabí region in Ecuador was struck with a devastating earthquake in April 2016, the IdealAlambrec-Bekaert plant was contracted by the Government as the primary business partner in a major housing reconstruction program. The business opportunity wasn’t the only focus of our local teams. Bekaert Latin America together with the IdealAlambrec-Bekaert plant in Quito (Ecuador) donated 10 houses to affected families in the area. The donated homes are compliant with the Ecuadorian construction regulations regarding earthquake resistance. Technical supervision was also present throughout the construction process in order to ensure standards were met. Representatives from the Ecuadorian Government assisted in ensuring the houses were provided to people who needed them the most.
In Colombia, Bekaert cooperated with Œuvre BelgoColombienne pour l'Enfance (OB-CE), a Belgian organization which is dedicated to supporting children in high risk areas throughout Colombia. In 2016, Proalco-Bekaert donated and installed security fences to the Los Llanerito Kindergarten, located in Villavicencio. 
In the Thiruvallur district in India we continued our yearly health camp initiative that was launched in 2012 to address the health care needs of the local people.