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October 2, 2009

Lufthansa Salutes HelpAlliance’s 10th Anniversary

By Pardhasaradhi Gonuguntla

The HelpAlliance aid organization, founded by Lufthansa staff, is celebrating its 10th anniversary. HelpAlliance was founded by Lufthansa employees in 1999 and since then many have voluntarily nurtured aid projects around the world under the umbrella of the HelpAlliance organization. Their commitment enjoys financial and logistics support from the Lufthansa Group, for instance with freighter flights delivering relief supplies for the victims of the devastating tsunami in Southeast Asia in December 2004. The aid organization can look back on more than 60 projects which it has successfully implemented since its founding. Nearly $6 million in donations alone have been invested in diverse aid measures. At the 10th jubilee celebrations at the Lufthansa Training & Conference Center in Seeheim, Chairman and CEO Wolfgang Mayrhuber commended the commitment of the HelpAlliance and its members:

“Our experiences with strong alliances have always been good. We support HelpAlliance because their members do great work and we know that the donations go directly to where they are needed most: to the poorest of the poor,“ said Wolfgang Mayrhuber. “My thanks go to all Lufthansa employees whose efforts are devoted to helping the needy in this world of ours, and naturally to our passengers and all others who support this good cause with their donations. I am proud that humanity and care are so deeply rooted in our company.”

10 years after HelpAlliance was founded it has directed numerous aid projects, principally in Africa, Asia, South America and Romania. From the outset, the Lufthansa Group has been a mainstay by providing HelpAlliance not only with cargo capacities but also with offices and above all, staff, for the administrative tasks of the aid organizations. HelpAlliance is currently overseeing 15 projects supported on-site by partners with years of experience in development aid. In order to ensure that the funds are received by those who need them, Lufthansa staff assume personal responsibility for individual projects. HelpAlliance is mainly financed by donations. Under the motto “Small change – a big help,” passengers on-board can donate foreign currency left in their pockets or wallets after a stay abroad to a worthy cause. Additionally, the organization receives regular contributions from around 1,200 supporting members.

HelpAlliance projects – a few examples:

Nigeria: Schools and a hospital
HelpAlliance supports the People Medical Centre in Obizi in Nigeria. The Centre has in the meantime become the principal source of health care for the local Obizi community. In addition to medical care, local schools near the Centre are being renovated with the help of the aid organization in order to install the necessary infrastructure to meet the educational needs of children and young people and prepare them for a better future.

Senegal: A start in life and education for children and young people
In a poor district of Saint-Louis in northern Senegal, HelpAlliance advances educational opportunities for the young as well as vocational training for women and help in business start-ups. The aid organization also furthers literacy courses and supports a children’s nursery there.

Brazil: Vocational training in the rainforest on the Amazon
HelpAlliance supports the SEARA charity organization by financing a vocational training centre in the rainforest town of Santarém on the banks of the Amazon. The Centre provides vocational training for young socially disadvantaged mothers, enabling them to secure a regular income for themselves and their families.

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