Empowering girls – Beiersdorf and Plan International kick off their partnership

Empowering girls – Beiersdorf and Plan International kick off their partnership

  • Focus on Latin America to ensure girls’ access to education and equal rights
  • Cooperation as part of the 50 million Euro aid program to support the fight against COVID-19

Worldwide, approximately 767 million girls were forced to leave school due to the COVID-19 pandemic1. Especially adolescent girls experience greater risks and are more impacted when their education is interrupted. They may be particularly affected by the secondary impacts of the outbreak, as gender-specific educational differences and the risk of exploitation, early pregnancy and child marriage increase. To provide them with sustainable support, Beiersdorf is stepping up its engagement and setting a long-term focus on girls’ empowerment by partnering with Plan International as part of the 50 million Euro international aid program.

“Under ‘Care Beyond Skin’, we initiated the largest, globally coordinated humanitarian program in the company’s history, taking swift action right at the beginning of the global crisis,” says Stefan De Loecker, CEO of Beiersdorf AG. “We have not just provided immediate aid in the fight against COVID-19. We are also ensuring long-term support by focusing our contribution on vulnerable groups within our societies that need special protection – especially as many countries and societies are already facing socioeconomic challenges that are going beyond the immediate health crisis. By supporting initiatives of Plan International, we are helping to empower girls and ensure that the organization continues their valuable work on the ground in the long-run. We are also making sure that our financial donations directly reach vulnerable communities.”

Empowering adolescent girls
In partnership with Plan International, Beiersdorf will empower girls’ rights to access education and contribute to the prevention of gender-based violence in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond. The outbreak has affected all countries in Latin America severely. The focus of the joint actions will be on initiatives in Colombia, Ecuador and Brazil where primarily girls and young women as well as refugees, especially from Venezuela, face increased threats of sexual violence, discrimination and abuse. Together, Beiersdorf and Plan International will encourage and protect girls so they are seen, heard and valued in their diversity and gain equal rights for a self-determined life. The funding will help the respective local Plan International teams to respond largely to the need of girls – and through them to the needs of almost 20,000 children, young people and families in their communities. The initiatives will enable them as well as the communities they live in to overcome the mid- and long-term socioeconomic consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Together with Plan International and their unique and widespread capability to combine humanitarian response with long-standing, successful experience in the communities by fostering close relationships with people, local and national authorities, Beiersdorf is initiating change, step-by-step, through impact-driven initiatives.

“The COVID-19 crisis is a major threat, especially for countless girls and young women in developing countries. For the female population, it risks destroying the tangible opportunity to lead a self-determined life. That would be an incredible step backwards for their educational opportunities and gender equality. Measures to contain the pandemic and beyond must focus on their special needs. We must put an emphasis on their health, security and well-being. Together with Beiersdorf, we have a chance to make a difference in the program countries and to give many young women and their families a future,” says Maike Roettger, National Director Plan International Germany.

Beiersdorf cares beyond skin
Beiersdorf’s 50 million Euro aid program is based on four pillars: disinfectant donations, product donations, employee donations and corporate donations. “Over the past months, colleagues from all over the world have worked hard to ensure that our consumers continue to receive our skin care products in the days of COVID-19, while at the same time making our aid program a success,” says Stefan De Loecker.

As an immediate relief measure in the COVID-19 pandemic, Beiersdorf provided medical grade disinfectants. They were effectively produced in more than 13 plants worldwide and delivered in over 20 countries primarily to clinics and hospitals, medical and nursing staff and public services. The distribution was closely coordinated with local authorities. By June, the committed one million liters were reached. Further short-term support was the distribution of more than five million skin and hand care products to healthcare staff. This initiative was meant to care for and thank people at the forefront whose skin is particularly strained in the COVID-19 pandemic.

Focusing on immediate and mid-term support, Beiersdorf employees selected Médecins Sans Frontières and UNICEF for individual donations. As the employee donations came in, Beiersdorf doubled the amount to be allocated to both NGOs. Furthermore, Beiersdorf’s subsidiaries have made financial donations to provide immediate disaster relief in the COVID-19 pandemic according to local needs. By kicking off the partnership with Plan International, Beiersdorf is now also initiating its fourth pillar by providing mid- and long-term support to address the socioeconomic consequences of COVID-19.

Article and photo source:  https://www.beiersdorf.com/newsroom/press-releases/all-press-releases/2020/09/10-empowering-girls-beiersdorf-and-plan-international-kick-off-their-partnership