Foundation stone laid for new SOS Children’s Village in Vietnam

Vorwerk Group Funds Building of SOS Children’s Village in Vietnam

Wuppertal, November 19, 2009 – The day is fast approaching when 140 children will move into a new SOS Children’s Village in Quy Nhon, Vietnam. Government officials from Bin Dinh district, representatives of SOS Children’s Villages from around the world and also of the main sponsor, Vorwerk, laid the foundation stone for the new SOS Children’s Village on November 18 in Quy Nhon. An SOS Children’s Village and a number of additional facilities are to be built on a plot of land some 448,000m2 in area. The village is scheduled for completion by 2011 and once they have all moved in, 14 SOS Children’s Village mothers, the Village Director and SOS staff will be on hand around the clock to care for the children living in the village’s 14 family houses.

The Wuppertal-based family owned company Vorwerk decided to mark its 125th anniversary in 2008 by building an SOS Children’s Village in Quy Nhon, Vietnam. “The well-being of children and families is something particularly close to our hearts,” says Anka Kast, a member of the Vorwerk owner family, who attended the ceremony. “Even in tough economic times, we view our sponsorship of SOS Children’s Villages as part of our special responsibility as a family owned company.” Ever since the Vorwerk Family Fund was set up in 2002, Vorwerk employees, sales advisers and the Executive Board have helped fund SOS Children’s Villages by making personal donations, organizing fundraising activities as well as the Vorwerk Family Cent initiative, through which employees contribute the odd cents on their monthly pay slip. After helping to fund SOS Children’s Villages in India and Costa Rica, Vorwerk has now pledged to raise a total of 800,000 euros to finance until the end of 2010 the building of the new Vietnamese SOS Children’s Village.

Vietnam is home to more than 85 million people and although it is naturally endowed with a good, subtropical climate and fertile soil, it is still one of the poorest countries in the world. That is why SOS Children’s Villages has been active in Vietnam since as far back as 1969. “On behalf of the 140 children who will soon be living in this SOS Children’s 2 Village, I would like to thank the Vorwerk Group for its generous gift. It will provide the children with the chance to grow up in a secure and caring family environment, to attend school, receive job training and ultimately take responsibility for their own lives,” says Helmut Kutin, President of SOS Children’s Villages.Even after the village is ready for occupation in early 2011, the Vorwerk Group will continue to support it by providing for the families living in the “Vorwerk houses”.

About Vorwerk

The Vorwerk & Co. KG family enterprise was founded in 1883. The holding company’s registered office is located in Wuppertal, Germany; the headquarters of the various divisions are in Wollerau, Switzerland (Divisions Kobold, Thermomix), Westlake, USA (Division JAFRA Cosmetics), Singapore (Division Lux Asia Pacific), Hamelin, Germany (Division Carpets) and Wuppertal (Division akf group, HECTAS Facility Services, Engineering).

At the head of the corporate group are Managing Partners Peter Oberegger and Walter Muyres. The other member of the Executive Board is Reiner Strecker. Vorwerk’s core business is the worldwide direct sale of high-quality products. Worldwide there are around 578,000 working with Vorwerk, of whom 30,000 are sales advisers in the business of selling household appliances and 526,000 working for JAFRA Cosmetics. Vorwerk generates a business volume of more than 2.4 billion euros a year (2008) and operates in 58 countries (2009).

About SOS Children’s Villages

Hermann Gmeiner founded SOS Children’s Villages in Austria in 1949. Ever since, the organization has been committed to providing a new home for orphans and to helping children, young people and young families to cope with their lives. More than 70,000 children and young people at present live in 500 SOS Children’s Villages and over 390 SOS youth facilities.

Protecting children is also the mission of the SOS Family Strengthening programs that enable families in need to build a solid foundation for their future. SOS projects, such as childcare facilities, schools, training centers, medical centers and small business ventures are naturally also available to the neighboring communities.

Helmut Kutin grew up in an SOS Children’s Village himself and has been President of SOS Children’s Villages since 1985. Hermann Gmeiner personally entrusted him with the building of the first SOS Children’s Village in Vietnam in 1968. This laid the foundations for the 13 villages and 40 associated facilities the organization now supports in Vietnam.