AkzoNobel and SOS Children's Villages Partner to Fight Youth Unemployment With the Power of Paint

Mar 2, 2017 8:05 AM ET

AMSTERDAM , March 2, 2017 ​/3BL Media/ - AkzoNobel and SOS Children's Villages are joining forces to use education and renovation to drive a positive impact on youth unemployment. The partnership aims to reach the young people of SOS Children's Villages with AkzoNobel's "Let's Colour" program and professional training through AkzoNobel's painter academies around the world. The partnership kicks off with three countries in 2017: Brazil, Nigeria and Indonesia.

In addition, the trained young painters will collaborate with AkzoNobel volunteers to renovate and improve the living spaces of SOS Children's Villages program participants.

Kei Heikkilä, Head of International Corporate Partnerships at SOS Children's Villages says: "We are delighted to welcome AkzoNobel as our new international corporate partner. Our experience at SOS Children's Villages shows that a collaborative approach actively contributes to the employability of young people coming from a disadvantaged background.Together with a partner like AkzoNobel, who has all the color expertise needed to make people's lives more colorful and inspiring, we help prepare young people for the job market and to lead independent lives."

Rainer Schmidt, Global Director Marketing Consumer at AkzoNobel's Decorative Paints business says: "We believe in the power of paint to uplift communities and make living spaces more fun, liveable and enjoyable. The partnership with SOS Children's Villages is a way to reach more communities with our Let's Colour program, which aims to help children and families in need, by improving their chances of independence through education and creating happy homes where they can flourish."

The partnership was announced today in Johannesburg at the launch of the youth employability initiative YouthCan!, together with Deutsche Post DHL Group and the Youth Career Initiative, among others. The YouthCan! initiative brings together AkzoNobel,  SOS Children's Villages, and other corporate organizations and partners to focus on creating opportunities for young people.

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About AkzoNobel
AkzoNobel creates everyday essentials to make people's lives more liveable and inspiring. As a leading global paints and coatings company and a major producer of specialty chemicals, we supply essential ingredients, essential protection and essential color to industries and consumers worldwide. Backed by a pioneering heritage, our innovative products and sustainable technologies are designed to meet the growing demands of our fast-changing planet, while making life easier. Headquartered in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, we have approximately 46,000 people in around 80 countries, while our portfolio includes well-known brands such as Dulux, Sikkens, International, Interpon and Eka. Consistently ranked as a leader in sustainability, we are dedicated to energizing cities and communities while creating a protected, colorful world where life is improved by what we do.

About Human Cities
AkzoNobel's Human Cities initiative is an active expression of our company purpose to create everyday essentials to make people's lives more liveable and inspiring. It's everything we do for and with society and is our commitment to improving, energizing and regenerating urban communities across the world. The initiative has helped to revitalize favelas in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, as well as creating jobs for young people in the UK. It is also making sport more accessible to young people and helping to restore historic landmarks, such as Burkill Hall in Singapore and the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

About SOS Children's Villages
SOS Children's Villages is the world's largest non-governmental organisation focused on supporting children without, or at risk of losing, parental care. The non-denominational organisation was founded in 1949 and today has a presence in 134 countries and territories, with a workforce of about 37,000 people. SOS Children's Villages runs more than 2,500 programmes directly reaching more than a million children and adults. It partners with donors, communities, governments and other organisations to reach the children who need support, and it advocates for governments to uphold their obligations with regard to child rights. More information on SOS Children's Villages can be found at www.sos-childrensvillages.org

AkzoNobel Media Relations
T:+31 (0)88 - 969 7833                                                               
E: media.relations@akzonobel.com
Contact: Mirjam Veenhof

SOS Children's Villages Media Relations
T: +447912070368
E: Joel.Feyerherm@sos-kd.org
Contact: Feyerherm Joel