25 June 2008

CEMEX and SOS Children's Villages Partner to Provide Long-term Care for Orphans of the Indonesia Tsunami

CEMEX employee contributions build an entire village for more than 150 orphaned children

06/25/2008 - Today, CEMEX and SOS Children's Villages inaugurated a new children's village in Meulaboh (Indonesia), which will provide new homes for 150 children who lost their parents in the earthquake and tsunami that devastated the coasts of South East Asia in December 2004. It is estimated that more than 150,000 children were orphaned by this natural disaster. CEMEX with the help of 50,000 employees worldwide made a commitment to build homes and hope for some of these orphans. 

The inauguration was celebrated with an emotional event, filled with the smiles of the children and SOS trained mothers benefiting from these new facilities. Jaime Ruiz de Haro, head of CEMEX in South East Asia, attended the project's inauguration and spoke on behalf of the entire company. "Our company is proud to see the dreams of so many children come true."

Representatives from the SOS Village in Indonesia and the region, as well as authorities from the region of West Aceh, where the project is located were also present.  SOS Children's Villages is the world's largest organization dedicated to the long-term care of orphaned and abandoned children through 456 villages globally. The SOS family-based model of care provides for the holistic needs of a child - family, education and community support - essential for the successful transition from childhood into adulthood.

"In the first phase of a disaster, protecting children is the number one priority. However, the SOS focus is on long-term care," said Helmut Kutin, President, SOS Children’s Villages.  “We have built homes and families for orphaned children for over half a century.  We rely on generous donors like CEMEX to remember orphaned children long after the disaster, when hope for a new beginning is what they need - and the SOS Village at Meulaboh is a visible expression of this hope."

On a plot measuring 4.2 acres a total of 15 houses have been built in a village complex, located in the region of Aceh, one of the areas hit the hardest by the tsunami. The SOS Village also includes a medical clinic, a mosque, nursery, library, a music and computer room and a sports and recreational area, as well as other services. These facilities also will be used by the neighboring community.

Today, these 150 children, have the chance of recovering from the trauma of great loss. The SOS Village surrogate mothers have received psychological training to address these children’s special needs. The village will be supported financially for four years by CEMEX and its employees, and will be managed by SOS Children’s Villages.

CEMEX is a loyal supporter of SOS charitable initiatives to help the development of the most vulnerable communities, principally aimed at children, who will be the driving force of society in the future. Supporting these children's education forms part of the company's commitment to society, one of the essential values on which CEMEX is based.

CEMEX is a growing global building materials company that provides high quality products and reliable service to customers and communities in more than 50 countries throughout the world.  CEMEX has a rich history of improving the well-being of those it serves through its efforts to pursue innovative industry solutions and efficiency advancements and to promote a sustainable future.

About SOS Children's Villages
In existence since 1949, SOS Children’s Villages is the world's largest organization dedicated to the long-term care of orphaned and abandoned children. With 456 villages in more than 132 countries and territories, SOS offers a family-based village model that provides the holistic needs of a child - family, community, education and support - essential for the successful transition from childhood into adulthood.  Due to its ongoing humanitarian work in helping thousands of children, SOS Children’s Villages has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize 14 times and received the 2002 Conrad N. Hilton Humanitarian Prize.