The Air Liquide Foundation has recently renewed its partnership with Agronomes et Vétérinaires Sans Frontières (AVSF), the 100th micro-initiative it has supported.
The AVSF program, in its 3rd year of sponsorship by the Air Liquide Foundation, focuses on developing beekeeping activities in the State of Rio Grande do Norte in Brazil. In this region, traditional agriculture does not produce much income. In addition, the local vegetation, the “caatinga,” composed of thorn bushes, is sensitive to desertification.
Beekeeping is one of the few activities the caatinga lends itself to, and AVSF is assisting the local peasant community by providing materials and skills for expanding this activity. Beekeeping becomes profitable very quickly, and in fact is able to put the local natural resources to good use without disturbing biodiversity, through the pollination of bees.
At this time, more than 500 beekeepers members of cooperatives have received training and equipment necessary for the production, transformation and storage of honey. Thanks to this new activity, begun three years ago, income in this community has already increased by more than 15%.
This partnership illustrates the Foundation’s commitment to the socio-economic development of local communities and the preservation of the environment.
Like all micro-initiatives supported by the Foundation, this one is led by a sponsor who is a volunteer employee of the Air Liquide Group. In this way the Foundation is also giving Air Liquide employees who would like to contribute to civic projects the opportunity to participate in organizing and following projects as they progress.
With a budget of €3 million over five years, the Air Liquide Foundation supports corporate philanthropy actions in three areas: scientific research for the preservation of the environment, scientific research for the improvement of the respiratory function and support for micro-initiatives for local development in the countries where the Group is present. Since its creation in 2008, the Air Liquide Foundation has supported 126 projects located in 36 countries.