Lavazza, Italy’s leading coffee roaster continues to build on its partnership with Save the Children through the initiative “New Horizons: Empowering adolescents and youths in slums of urban Kolkata” aimed at combating social and economic marginalization and providing a better future to the youngsters from impoverished background in the city of Kolkata. This pilot project has stemmed from the strong relationship with the NGO and represents the first time that the Turin-based company has taken direct action in India.
The initiative – which was made possible also thanks to a contribution of coffee machines used for the training by WEGA – took place between October 30th and November 4th in Kolkata. Lavazza and Save the Children aspire to offer the marginalized adolescents a new outlook on life. The goal is to aid children coming from situations of abuse and exploitation and help them enter the labor market through training for jobs suited to the restaurant and hotel sector.
The NGO selected 15 disadvantaged youngsters between 18 and 30 years of age to be offered training courses run by a Lavazza trainer from the Turin Training Center and then to receive advice from local professionals, as part of a process designed to introduce them to labor market.
“This initiative is further confirmation of Lavazza’s commitment to protecting children’s rights by offering young people new opportunities, for a future that lives up to their aspirations,” commented Mario Cerutti, Chief Institutional Relations & Sustainability Officer, Lavazza Group. “We are more than proud of our long partnership with Save the Children, since it lets us promote and support initiatives that truly improve the conditions of communities in the most disadvantaged areas of the country and offer them tools to build their own future. Coffee is our mission and we see an extraordinary opportunity in being able to share all of our expertise in this area, while also concretely laying the foundation to improve the lives of the young people who will participate in the project.”
“For many years now, Lavazza has been at Save the Children’s side supporting initiatives that help the most vulnerable children, but this project in particular is the most significant to-date. For a young person who is forced to live in extreme marginal conditions, engaging in a professional skills course such as this one provides an opportunity that truly makes the difference and can dramatically improve lives. In this sense, Lavazza for us is a private partner who not only has the vision of helping others, not only with financial resources but also by sharing their professional skills and competences, helping to build projects with a real sustainable impact,” says Valerio Neri, CEO of Save the Children Italy.
Social sustainability has always been one of the values that have guided Lavazza in all its activities in the countries throughout the world where the company operates. First through its non-profit Giuseppe and Pericle Lavazza Foundation and then directly, since 2001 Lavazza has been working alongside and supporting Save the Children through a number of projects in countries such as India, Ivory Coast and Myanmar, as well as providing emergency aid in Italy, Nepal and Haiti. Today, Lavazza has decided to make a step forward in the relationship between non-profit organization and donor and started working with Save the Children on an ongoing project capable of creating a long-term plan, including through the development of good sustainability practices adopted by the company.