News release: AkzoNobel and KidsRights support four educational projects as part of the International Children's Peace Prize

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| Source: Akzo Nobel NV

AMSTERDAM, Netherlands, Aug. 11, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- In 2013 the International Children's Peace Prize was awarded to the 16-year-old Pakistani girl Malala Yousafzai. She won the prize for standing up for girls' rights to an education, worldwide. The prize is accompanied by an award of EUR 100,000. This money is provided through AkzoNobel's Peace Fund and is for projects that are closely connected to the Children's Peace Prize winner's area of dedication.

The four projects that the AzkoNobel Peace Fund and KidsRights will consequently be supporting, are initiatives to foster education in four different parts of Pakistan - Khpal Kor Foundation, Roots for Equity/Sojhla for social change, the Primary Education Project, and Children First.

Khpal Kor Foundation is an organization that focuses on the education of vulnerable children and the promotion of children's rights in the Swat District, where Malala grew up.

The Primary Education Project (PEP) puts the emphasis on education for girls and education for everyone, without discrimination. Teacher training is also at the core of several programs. The organization concentrates wholly on the Sindh Province in Pakistan, where education falls short in many cases, particularly in the remote and poor areas.

Roots for Equity and Sojhla are jointly implementing the Ilm Mera Haql (Education is My Right) project. This project aims to increase awareness about girls' right to education, with a focus on the education of disadvantaged children in Pakistan's three large religious communities (Hindu, Christian and Muslim).

Children First operates in the Layyah District and Punjab Province, where many children work in the cotton industry. Aside from the scarcity of good schools, this is considered to be the most important reason why children do not go to school. It is possible to break out of this vicious circle by providing education. Three education and development centers will be set up where girls can learn.

"Education for young people is essential, for their own development and for the development of society as a whole," explains Marten Booisma, Member of the Executive Committee with responsibility for AkzoNobel's human resources and organizational development. "Without education there is no innovation and no progress. We are proud to support this initiative through the AkzoNobel Peace Fund together with our partner the KidsRights Foundation. Education is one of the most important pillars of our Human Cities initiative, through which we want to improve communities worldwide."

Marc Dullaert, Chairman and Founder of the Dutch KidsRights Foundation, says, "KidsRights is very pleased about AkzoNobel's involvement with the Children's Peace Prize. Thanks to this contribution KidsRights can support even more vulnerable children through local partners."

Every year the KidsRights Foundation organizes the award of the International Children's Peace Prize. The prize is presented to a child for his or her special dedication to children's rights worldwide. This November the International Children's Peace Prize will be awarded for the tenth time

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About AkzoNobel
AkzoNobel is a leading global paints and coatings company and a major producer of specialty chemicals. We supply industries and consumers worldwide with innovative products and are passionate about developing sustainable answers for our customers. Our portfolio includes well-known brands such as Dulux, Sikkens, International and Eka. Headquartered in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, we are consistently ranked as one of the leaders in the area of sustainability. With operations in more than 80 countries, our 50,000 people around the world are committed to delivering leading products and technologies to meet the growing demands of our fast-changing world.
For more information on Human Cities Initiative: www.akzonobel.com/aboutus/human_cities

About KidsRights
Every child has talents. Every child has dreams. KidsRights, based in the Netherlands, believes in a world where all children have access to their rights and are enabled to realise the great potential they have within them. KidsRights promotes the wellbeing of very vulnerable children across the world and advocates the realisation of their rights. KidsRights sees children as changemakers in this process. As Nobel Pecae Prize winner and patron of KidsRights Desmond Tutu says: "KidsRights seeks to give a voice to the voiceless."
www.kidsrights.nl

Not for publication - for more information

AkzoNobel Media Relations:
T 020 - 502 7833
E Media.relations@akzonobel.com
Contact person: Paul Thomas

KidsRights
T: +31 (0)20 343 9988
E: myrthe@kidsrights.nl
Contact person: Myrthe Geerts

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Information about the four projects

Khpal Kor Foundation is an organization that focuses on the education of vulnerable children and the promotion of children's rights in the Swat District, where Malala grew up. Malala was the speaker of the organization's Child Assembly, where she took her first steps towards becoming a children's rights activist. The organization has a boarding school-the Khpal Kor Model School & College-where over 1,900 children receive good quality education. In addition to the boarding school, Khpal Kor has a number of projects to promote and realize children's rights.

The Primary Education Project (PEP) puts the emphasis on education for girls and education for everyone, without discrimination. Teacher training is also at the core of several programs. The organization concentrates wholly on the Sindh Province in Pakistan, where education falls short in many cases, particularly in the remote and poor areas. KidsRights will give PEP support in expanding the Aflatoun program, which aims to supplement children's education with skills and knowledge about children's rights, sustainability and starting your own small business. The curriculum is put together and approved with the children. The children themselves are bringing about change in their living environment.

Roots for Equity and Sojhla are jointly implementing the Ilm Mera Haql (Education is My Right) project. This project aims to increase awareness about girls' right to education, with a focus on the education of disadvantaged children in Pakistan's three large religious communities (Hindu, Christian and Muslim). Children in minority groups are very often targets of discrimination and that is why they often do not go to school. The focus of this project is religion. If children are exposed to other religions, it can have an impact on their attitude in the future. A school will be founded in the three religious communities where children can have lessons for four hours a day, five days a week. The project enhances reading and writing skills and reinforces children's self-confidence, thus facilitating a move to formal education.

Children First operates in the Layyah District and Punjab Province, where many children are working in the cotton industry. Aside from the scarcity of good schools, this is considered to be the most important reason why children do not go to school. It is possible to break out of this vicious circle by providing education. Three education and development centers will be set up where girls can learn. The girls attend lessons given by trained teachers and can follow a curriculum that has been approved by the Ministry of Education. After a certain period there will be a review to establish whether the girls can move on to formal education. The project will also support 100 families through an income generating project in order to enable parents to look after their children and let them go to school.

AkzoNobel and KidsRights support four educational projects http://hugin.info/130660/R/1847630/644374.pdf
Photo Malala Yousafzai 1 http://hugin.info/130660/R/1847630/644400.jpg
Photo Malala Yousafzai 2 http://hugin.info/130660/R/1847630/644402.jpg

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