AkzoNobel backs humanitarian challenge

AkzoNobel is backing two adventurers in a Peugeot 205 to deliver medical aid to the elderly and educational supplies to the young in remote villages in the north-east of Morocco as part of the RAID Cross Challenge 2016.

The event, which starts from Paris on 11 April takes crews on a demanding 2,700km route across the desert and over rocky mountain terrain. For both driver, Christophe Paintendre, and co-driver, AkzoNobel’s Johan Rouchon, it will be the first time they will have undertaken such a challenge. Unlike a conventional rally raid, RAID Cross has no timed elements with the emphasis instead placed firmly on improving life for those in isolated and poor communities, and bringing together people from different cultures. Each day crews aim to reach two designated points, which include along the way to meet local people.

‘This is the first time AkzoNobel has been involved with the event, now in its ninth year,’ explained Johan. ‘We believe in making a positive difference to peoples’ lives and the RAID Cross expedition helps us promote AkzoNobel’s Human Cities initiative.’

Launched in 2014 Human Cities is a global humanitarian programme with six key goals to improve the quality of urban life, including the worldwide aim of connecting people and providing proper educational opportunities for the young.

The 11 day adventure boasts 40 teams in total and four Moroccan schools will benefit from the books, computers, educational games and uniforms transported along the route by the cars and support vehicles. Hygiene and healthcare supplies and equipment will also be delivered into communities to help the elderly. The challenge ends in Marrakech on 22 April.

Simon Parker, AkzoNobel’s managing director vehicle refinishes, concluded, ‘This expedition embodies many of the core values of our Human Cities initiative by reaching out to underprivileged communities. It’s also good to see our employees take up initiatives and challenges out of their personal comfort zone and I wish all the teams the very best of luck.’