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02.09.2011

Ithuba Wild Coast College is being built with the support of Bank Austria

PRESS RELEASE Vienna, 2 September 2011
Ithuba Wild Coast College is being built with the support of Bank Austria
• Bank Austria, together with Graz University of Technology and Munich Technical University, is a cooperation partner for the school project in South Africa, initiated by Christoph Chorherr, a member of Austria’s Green Party
• At a ceremony on 1 September 2011, Willibald Cernko, CEO of UniCredit Bank Austria AG, sent a container filled with machinery, tools, consumable supplies and contributions in kind from companies which include Wiener Hafen, Würth, Obi/Sochor, Baumax, Makita and Libro on its way
• Third Ithuba assignment of Bank Austria employees at the beginning of November 2011:
16 Bank Austria employees provide on-site support and are building a workshop on the school grounds

The Ithuba Wild Coast College is an education centre for children and young people that is being built step by step near Port Edward in Eastern Cape Province, South Africa’s poorest region. Completion of the primary school will be followed by a Skills College with additional workshops – while continuing their education with the normal subjects, older children will therefore also have the opportunity for training in basic craftsmanship and the acquisition of certain skills, which will give them improved job prospects. Bank Austria and UniCredit Foundation are supporting the project with a significant financial contribution, and employees of Bank Austria are participating with voluntary work assignments in South Africa under the motto “build together, learn together”. Bank Austria enters a part of the two-week assignments as working hours, and the remainder is taken as holidays.

“We are very proud to be a cooperation partner in the Ithuba Project in South Africa”, says Willibald Cernko, CEO of Bank Austria. “In addition to the financial contribution from Bank Austria and UniCredit Foundation, over 50 employees have so far provided committed support through assignments in South Africa. We are supporting this project because it will offer disadvantaged children and young people an education, while giving employees of our company an opportunity to combine their expertise with practical aid at a local level. In this way the project has become a well of positive experience and it is a part of our social responsibility”.
 
November will see the third voluntary assignment of 16 Bank Austria employees in Ithuba, who will build a workshop on the school grounds. A delegation of representatives from companies which are contributing to the project was present when the container with machinery, tools, consumable supplies, relief supplies and contributions in kind from companies such as Wiener Hafen, Würth, Obi/Sochor, Baumax, Makita and Libro left Vienna for South Africa on 1 September.

The current status of the project
Since the beginning of 2011, two pre-school teachers have been preparing 30 children for primary school in one of the completed buildings. In January 2012 these children will move on to Grade 1 and about 30 new children will take their place in pre-school. The second classroom building will be completed by the end of 2011. The construction of a kitchen building will be accompanied by a constructed wetland. In 2012 priority will be given to construction of a separate pre-school building. For the years thereafter, the master plan calls for the construction of seven buildings for the primary school.


The master plan of architect Markus Dobmeier
 


Enquiries: Bank Austria Media Relations Austria
 Matthias Raftl, tel. +43 (0) 50505 52809;
 e-mail: matthias.raftl@unicreditgroup.at


A reproducible photo is available for download free of charge on Bank Austria’s website at www.bankaustria.at > Press > Images.