In the field
For a number of years there have been several joint activities between Scouts and aluminium industry representatives. Read about these community projects below.
World Youth Day 2005
The aluminium industry, represented by the German Aluminium Association (GDA), and the DPSG have contributed to World Youth Day 2005 with numerous joint activities and events. In addition to workshops and discussions, a 10-metre high aluminium cross was erected at a local Scout camp. In addition, 24-hour events were organised throughout Germany. These included renovating a kindergarten, creating public playgrounds and working in a nature reserve. Employees from GDA member companies and members of local Scout troops participated in the 24-hour events.
Scout camp in Düsseldorf
The starting point for the joint activities was an international camp on the banks of the Rhine on the Rheinwiesen in Düsseldorf from 16 to 21 August 2005. It was the largest camp at World Youth Day 2005, with well over 5,000 Scouts and Guides from 50 countries. The aluminium industry’s active involvement in World Youth Day was a continuation of the dialogue it is conducting with important groups in society under the motto “Aluminium for Future Generations”. GDA executive director Stefan Glimm explained why his branch of industry was involved in World Youth Day 2005: “The companies and employees of the German aluminium industry place great importance on business being conducted in a manner that is ecologically friendly, sustainable and socially responsible.” The aluminium industry therefore wanted to explain its basic aims and ideals in talks with stakeholders in society, such as the Church and young people. For Stephan Jentgens, the federal chairman of DPSG, (with over 90,000 members, it is the largest youth organisation in Germany) the cooperation with the aluminium industry is of an exemplary nature: “The main objectives of DPSG’s approach are maintaining a world for children and teenagers that is worth living in, and creating a fair distribution of resources worldwide. These objectives are in keeping with the principle of the companies and employees of the German aluminium industry conducting business in a sustainable and socially responsible manner. Thus, in specific projects and via social discourse we are striving jointly to shape a better world.”
Scouts cook with sun
Scouts at World Youth Day 2005 heated up water at their camp on the Rheinwiesen in Düsseldorf using environmentally friendly solar ovens that GDA had provided. The environmentally friendly ovens are mainly used in developing countries, where firewood is chiefly used for cooking because of a lack of fossil fuels. After World Youth Day, the solar ovens were shipped to the DPSG National Centre at Westernohe in the Westerwald region. There they have been put to permanent use at Germany’s largest camping site. GDA has been promoting the wider use of solar ovens for many years in order to contribute to the establishment of sustainable structures. For example, at the request of the Benedictine Abbey in Ndanda, Tanzania, GDA provided ten solar ovens in January 2005. According to the Benedictine Padre Klaus Braunreuter from Tanzania: “The solar ovens have meant that we have been able to prepare hot meals for our kindergartens and training centres in an economically and resource-saving manner.”
24-hr Activities - A good deed every day
In addition to the central events of World Youth Day 2005, there were 24-hour activities at numerous locations of the aluminium industry throughout Germany in which employees and local Scout groups carried out projects on a non-profit basis. The activities included the installation of benches in a nature reserve, laying out a barbecue site and building a complete new Scout camp. Other activities for the months following World Youth Day were also carried out by Alcan Singen, Alcan Packaging Tscheulin-Rothal and Trimet Aluminium together with the local Scout troop. In this way, the aluminium industry is demonstrating that companies’ responsibilities in social and ecological matters do not end at the factory gate or after World Youth Day.
Children’s party in Kelkheim
Together with the local DPSG troop, employees from Alcoa Fastening Systems (AFS) organised a children’s party with numerous attractions for the parishioners of St Franziskus in Kelkheim, Hessen. The children had loads of fun extinguishing candles with water pistols, throwing darts at balloons, testing their dexterity on a bicycle and feeling objects. Hungry little stomachs were filled with tasty bread on a stick that they baked in a yurt tent. In addition, the AFS management presented DPSG with a cash donation from Alcoa Foundation.
Scouts and alu-employees work magic
In Grevenbroich-Gustorf in the Rhineland, the Grevenbroich Süd and Deutschritter Gustorf Scout troops joined forces with employees from Hydro Grevenbroich’s foil-rolling plant in the grounds of the Zaubermühle (“Magic Mill”) day nursery. The company donated a new swing, water pipes and taps for sand and water play areas as well as materials for various improvements to the grounds. And of course there was no skimping on the barbecue for the participants afterwards, which was donated by the company’s caterer. Angelika Scherer, who runs the Zaubermühle nursery, was very pleased: “At first I didn’t know what was happening to us. Scouts and employees from Hydro were working for our day nursery even though they didn’t have any children of their own there. It’s great what the cooperation between the aluminium and Scout organisations have created for our children.”
Park benches with alu-sound wind chime
In Neuss near Düsseldorf, Scouts and apprentices from Hydro’s Rheinwerk aluminium smelter carried out a joint project. Together with children and teenagers from Neuss, they constructed seating made from aluminium sandwich elements at a public barbecue site, together with matching waste containers and a wind chime made from aluminium tubes. The Deputy Mayor of Neuss, Hannelore Staps, was present at the ceremony to hand over the benches and the wind chime to the town of Neuss. She was very pleased with the successful co-operation between the apprentices and the Scouts, and with all of the improvements for the people of Neuss.
Playground equipment for ‘Adventure Land’
Together with Scouts from Würselen, employees from Alunorf in Neuss, and committed parents installed new triple horizontal bars in the playground of the Abenteuerland (“Adventure Land”) day nursery in Neuss. “For the children it’s a great addition to the adventure activities we have to offer,” said Dagmar Hentschel, the delighted head of the centre. “I’m really impressed by the involvement of the young people, the parents and the employees from Alunorf.” The company donated the playground equipment. Friedrich Schüller from the Bardenberg Scout troop was also enthusiastic: “The children will have lots of fun with the new triple horizontal bars. It’s nice when one’s able to make a small contribution.”
“A wonderful gift for our children”
In Spellen, apprentices from Corus’s aluminium smelter in Voerde, and Scouts from the St Peter’s troop installed a sand and water unit in the grounds of the St Peter’s kindergarten. The unit was made in the apprentice workshop at Corus. Bärbel Neubauer, head of the St Peter’s kindergarten, was delighted: “Water is something that is highly fascinating. Being able to play around in sand and water allows the children to get to know their environment more closely. It’s a wonderful gift that the Scouts and the apprentices have given our children here.” And Simon Aholt, an apprentice at Corus Voerde said: “I think it’s great being able to lend a hand here. I can already see the children’s bright eyes when they are allowed to play with it.”
“Gift from Heaven”
In Kesselheim near Koblenz, employees of the local Corus rolling mill, and young people jointly renovated the St Martin’s Catholic Day Nursery, with which the company has been socially involved for many years. The practical work involved drying out damp areas, removing plaster, repairing damaged areas, plastering, painting, planting and lots more. Christiane Faber, who is in charge at St Martin’s, described the activities as a “gift from Heaven”. In addition to the actual improvements, the nursery head was impressed by the social involvement of the young people and that Corus and its employees had “taken on responsibility for people locally”.
Donation of another aluminium cross
Together with the Treuchtlingen Scout troop and guest Scouts from Italy, managers at Hermann Gutmann Werke AG and Gutmann Aluminiumdraht GmbH in Bavaria discussed sustainability in the management of a company. During a subsequent works visit, the company’s business model was critically scrutinised with respect to its relevance in practice. Employees of the company made a five metre high aluminium cross that was donated to the Treuchtlingen Scout troop. Like the one created by Padre Abraham that has now been erected at the DPSG National Centre in Westernohe, the cross is intended to act as a reminder of the successful co-operation between DPSG and the aluminium industry during World Youth Day 2005, as well as a joint avowal to sustainable development.