July 09, 2013 08:30 ET

DHL Express Helps Free The Children and Me to We Make the World a Smaller Place

- Canadian partnership improves lives of children and families; provides basic healthcare, medicines, school supplies and solar lamps across the globe

BRAMPTON, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - July 9, 2013) - If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together (African proverb). DHL Express, the world's leading logistics provider, is celebrating its first year as the official logistics partner of charities Free The Children and Me to We, a collaboration that puts this African Proverb into full action. By providing the charities with free shipping, storage and logistics support, DHL has allowed them to allocate 90 per cent of donations and funds to aid programming overseas, giving women and families additional income to raise healthy and educated children.

"For global charities like Free The Children and Me to We, logistics is a costly necessity, one where we as a company saw the opportunity to make an enormous difference in offering our services," says Greg Hewitt, President of DHL Express Canada Ltd. "Social responsibility today is about more than just writing a cheque; it is about using our expertise and reach as the world's largest logistics provider to help women, children and families aim for and achieve a better life."

Over the past year, DHL has worked with Free The Children to ship boxes full of toys, pencils, pens, crayons and notebooks to Kenya, Ecuador, Haiti, Nicaragua and India. With these donated school supplies, low-income parents are able to send their children to school - not having to choose between buying food or an education that one day may improve their lives. These supplies, many of which were donated by Canadian students who fundraise for "Adopt a Village" countries, significantly support underprivileged children, not only in the classroom, but personally as well, encouraging them to attend and enjoy school without the embarrassment that can come with not being able to afford school supplies.

To further support children and education, DHL has also shipped nearly 3,000 solar lamps to India, Kenya and Haiti, providing much-needed light in homes where they had been studying in the dark with the aid of a candle. As subsistence farmers, their families scrape by on a meager income, earning additional wages through labor-intensive activities, but they are still unable to afford basic lamps to light their often one-room homes.

Recognizing the need not only for education but for healthcare access, Free The Children also called on DHL to ship boxes full of health kits and medical supplies, which were sent to health clubs at local schools to educate kids on personal hygiene. These health clubs are run by teachers and Free The Children in-country staff and are visited regularly by volunteer doctors from Free The Children clinics. Many of the volunteer doctors also donate their own medical supplies to the clinics upon returning to their home countries, a process DHL manages from "door-to-door." As a result, community members are never turned away - giving the doctors and the clinics the ability to provide basic, but necessary healthcare and medicines to families who are unable to pay for these services.

"DHL's support has enabled Free The Children to connect Canadian students, concerned families and even media professionals with "Adopt a Village" countries," said Roxanne Joyal, co-CEO of Me to We. "We are so grateful for their assistance. This partnership is remarkable, because we are linking children and their families from different parts of the world and financial circumstances to each other, and are underscoring the importance of education, understanding and philanthropic spirit - values that make this world a better place."

DHL Express also supports the Me to We Artisans program. It has helped more than 500 Maasai Mamas in Kenya sell their traditional beadwork in Canada, allowing them to support their families. DHL Express ships 150 kilograms of Me to We products free of charge from Nairobi to Toronto biweekly. DHL Express shipped over 50,000 artisan pieces, and has saved the charitable initiative more than $84,000, which, in turn, is invested back into the Maasai communities for food, medicine, clothing and school fees.

The Free The Children/Me to We partnership is a DHL employee-driven initiative. In 2012, DHL employees used their global logistics expertise to log 1,176 volunteer hours with Free The Children. These include preparations for We Day, Free The Children's signature national youth empowerment event, and other initiatives, including We Scare Hunger, which saw employees collect and donate 1,160 pounds of food to local food banks, and donations that provided 400,000 litres of clean drinking water to "Adopt a Village" communities.

DHL - The Logistics company for the world

DHL is the global market leader in the logistics industry and "The Logistics company for the world". DHL commits its expertise in international express, air and ocean freight, road and rail transportation, contract logistics and international mail services to its customers. A global network composed of more than 220 countries and territories and about 285,000 employees worldwide offers customers superior service quality and local knowledge to satisfy their supply chain requirements. DHL accepts its social responsibility by supporting environmental protection, disaster management and education.

DHL is part of Deutsche Post DHL. The Group generated revenue of more than 55 billion Euros in 2012.

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