Our Corporate Responsibility (CR) framework is directly related to our company mission of connecting people with water and energy. Partnerships like the one we have with Selavip International make the most of the expertise within our business and enable us to contribute in a meaningful way.
We recently spoke to Henri Thijssen, Managing Director at Selavip about his insights on their projects and how the partnership between Selavip and Aliaxis has grown over the years.
What is Selavip?
“Selavip is a non-governmental organisation (NGO) that supports housing projects for families living in poverty. When Selavip was founded in the 1970s, we focused on fighting for housing rights to defend the poor against forced evictions. This became a significant challenge in developing nations when cities began to grow rapidly.”
“Our support helps the poorest people embrace their future with dignity, from a stable home. Water and sanitation are central to this and we have focused on these needs in recent years. During this time, we have been working closely with Aliaxis to provide decent living conditions for families in different regions around the world.”
What part of the world do you work in?
“We support projects in Africa, Asia and Latin America. We are seeing the number of projects in India increasing rapidly, so it is a great advantage to have a partner like Aliaxis, which has a significant presence there. With dynamic and professional NGOs leading projects in India, there is a lot that we can achieve together.”
When did Aliaxis and Selavip start working together?
“We first partnered in 2012, when Aliaxis started supporting a couple of projects. The partnership has grown over time and we now work together on about four projects a year.”
Why does the partnership between Aliaxis and Selavip work so well?
“There is a clear overlap with our missions and a lot of confidence in the relationship between us. There is a great fit between what we do and what Aliaxis is supporting through its new Corporate Responsibility (CR) framework and vision.”
Which projects stand out for you personally?
“In 2013, Aliaxis supported a project in Surabaya, the second-largest urban area in Indonesia. Life can be extremely hard in a city like this. Providing good solutions for water and sanitation completely changes people’s lives in these urban environments.”
“This project in Surabaya focused on constructing collective water supply and sanitary facilities to improve health and hygiene. In addition to new infrastructure, training was also provided. In doing so, we made a huge difference in the lives of 50 families.”
What impact has the COVID-19 pandemic had on the projects?
“As with most sectors, there has been an impact while lockdown restrictions have been in place. Focus has shifted to health and medical support, so projects have been delayed and have needed more funding to overcome new obstacles.
“It is a wave that will eventually pass. Some places will recover sooner than others, but we are certainly seeing momentum build again.”
How have CR programmes changed in recent years?
“The business community has made good progress with its CR agenda. Companies increasingly want to do more than provide financial support – they want opportunities for their people to get involved. This is also the approach that Aliaxis is taking by making more time available for employees to help with projects.”
What do Aliaxis employees bring to the projects?
“Your professional knowledge and expertise are invaluable in these projects. Successfully resolving questions on design at the start of a project is so important and there are, of course, people at Aliaxis who are perfectly placed to help with this at a local level. Having highly skilled volunteers based in the countries where these projects are being carried out, makes the process very efficient.”
“On behalf of everyone at Selavip and the NGOs we work with around the world, I’d like to thank all of you who have been involved so far. I hope that we can continue this good work together and increase the positive impact we make in the communities that need us most.”