What sort of work does the Bel Foundation do?
Bel Group launched the Bel Fondation in 2008 to broaden its corporate mission, which is to bring smiles to every family by supporting those who are in the greatest need—particularly children. The Bel Foundation is a testament to the Group's desire to engage in socially responsible and solidarity-based work over the long term. Our mission is to support initiatives that help children, with a particular focus on nutrition. We operate in a number of different regions to help find real and lasting solutions to child malnutrition, while remaining attentive to the specific needs of each community.
Our foundation also encourages Bel employees to get involved in different projects. Grants are given each year to employees involved in local projects to support children. These grants help them in their volunteering and community-service endeavors.
Why do you support AVSF?
The AVSF projects that we support tie in with our desire to assist associations working on the ground to create a new and lasting dynamic for the communities they serve. We decided to support AVSF because of the association's dedication to assisting families and its extensive knowledge of the local communities it serves. AVSF helps these communities gain greater independence and become the drivers of their own development.
How does your work with AVSF tie in with your mission?
The Bel Foundation first started working with AVSF to help prevent and eliminate malnutrition in Malian children between the ages of 0 and 5 living in nomadic areas north of Timbuktu. Over the past few years, we have supported the development of SMALL LOCAL DAIRY SUPPLY CHAINS IN HaIti and, since 2016, in southern Senegal.
In Haiti, we support four dairies belonging to the Let Agogo network, who have sought to become more professional and who produce, process and sell their products under the Let Agogo label (which, in creole, means 'milk in abundance'). The results are promising: one of the dairies has nearly doubled its milk production in just two years and has even started to sell Gouda cheese. In Senegal, we support five small dairy co-ops in the Casamance region. The goal is to promote the local dairy supply chain and help 224 livestock-farming families boost their milk production and income.
This initiative is perfectly in line with the Bel Foundation's mission, as it improves children's nutrition and provides families with greater access to local, high-quality products.
Interview by Isabelle Barnaud