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ArcelorMittal’s volunteers return to build in South Africa

March 26, 2012

Around 600 ArcelorMittal volunteers will go back to the site in Gauteng, South Africa, to build homes for low-income families. The volunteer group formed by the world’s top steelmaker worked there last year, when 600 people took part in building homes for 8 families. This year, 110 local volunteers will join efforts every day with 11 ArcelorMittal international volunteers, who take part in the ArcelorMittal Foundation Solidarity Holidays Programme.

The ArcelorMittal Foundation launched the Solidarity Holidays Programme in 2011 to offer ArcelorMittal employees the opportunity of spending part of their annual leave volunteering in a Foundation project overseas.

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“Working with Habitat for Humanity is the perfect way to help and support our communities. Amongst other things, our employees get to volunteer and contribute to the communities where they live and work – and where we, ArcelorMittal, are making a difference”, says Asier Marquina, ArcelorMittal Foundation Regional Manager for Africa and Western Europe.

For one week, ArcelorMittal volunteers will be building homes for low-income families from the Orange Farm in Gauteng. The construction process will start from scratch – from mixing mortar and laying bricks on the first day to putting up roofs on the last day.

Orange Farm is a township 45 kilometers South of Johannesburg. It started as an informal settlement in 1988 and was formally established in 1990. Today, it has almost a million residents. Most of them are on very low incomes, affected with AIDS, lack access to decent sanitation or water. Habitat South Africa has been working in the area since 1987. To date, it has served almost 1,000 families in the province.

Maggie Mopedi, Acting Manager, Corporate Social Investment at ArcelorMittal South Africa says it is gratifying that 10 more houses will be built for needy families in Orange Farm. To date, she adds, 26 houses have been built and as a Company we are humbled and equally proud that we have been a part of changing the lives of the families.

Mopedi said she is proud of the energy and drive shown by ArcelorMittal staff and their international colleagues. The camaraderie and comradeship makes the hard work so much easier and fun.

The ArcelorMittal Foundation has been a partner of Habitat for Humanity since 2008. The world’s top steelmaker has teamed up with Habitat to build and renovate hundreds of homes as well as to create a groundbreaking steel-framed model of a durable, safe and affordable home. In addition to that, ArcelorMittal has been sending its employees to volunteer at Habitat projects around the world, among other places, Mexico, Argentina, Trinidad and Tobago and Macedonia

About the ArcelorMittal Foundation
Created in 2007, the ArcelorMittal Foundation is a non-profit organisation focused on developing projects that benefit the communities in which ArcelorMittal is present. The ArcelorMittal Foundation operates in 30 countries.

Every year, the Foundation supports around 580 projects which are aimed at maximising the potential of each community, respecting their specific needs and empowering the local resources. Furthermore, the ArcelorMittal Foundation promotes entrepreneurship by helping people to develop their own talents.

Its main areas of activity are Education, Health and Community Development. The Foundation also has a standing commitment to offer immediate and urgent help to communities affected by emergencies and promotes the participation of the ArcelorMittal employees in different social projects.
http://www.arcelormittal.com/corp/corporate-responsibility/arcelormittal-foundation

About Habitat for Humanity International
Habitat for Humanity International is a global nonprofit Christian housing organization that seeks to put God’s love into action by bringing people together to build homes, communities and hope. Since 1976, Habitat has served more than 500,000 families by building and improving homes; by advocating for fair and just housing policies; and by providing training and access to resources to help families improve their shelter conditions. An estimated 17,000 of these families are in Europe and Central Asia, where Habitat has been active since the mid-1990s. For more information, to donate or to volunteer, please visit www.habitateurope.org.