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Hydro supports kids in Iran

August 24, 2005, 16:00 CEST

Hydro is helping cultivate hope by its support of a new childrens center in the disaster-stricken city of Bam, Iran. Hydro representatives, including country general manager, Torgeir Kydland, attended the center's recent opening ceremony.

Bam captured the world’s attention in late 2003 when hit by a devastating earthquake, killing some 26,000 people and leaving the ancient city – largely built out of adobe - in ruins. Hydro immediately responded by providing emergency relief packages.

The "Bam Child Home" features both recreational and training facilities, including a library, amphitheatre, and courses in computer operation, music, photography, etc. Kids from four to 18 benefit from the facilities. A total of 12 young instructors from Bam are employed at the center.

"This is very small contribution to the reconstruction and rehabilitation of Bam is very important to both our employees in Iran and to Hydro as a whole," says Kydland. "Our mission to contribute to a viable society applies to all aspects of business. Supporting the kids in Bam is just one way of showing our respect for the Iranian people."

The "Bam Child Home" is financed by Hydro and Statoil, with support from the Norwegian Embassy in Iran, and is operated by "Society for Protecting the Rights of the Child " (SPRC), an independent, non-profit NGO, established in 1994 by a group of teachers, writers, attorneys, and educators.

"What the SPRC does for the children in their country is impressive," Kydland comments.

Hydro was also represented at the opening ceremony on August 18 by Kydland’s wife, Inger Elizabeth Ellefsen, and Hydro’s human resources officer at the Teheran office, Farshad Nili. Statoil’s general manager in Iran, Olav Heigre, and the Norwegian embassy’s charge d’affaires, Vigdis Garborg, also took part in the event.

Among the invited guests were Bam city authorities, UNICEF’s representative in Bam, city sports organization officials, and others, including players on the "Bam Hope football team," who recently took part in the Norway Cup 2005 in Oslo.