13 JANUARY 2007
  Mitsubishi Motors Corporation’s (MMC) motorsport arm MMSP is providing crucial financial assistance to three African charity and relief agencies.

MMSP is actively involved in support for Actions Dakar, a partnership between the Dakar Rally organisers and SOS Sahel International France, and also provides direct financial assistance to SOS Sahel and the Repsol-supported Dakar Solidario Foundation to enable these charity organisations to continue work on a number of crucial African projects.

SOS Sahel operates across the Sahel region of Africa, from Sénégal, Gambia and Guinée Bissau in the west, through the vast open expanses of Niger and Tchad and through to the eastern coastlines of Eritria, Ethiopia and Djibouti. Over 150 million people live in this Sahara region.

SOS Sahel projects are diverse and wide-ranging. Actions Dakar projects, for example, include forest preservation in remote Sénégalese villages, tree plantation, dune fixation, environmental education in schools and the fight against soil erosion in agricultural regions.

"Last year we were involved in supporting an agency specialising in cardiosurgery for children and we decided to link ourselves to the ASO organisation (the official organizers of the Dakar Rally) this year through Actions Dakar and SOS Sahel," said MMSP’s Managing and Sporting Director Dominique Serieys.

"We came forward with financial backing to support people living in remote villages in Africa. The Solidario Foundation is linked to our sponsor Repsol and they delivery many tonnes of medical supplies and crucial medical equipment, such as incubators and kidney dialysis machines, to Mauritanian hospitals in places like Noukachott, Atar and Ayoun-el-Atrous.

"We began to support African aid agencies several years ago," added Serieys. "We provided a water pump machine and last year we funded heart operations for five African children. But now we have spread our support to a wider field.

"This is something that we want to continue and, hopefully, expand in the future. We would like all divisions of Mitsubishi Motors to become involved in these ventures. We are not just coming to Africa and passing through without taking notice of the needs and requirements of the region."

The humanitarian programs of Actions Dakar came about in 2002 through the attention of Patrice Clerc, President of the Amaury Sport Organisation (ASO). He agreed that the ASO should join forces with NGO SOS Sahel to create a humanitarian program linked to the legendary African motorsport event.

In the past four years the partnership has completed a number of crucial short-term projects in West Africa. Nearly half a million trees have been planted, six dunes have been fixed, 3,300 families now benefit from garbage collection, 2,600 people have been trained in natural resources management and 53,000 people have been trained in good environmental practices. The list goes on.

MMSP is also supporting the direct ventures of SOS Sahel, specifically in Burkina Faso, Niger, Mali, Mauritania and Sénégal.


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