LONDON, March 15, 2010 – Leading London marketing and communications agency Ogilvy Group UK this week officially opened a brand-new secondary school it has built in Buikwe, Uganda.
Gloria Gibbons (left), global CEO of Ogilvy Healthworld, presided over the ceremony which was watched by local villagers with their children, charity representatives and Ogilvy employees.
Canary Wharf-based Ogilvy – whose clients include British Airways, Ford, Unilever and BT – has established an organisation called Many Ogilvy Hands to manage the whole project. Through Many Ogilvy Hands, the agency has entered into a five-year partnership with a number of charities working with communities around the world to develop educational programmes, medical centres and clean water supplies where they are needed most. As part of this arrangement, Ogilvy will be providing a significant amount of funding, time and resources to aid the project until at least 2014.
Construction began on the site in June 2009. So far four separate groups of ten Ogilvy volunteers have been out to Buikwe for a week at a time to assist with the building work. The volunteers have been drawn from all the Group's agencies – Ogilvy Advertising, OgilvyOne, OgilvyAction, Ogilvy PR, Ogilvy Healthworld, Neo@Ogilvy and Coley Porter Bell.
Video and photo diaries of the past 10 months' work are on the specially-created Many Ogilvy Hands website, www.manyogilvyhands.com.
In order to secure maximum value for the project, each employee pays for their own flights - in addition to reaching a minimum fundraising target of £1,000. The new facilities will cater to 138 secondary school students who currently have nowhere to go upon graduating from the primary school that already exists in the village. It is hoped that the school will eventually educate up to 600 kids at a time.
"We are all very grateful for the dedication, support and fund-raising from Ogilvy, which has helped put up this great building," said Paul Sematimba, Headmaster at the school. "It will be a centre for excellence for students from our community and surrounding area for many years to come."
"We're incredibly excited about having the opportunity to help these children gain access to a good education and ultimately a better future for them and their families," said Jenny McGregor, HR director for Ogilvy Group UK, who is just one of many Ogilvy employees currently sponsoring 38 primary school children in the village. "Crucially, we have entered into a long-term relationship with Buikwe and so that we can build stability and endurance into the educational programme. The work will continue long after today."
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