― A program to teach the importance of water to children in Vietnam ―
― Classes held in four cities in 2017, including Ben Tre in Mekong Region ―
Suntory Holdings Limited expands its educational program, Suntory Mizuiku, in Vietnam to include the city of Ben Tre in the Mekong Region. This program, aimed to teach the importance of water to children, began on March 22 (Wed) * for the year 2017.
*March 22 is the World Water Day established by the United Nations.
Under the corporate tagline of "Follow Your Nature", Suntory Group has been implementing various environmental protection activities including "Natural Water Sanctuaries" to protect and cultivate the forests that nurture groundwater. In Japan, beginning in 2004, the group has been providing Suntory Mizuiku - education program for nature and water, to give children an opportunity to become aware of the importance of water and the forests. A large number of participants have given positive feedback for the program each year, and the number of participants in Japan surpassed 127,000 by the end of 2016.
Further, as Suntory Group's business activities expand globally, we wish to promote our environmental activities in the world as well. Since Suntory Mizuiku has been supported by many parents and teachers in Japan, we launched the program in Hanoi, Vietnam, from March 2015. In collaboration with group company Suntory PepsiCo Vietnam Beverage (SPVB), we have been providing an education program customized for Vietnam. This program includes learning about our stance on conservation of water and water quality through SPVB factory visits, together with classes to teach the importance of water, hygiene managements and protection of water sources. The program was expanded to the cities of Ho Chi Minh and Bac Ninh in 2016, covering a total of nearly 5,000 children at elementary schools in three cities until now. Additionally, we supported the renovation and installment of water facilities, such as toilets and washrooms, at participating elementary schools in order to help improve the hygienic environment of the children. Students and teachers participating in this program have given positive feedback, saying that they were able to experience the importance of water, and it has also been highly regarded by local authorities.
We have decided to roll out Suntory Mizuiku in the city of Ben Tre in the Mekong Region, to promote understanding about the importance of water among more children in Vietnam. In 2017, this program will be provided to approximately 4,500 students (from the third to fifth grade) at a total of 30 elementary schools in four cities.