Land Rover’s partnership with the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) is supporting World AIDS Day on 1 December 2011. The partnership forms part of an integrated approach to sustainability and the IFRC is one of Land Rover’s six Global Humanitarian & Conservation Partners within Land Rovers Our Planet.

In 2010, the IFRC and Land Rover launched a three-year partnership entitled ‘Reaching Vulnerable People Around the World’. Amongst numerous global projects, the initiative provides support for the Red Cross HIV programmes in South Africa, China and the Netherlands.

Children with parents suffering from HIV

South Africa is one of the countries worst affected by HIV.  One thousand people die everyday from AIDS related illnesses and 5.6 million have HIV.  In rural KwaZulu-Natal, one in seven people aged two and over are living with the disease. One in five children has lost one or both parents to the virus. This is one of the poorest regions of South Africa, people can be hours from the nearest clinic, and even farther from a hospital. Many have to stop working when they become sick and need to find new ways of providing for their families.

Together with Land Rover, the IFRC have helped over 240 orphans and vulnerable children with practical and emotional support in the last year, plus supporting 271 people living with HIV with home-based care. In addition, the programme has helped to share HIV prevention messages with more than 7,675 people, as well as providing orphans and vulnerable children a nutritious meal at the Red Cross Kids club, often their only meal of the day.

The global initiative has also stretched to the Far East, helping over 39,109 people affected by HIV / AIDS via the Red Cross Society of China in the past year. This included providing education and awareness information on how to prevent infection, as well as care, treatment and support for people living with HIV / AIDS and their families.

Over 354 homes received a visit from a Red Cross volunteer, who helped to provide support via family visits including assisting with anti-retro viral drug treatment and monitoring blood counts, so those affected can manage the virus and stay healthy.

Twenty-four of the most vulnerable households, with family members severely affected by HIV, received vital livelihood support from the Red Cross. This included a home-care package of food, essential household items and warm clothes delivered to their door. An additional 100 beneficiaries were reached in the first quarter of 2011, demonstrating the increasing impact that the programme is having in the target area.

Red Cross volunteers run a HIV/AIDS awareness event

Mark Cameron, Global Brand Extension Director for Land Rover said: “Land Rover is delighted that our all-terrain vehicles are able to reach and help those most vulnerable from around the world.

“We are extremely proud of our relationship with the world’s largest humanitarian network and all that they do – from emergency relief operations and assisting victims of disasters, to the daily development work undertaken by the individual National Societies.

“We recognise that health and community care in some parts of the world require additional support and we hope to match our vehicles’ ‘Go Anywhere’ capabilities in the provision of aid to those that require it most.”

Mark Astarita, Director of Fundraising at the British Red Cross added: “We are incredibly grateful for Land Rover’s commitment to our work in trying to combat HIV and AIDS. This terrible disease leaves children without parents, people too weak to work and communities without hope.

“We work with the Red Cross in countries such as South Africa to ensure that individuals can protect themselves and manage to rebuild their lives with our help, advice and support. Land Rover gives us the extra ability to reach even more people and change even more lives.”

Land Rover Netherlands and the Netherlands Red Cross (NLRC) allocated a donation of €20,000 to the project Children & HIV, as well as providing ten vehicles on loan. This project was the main theme of the 3FM action week in December 2010 and the concept consisted of three DJs being locked up in a glass house without food, playing music for the good cause. The event raised €7.1 million overall.