DEME's core project in 2015 was undoubtedly the support of the Abu Sultan Railway School situated in the southern governorate of Ismailia, close to the Suez Canal project site. DEME met the school staff and the children while executing the huge dredging project to deepen and enlarge the Suez Canal and decided to support the school renovation project. The renovation entailed the creation of a full playground for almost 500 children. The Foundation also supported the organisation of workshops for all the children in a new intercultural library.
DEME is supporting an important social employment project on its doorstep in Antwerp. The non-profit organisation 'De Steenschuit' is building a seagoing replica of the famous three-mast vessel 'BELGICA' that made the first Antarctic winter expedition ever, which was between 1897-1899 and led by Adrien de Gerlache. Some 500 unemployded people are constructing the replica of the historical ship and they are given education and training which gives them the opportunity to reintegrate into the community and potentially return to the labour market.
Another initiative concerning waste-free seas is the Ocean Cleanup Expedition organised by the Dutch non-profit organisation 'The Ocean Cleanup Foundation'. During the summer, a young DEME environmental engineer participated in this large, international expedition, which aimed to localise and catch plastic waste that groups together due to marine currents - the so-called 'plastic soup'.
The polarregions are of crucial importance for our entire planet. In daring expeditions, polar explorer Dixie Dansercoer has already traversed the ice caps several times while collecting scientific material. DEME shares Dixie's ambition to reduce mankind's environmental footprint and fully supports his missions.
To raise awareness of these crucial matters, Dixie organises regular trips to Spitsbergen. Another young DEME colleague joined him during one of his trips.
Entrepreneurs for Entrepreneurs - Congo
For the first time in 2015, the DEME4Life Foundation worked closely together with 'Entrepreneurs for Entrepreneurs'. DEME supported a training and eduction project in the Democratic Republic of Congo with a very positive outcome, in close cooperation with the Belgian NGO 'Via Don Bosco' and the local training centre Mazzarello.
In 2016, DEME4Life will extend and increase its support in the framework of the 10-year River Congo maintenance contract, working closely with Via Don Bosco.
Sister Jeanne Devos Fund for Children's Rights - India
DEME4Life supports the Indian fund of the Belgian sister Jeanny Devos in recognition of her struggle against child abuse and exploitation. The Foundation also sponsors the cleanup project 'Namma Beach-Namma Chennai' that works on environmental awareness and the SPEED Trust organisation that concentrates its education and economic development efforts on one of the biggest slum area in Chennai.