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Roche and the Chocos Village Project in Peru: making a lasting difference to people’s lives


Roche supports rebuilding of Andean village devasted in earthquake in 2007

Today Roche gave a progress report on the reconstruction of Chocos, a village in the Peruvian Andes that was heavily affected by a devastating earthquake on 15 August 2007. After immediately sending emergency and first aid materials to the region, Roche decided to make a lasting difference by helping to reconstruct the destroyed village. The project is funded by Roche and by Re&Act, the Roche Employee Action and Charity Trust. Re&Act, Roche and the inhabitants of Chocos work together to provide the expertise needed to rebuild the village.

Many of the houses in the Andean village – including the school – had collapsed in the earthquake, leaving the inhabitants with no shelter or infrastructure. Accordingly there was an urgent need to re-establish at least basic living conditions. Since immediate post-earthquake aid focused on the densely populated coastal area, a village like Chocos, located 200 km south of Lima, could hardly expect to be given priority status. In its efforts to help the villagers rebuild their community, Roche is working with local authorities and partners who share the company’s commitment to long-term solutions and who are prepared to make appropriate contributions of their own. Since the start of the project, Roche has supported the construction of a dam that will aid economic and social recovery. The dam will substantially enhance quality of life in the village. Chocos’ inhabitants are given the skills, technical supervision and materials they need to rebuild their houses. By organising themselves efficiently, they were soon able to start restoring the local secondary school and adding extra classroom space. The villagers also built a roof for the community centre in Chocos. At present, they are making the mud bricks they will need to build houses under the supervision of specialists.

Roche’s Pharmaceuticals and Diagnostics affiliates in Peru liaised to help the people of Chocos. Over and above our primary role as an innovative healthcare business, Roche has a long tradition of supporting humanitarian projects in association with local organisations”, commented Miguel-Angel Marco, Country Manager of Roche Diagnostics. “Our aims are to provide material assistance, to work with the inhabitants of Chocos to rebuild the village, to ensure people get their homes back and to improve their future perspectives”.

Taking action: the Re&Act Roche Employee Action and Charity Trust
Activities at Chocos are supported both by company funds and by Roche’s Employee Action and Charity Trust, Re&Act. This trust was set up to support humanitarian and community rebuilding projects for ongoing programmes and as a long-term response to disasters. It capitalises on expertise and knowledge within the Roche organisation and allows employees to get involved in sustainable projects. For example it has raised nearly CHF 4 million through Roche’s AIDS Walk, the annual event at which more than 10,000 employees collect money to support orphans in Malawi.
Vivian L. Beetle, secretary of the Re&Act Board of Trustees commented: “Rebuilding Chocos is a tangible example of how Roche and its employees want to support disaster relief projects in a focused and sustainable way. Roche is glad to make a difference through Re&Act”.


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