07/03/2013

Johannesburg school receives record donation after Volvo Trucks eBay auction



by Anders Vilhelmsson, Volvo Trucks

Volvo Trucks and Ducournau Transports will give the Star For Life non-profit organisation the largest donation ever made to a school included in its HIV preventive programme. The 150,000 euro donation represents all the proceeds from an eBay charity auction of the first new Volvo FH. Over the next six years, the money will fund Star For Life’s educational programmes at the Mpontsheng Secondary School in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Music, choir singing and 1000 dedicated students nearly brought the white marquee roof down during the hand over of the cheque to Star For Life, at the school located in the township Katlehong, outside of Johannesburg.

“I feel honoured and extremely happy. I strongly believe that Star For Life’s contribution will change the situation of our school,” says Green Ngogodo, principal at Mpontsheng. 

Star For Life is a non-profit organisation that aims to motivate young people to believe in their dreams and their future. They work to prevent HIV/AIDS and teen pregnancies among young students. HIV/AIDS is a massive problem in South Africa, with nearly 25 percent of the adult population infected.

Volvo Trucks’ sponsorship of Star For Life began in 2008, and has now expanded to include seventeen high schools. Before the launch of the new Volvo FH in September 2012, Volvo Trucks decided to auction off the very first series-manufactured truck on eBay. The winning bid was to be given in its entirety to a school within the Star For Life programme.

“I am very pleased to be able to help these children. Those of us who can must help others less fortunate. I hope the money will do a lot of good for the school,” says Jean-Pierre Ducournau, owner and founder of Ducournau Transports and winner of the eBay auction.

The money will be used by Star For Life to provide training and counselling, to award scholarships to students and to fund the construction of a new library, a resource that is lacking in many South African schools.

“The Star For Life programme has produced fantastic results. The students get better grades, there is less absenteeism, there are fewer teenage pregnancies and lower incidences of HIV,” says Anders Lindblad, chairman of the board of Star For Life. “I hope the result will be as good in Mpontsheng as it has been in the other schools where Volvo Trucks sponsors Star For Life.”

“For Volvo Trucks this is an opportunity to support concrete steps in the fight against one of the biggest health risks to young people in South Africa,” says Claes Nilsson, President of Volvo Trucks. “Donating the proceeds from the eBay auction of the first Volvo FH to Star For Life was a really easy decision.”

The formal handover of the donation took place at Mpontsheng Secondary School in Johannesburg on March 5.

Watch the Youtube film from the event at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b67M5W3G7os

About Star for Life
Star For Life is a non-profit organisation founded by the Swedish entrepreneur and philanthropist Dan Olsson. Since its start in 2005, 100,000 students from about a hundred schools in South Africa and Namibia have taken part in the Star For Life programme. The organisation works preventively against HIV/AIDS. Volvo Trucks started working together with Star For Life in 2008 and today sponsors 17 high schools throughout South Africa. Volvo Trucks has increased its involvement through the Skills For Life project, where Star For Life students can apply for apprenticeships at Volvo Trucks.

About the donor Jean-Pierre Ducournau
Age: 64
Family: Married to Thérèse, two sons.
Profession: Managing Director of holding company SA Ducournau Jean-Pierre et fils. Runs the company together with his sons Thierry, MD of Ducournau Transports, and Frédéric, MD of Ducournau Logistique.

About the eBay charity auction
The very first series-produced Volvo FH was sold via a charity auction on eBay in September 2012. Thirty-five bidders from the whole of Europe took part in the auction. The winning bid of 150,000 euros was submitted by Jean-Pierre Ducournau. All the proceeds from the auction have been donated to Star For Life, a unique educational programme that aims to stop the spread of HIV among young people in Southern Africa. 

March 7, 2013

For further information, please contact:
Anders Vilhelmsson, Volvo Trucks, phone +46 31 322 38 79, e-mail anders.vilhelmsson@volvo.com

Press release Star For Life
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