The Swiss watch manufacturer IWC Schaffhausen has opened two school buildings with a library in Roluos, Cambodia with the proceeds from the auction of a platinum IWC watch, which went under the hammer for CHF 173,000 in November 2013. The company has committed to give 1200 children access to a school education in the future. A new mobile library is also part of the joint efforts undertaken by IWC in conjunction with the Antoine de Saint-Exupéry Youth Foundation and the Sipar organization to combat illiteracy in the country.
In a country where almost two-thirds of the population is unable to read, 1200 children will benefit from an education and have a chance at a better future, all thanks to the efforts of IWC Schaffhausen. In order to give more people access to reading material, a new mobile library has also gone into service and will pay regular visits to many remote villages. IWC Schaffhausen and the Antoine de Saint-Exupéry Youth Foundation completed the project in just 6 months. One of the school buildings was renovated and the second was newly built. They were inaugurated in the presence of UNESCO representatives, local government officials, French deligates and representatives of the media.
Georges Kern, CEO of IWC Schaffhausen says “The Cambodian education system is short of teachers and specialist staff because the generation of thirty- to forty-year-olds is virtually non-existent. We take our social responsibility very seriously and believe that every human being is entitled to an education. We are especially grateful for this opportunity to contribute to the education of the youngest generation with the school and mobile library.”
IWC has honoured the memory of the great French writer and pilot with a series of limited Pilot’s Watch special editions, since teaming up with Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s descen- dants in 2006. As recently as November 2013, one of these unique timepieces came under the hammer at an auction held by Sotheby’s Geneva. IWC and the Antoine de Saint-Exupéry Youth Foundation used the proceeds to finance the school whose inauguration was celebrated last weekend.
Olivier d’Agay, great-nephew of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry and Director Saint-Exupéry – d’Agay Estate says “Without the support of strong partners like IWC Schaffhausen we could not possibly fulfil our mission. We liaise closely with Sipar,a non-governmental organization that has been working to combat illiteracy in Cambodia for the past 22 years and supports a wide range of school- and education-related initiatives here on the ground.”
Social commitment has always been a priority for IWC Schaffhausen, and CEO of IWC, Georges Kern says “We are deeply proud and honoured that our partnership with the descendants of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry helps to sustain his humanitarian philosophy and contributes to the education of young people.”