December 7 2011

SOS Children's Villages receives 100th car on Chevrolet's 100th birthday

07/12/2011 – In November 2011 Chevrolet marked its 100-year anniversary in magical style with a host of special guests at a celebratory event in Rome, Italy. Master of Ceremonies, Italian actress and Bond girl, Maria Grazia Cucinotta, was the first to wish Chevrolet a 'Happy Birthday' as she welcomed children from SOS Children's Village Rome.


Photo: SOS Archive
Cartoon heroes celebrate with children in Uzbekistan - Photo: SOS Archives
100 birthday gifts given
Having announced at the start of 2011 that it would not be receiving birthday gifts but instead partnering with SOS Children's Villages and donating 100 cars, Chevrolet proudly handed over the final two vehicles, a Chevrolet Cruze and a Chevrolet Orlando, to SOS Children's Village Rome.

The initiative has increased the mobility of the children and their SOS parents as well as the ability of the social workers who run the SOS Family Strengthening Programs to visit disadvantaged families in the communities.

"The compact Cruze and the seven-seat Orlando, will be highly appreciated for many different initiatives at our village," said Paolo Contini, Director of SOS Children's Village Rome.
"The SOS mothers need to be mobile as they manage the same challenges of running a large household as other parents do. It is not always easy to use public transportation so mobility is absolutely crucial for us to be able to support our children," Contini explained.

"SOS Children's Villages have been helping children in need for almost as long as we have been selling cars. We are going to continue our partnership with SOS Children's Villages into 2012 and beyond. It's a fantastic organization," said Wayne Brannon, President and Managing Director of Chevrolet Europe.

Photo: SOS Archives
In total, Chevrolet provided 100 cars to SOS Children's Villages - Photo: SOS Archives

Lesotho, South Africa and Uzbekistan
Although the vehicle donation was originally a European initiative Chevrolet decided to extend their generosity to three countries outside of Europe, including Lesotho, South Africa and Uzbekistan.

The children of the SOS Children’s Village Tashkent in Uzbekistan enjoyed fun games with cartoon heroes on the birthday party that Chevrolet threw on the 2nd of November to hand over two Captivas. “We are pleased to support an independent organization that demonstrates commitment and dedication, both in their daily work and within the emergency program,” said Pamela Smith, Finance Director at General Motors Uzbekistan.  

The car handover in Lesotho on the 25th October 2011 was marked by traditional celebrations. The team bringing the vehicles into Lesotho arrived a little late, but the sight of three shiny white Chevrolets, proudly sporting their SOS Children’s Villages and Chevrolet branding, was enough to raise anyone’s spirits. Excitement had reached fever pitch as the school children of the village, the family strengthening programme and the surrounding community lined the road into the village.

This short film shows birthday celebrations in Lesotho - produced by William Kirley.