On April 17, 2014, Ambatovy received from the Executive Director of UNAIDS and Deputy Secretary General of the United Nations, Mr. Michel Sidibé, who is visiting Madagascar, a “Good Practice Award” for the Company’s commitment to the implementation of the national policy on HIV / AIDS in the work environment, and in the fight against stigma and discrimination in the workplace, in order to achieve the zero objective in Madagascar. The award ceremony took place at Ambatovy’s headquarters in Ankorondrano, Antananarivo. The event also enabled exchanges on the best practices and lessons learned from the private sector’s contribution to the national response in the fight against HIV/AIDS, especially in the work environment.
“Ambatovy is honoured to receive this award from UNAIDS in recognition of our efforts in the fight against HIV / AIDS. Ambatovy’s HIV / AIDS programs represent two of Ambatovy’s core values – respect for people and responsibility. We hope that our efforts in this area will serve as an example for other companies operating in Madagascar. We will continue sharing the lessons we have learned with our colleagues in the mining sector in the hope that, through collaboration, we can help prevent the spread of this devastating disease,” stated Ambatovy’s President, Mr. Mark Plamondon.
The fight against HIV / AIDS is an integral part of Ambatovy’s social commitment; actions are focused on raising awareness and providing education, promoting voluntary testing, and facilitating access to condoms. In this regard, Ambatovy undertakes regular awareness sessions for its employees and organizes voluntary testing and counseling sessions at least once a year. 90 peer educators, who are volunteer employees with specific HIV training, work with their colleagues to promote the messages of prevention, testing and treatment. Ambatovy educates over 3,000 employees per year about HIV/AIDS and has performed over 2,000 voluntary HIV tests since 2010.
In addition, Ambatovy conducts other HIV/AIDS programs for the communities neighbouring its operation sites, including establishing 10 “youth kiosks” and providing education & training to 200 local youth peer educators. The kiosks provide an opportunity to share knowledge on HIV / AIDS and other issues affecting local youth. Ambatovy also collaborates with governmental and private organizations to carry out the fight against HIV / AIDS in order to reach the main objective, contributing to maintaining the rate of HIV prevalence at below 1% for the population.
It should be noted that this honorary ceremony was attended by representatives from ONE, ILO, UNAIDS Madagascar, CECM (Coalition of citizen companies of Madagascar) and SE CNLS.