Markus Wildi, Vice President of Corporate Development for Dow in Kuwait
The Dow Chemical Company was a premier benefactor of the Kuwait-America Foundation (KAF) “Enduring Support” gala dinner on March 6, 2011 in Washington, D.C. Hosted by His Excellency Ambassador Salem Al-Sabah, Ambassador of the State of Kuwait to the US, and Sheikha Rima Al-Sabah, The 2011 gala raised money for the United Services Organization (USO), specifically to support programs to provide rehabilitation programs for American military veterans and their families.
”Our support for the initiatives and bridge-building endeavors set forth by the Kuwait- America Foundation (KAF) is very important to Dow,” said Markus Wildi, Vice President of Corporate Development for Dow in Kuwait. “Being a part of this evening and helping to fund these worthy organizations supported by KAF resonates completely with Dow’s advocacy of empowerment via education, economic development and mutually-beneficial bilateral relationships between countries.”
Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski, co-hosts from MSNBC marquee news program, moderated the evening, which honored several personalities instrumental in supporting strong Kuwait-America partnerships, particularly in jointly solving key regional challenges. Former US President Bill Clinton was the keynote speaker for the event, highlighting the need for continued engagement and partnership between the Middle East and the US.
The $2.9 Million dollars raised will go directly to the United Service Organization (USO) - an organization dedicated to lifting the spirits of troops and their families. The USO Wounded Warriors’ goal is an initiative to raise $100 million to create a community of care from the point of injury on the battlefield to a warrior's return home. Under this program, in 2011, the USO will begin to build new USO centers at the Bethesda Naval, Maryland, and at Fort Belvoir, Virginia, to help heal the wounds of war and provide enduring support to those who have sacrificed for their country.
Special guests at the gala included Oscar-winning philanthropic actor Ben Affleck, who was honored with a humanitarian award for his dedication to the Wounded Warriors Program. Additional attendees at the event included the Ambassadors of the United Arab Emirates, and a number of US Government dignitaries, including the US Commerce Secretary Locke, Massachusetts Senator John Kerry and Arizona Senator John McCain.
Over the past seven years, the annual dinner supports causes ranging from assisting refugees to improving education, providing quality healthcare in emerging economies, fighting poverty, and protecting the environment. In 2010, the Kuwait-America Foundation raised over $2 million to benefit the Central Asia Institute and its mission to build schools and promote girls' education in remote regions of Pakistan and Afghanistan. Combined in 2008/2009, the organization raised over $3.4 million to benefit Conservation International in support of their efforts to harness nature as a solution to climate change, and to support charitable programs to reduce malaria in Africa.
As part of its commitment to supporting social and economic development in Kuwait and the Middle East North Africa region, Dow is proud to partner with a subsidiary of El Boutique Creative Group to support the en.v Initiative’, a leading program dedicated to social responsibility in the Arab World. Dow in Kuwait and en.v. recently announced the signing of a partnership agreement to support environmental programs in Kuwait.
Dow also supports the Lothan Youth Achievement Centre (LoYAC), a non-profit organization based in Kuwait. LoYAC caters to children and young community members between the ages of 13 and 27, promoting critical thinking, innovation, entrepreneurship, community service work, health awareness, environmental awareness, leadership and drama, music and performing arts. Also through its philanthropic arm, The Dow Chemical Company Foundation, Dow forged an alliance with Young Arab Leaders (YAL) in 2007, a partnership that nurtures YAL’s interest in promoting leadership, commerce and an entrepreneurial spirit in the Arab world.