CBRE and Plan International launch partnership to help 135,000 children in Sierra Leone

CBRE, the world’s largest real estate services and investment firm, has joined forces with Plan International – a leading international children’s NGO, to help transform the lives of a generation of children and young people, particularly girls, in one of the poorest countries in the world.

Worldwide, 65 million girls are not allowed to go to school, and girls are often the most marginalised and at risk children. Educating girls not only dramatically improves their own life chances; it also has a major impact on their families and communities, and will ultimately help to break the cycle of poverty.

CBRE’s EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa) business is joining forces with Plan International as the lead corporate partner in a three year, €7.4 million international community investment programme to help provide an education to more than 135,000 children, particularly girls in Sierra Leone. CBRE has pledged to raise at least €850,000 through corporate and employee donations which will provide bursaries, create better school facilities, offer vocational training for female teachers and assistants, provide support for children with disabilities and improve the quality of teaching across 780 schools across five districts of Sierra Leone. The project is also supported through the UK Government’s international aid commitment which secures match funding on corporate pledges.

Despite it being a resource-rich country, there is a high level of national debt and poverty amongst Sierra Leone’s population. Child and maternal mortality rates are the highest in the world.

Maike Roettger, National Executive Director, Plan International in Germany, commented:

“CBRE have come on board at a crucial time when together we can make real inroads into improving access to quality education for girls in Sierra Leone. Girls are less likely to have enough to eat, get the medicine they need or simply survive than their brothers. By giving them a safe education we can help to remove common threats such as early marriage and childbirth, domestic slavery, violence and discrimination. This is an exciting new programme and we’ve been impressed by CBRE’s fast response and support.

Peter Schreppel, CEO, CBRE Germany, commented:

"Our new partnership with Plan International forms a central part of our responsible business commitments, and is focused on an area where we believe we can make a real difference. Tackling child poverty is key to realising the potential of millions of children growing up in Africa today, particularly girls. We are proud to be involved in such an important programme."

Sybil Bailor, Chief of Party, Girl’s Education Challenge Programme, Plan International in Sierra Leone, commented:

“This project will help marginalised girls access a quality education and create a better life for their families. Many children commence primary school, but girls in particular are unlikely to complete basic education. This is due to issues such as lack of family money, forced marriages, and early pregnancy. 73% of girls in Sierra Leone are no longer in school by the age of 8-9. We are very proud of this new partnership with CBRE and commend their commitment to helping realise the potential of these children.”

CBRE’s fundraising activities to support this project are already underway and will involve 27 countries across the EMEA region. This includes CBRE’s annual EMEA Charity Bike Ride, this year from Madrid, Spain to Lisbon, Portugal from 22 – 26 May 2014.

Name: Ashley Sweetland MBE, Corporate Responsibility – EMEA
Tel: +44(0)20 7182 3698

About Plan International

Plan International works at grassroots level with villages and their communities in 50 of the world's poorest countries, and has worked with local communities for over 75 years. Employing over 9,900 staff, Plan International have expert knowledge of the issues facing communities in the developing world, and the ways in which local people feel they should be tackled.

Plan International’s corporate partnership programme links people in 20 fundraising countries with children and families across the 50 countries where Plan is working. This ensures accountability, and ensures that behind every project there is the interest and the commitment of a large number of people across the world.

CBRE funding outcomes

CBRE funds will help improve the quality of education for 135,000 children in targeted schools, including 540 primary schools and 180 junior secondary schools. This will include a focus on helping 21,060 marginalised girls living in rural communities to stay in school in five of the most impoverished districts of Sierra Leone. Additionally, 2,125 children with disabilities will be identified and supported through enrolment in appropriate schooling through provision of sign language training, hearing aids, braille materials and adapting schools and classrooms. Vocational training will also be delivered to 550 secondary-age girls to enable them to become classroom assistants and teachers.



About CBRE Group, Inc.

CBRE Group, Inc. (NYSE:CBG), a Fortune 500 and S&P 500 company headquartered in Los Angeles, is the world’s largest commercial real estate services and investment firm (in terms of 2013 revenue). The Company has approximately 44,000 employees (excluding affiliates), and serves real estate owners, investors and occupiers through approximately 350 offices (excluding affiliates) worldwide. CBRE offers strategic advice and execution for property sales and leasing; corporate services; property, facilities and project management; mortgage banking; appraisal and valuation; development services; investment management; and research and consulting. Please visit our website at