Mission accomplished for AkzoNobel

Two adventurers in a Peugeot 205, supported by AkzoNobel, have successfully completed a humanitarian quest to deliver aid to remote villages in the north-east of Morocco.

The event, the RAID Cross Challenge 2016, started from Paris on 11 April and finished on 22 April. It took 40 crews on a demanding round trip of 6,000 km across France, Spain and Morocco’s desert sands and rocky mountain terrain.

The Challenge is not technically a race, there is no first-past-the-post reward; instead, RAID Cross places the emphasis on improving life for those in isolated and poor communities, and bringing together people from different cultures. Each day, crews aimed to reach two designated points and distribute educational and healthcare supplies into the communities they visited.

For the team of driver Christophe Paintendre and co-driver, AkzoNobel’s Johan Rouchon, it was the first time they had undertaken such a challenge. ‘AkzoNobel was keen to support us in RAID Cross as the company believes in making a positive difference to people’s lives through its Human Cities initiative,’ explained Johan. ‘Personally, it’s been immensely satisfying – although I was very relieved when we finally reached the finishing line in Marrakesh.’

Launched in 2014, Human Cities aims to improve the quality of urban life, including connecting people and providing educational opportunities for the young. This fits in with the RAID Cross aim of helping Moroccan people living in particularly difficult conditions of an arid climate, poverty and isolation. Four Moroccan schools have benefitted from this year’s event.

Simon Parker, managing director of AkzoNobel’s vehicle refinishes business said, ‘AkzoNobel is always looking for opportunities to expand the Human Cities initiative, particularly reaching out to communities in difficulty. It’s also great to see our employees challenging themselves in order to help others. I’m pleased to see Johan and Christophe achieve that – and to get to the finish line safely.’