HCA NEWS Bikuben Foundation establishes HCA2005's legacy

The Bikuben Foundation establishes the humanitarian foundation HCA-abc Foundation to address illiteracy in the name of Hans Christian Andersen. The legacy of the Hans Christian Andersen 2005 bicentenary will be the improvement of life for children and young across the world.

By ms - H.C. Andersen 2005 - 05 April 2004

The 2005 Hans Christian Andersen bicentenary will be the largest Danish cultural project ever. The last preparations are under way, and the Bikuben Foundation is now ready to address the legacy of the Andersen bicentenary by unveiling its commitment to children of the Third World.

As exclusive private partner of the celebration of the bicentenary of Hans Christian Andersen, the Bikuben Foundation donates 80 million kroner to the bicentenary with the aim of creating a worthy legacy for the 2005 Andersen bicentenary.

The Bikuben Foundation establishes the HCA-abc Foundation with a donation of 10 million kroner, excluding administrative fees, in support of illiteracy programmes. The HCA-abc Foundation is to set up office in Copenhagen.

One billion illiterates
According to UNESCO's Institute of Statistics, there are more than one billion illiterate people worldwide whereof 15 percent are children. In a world increasingly dependant on communication, it is becoming more and more difficult to make a living and take part in society without being able to read and write. The Bikuben Foundation will establish the HCA-abc Foundation to help address one of the world's most pressing social problems.

Hans Christian Andersen is today one of the most translated and popular authors. His fairytales, novels and travel books are stories of universal value that speak to us no matter our creed, culture, faith, political observance, nationality or age. In order to reach this global audience with Andersen's inspiring message, the Bikuben Foundation has established the HCA-abc Foundation to help give children and the young across the world the chance to learn to read and write.

"Hans Christian Andersen is not simply to be honoured by a one-year world event only to be replaced by silence. Hans Christian Andersen is to live on in human memory as a poet and a man - an adventurous person, a lover of life and a storyteller - whose stories still inspire and reflect the promise of reading and writing," says Elvar Vinum, former Vice President of Danisco, and current Chairman of the Board of the HCA-abc Foundation, and continues: 

"With the aid of a patron, Hans Christian Andersen received an education and the gift of writing as well as literary and historical knowledge that enabled him to become the greatest author ever. Without mastering the skill of and writing he would never have been able to enrich the lives of millions of people with his wisdom and fairytales. As exclusive partner of the Hans Christian Andersen 2005 bicentenary, it is a natural undertaking for the Bikuben Foundation to establish a foundation to help children and the young who - just as Andersen himself - have few means in life and need aid to achieve their true potential. Many have asked what the Andersen celebration legacy will be. Will there be a new museum or a big theme park to honour Hans Christian Andersen? Instead of investing in bricks and mortar, the Bikuben Foundation seeks to invest in children and the young. Every human has the right to learn to read, the right to enter the world of literature - its realm of imagination, wisdom and history - and the right to knowledge and education to enhance their quality of life. Hand in hand with Hans Christian Andersen, the HCA-abc Foundation will help address the global issue of illiteracy and give children and the young across the world over the chance to learn to read and write," says Elvar Vinum. 

In the name of Andersen
The aim of the HCA-abc Foundation is to support current programmes and new initiatives addressing the problem of illiteracy among children and the young in developing counties. An agreement has been reached with the Hans Christian Andersen 2005 Foundation that all private companies branding the Hans Christian Andersen 2005 logo on commercial products must pay a royalty to the HCA-abc Foundation.

"The Hans Christian Andersen 2005 Foundation regards the HCA-abc Foundation as a fundamental aspect of the Hans Christian Andersen 2005 celebration. The establishment of the foundation will help enhance the interest in the bicentenary among the arts and the general public both in Denmark and internationally and thus widen the global scope of the event. The Hans Christian Andersen 2005 Foundation welcomes the generous initiative by the Bikuben Foundation and looks forward to a fruitful cooperation with the HCA-abc Foundation," says Secretary General of the Hans Christian Andersen 2005 Foundation Lars Seeberg.

The newly established HCA-abc Foundation is currently setting up operation. A board is to be appointed, a patron is to be found and partnerships are to be forged. The HCA-abc Foundation will initiate cooperation with a number of major humanitarian organisations and operators in their effort to address illiteracy among children and the young.

Business opportunities extended
The HCA-abc Foundation extends the opportunity to Danish and international business to take part in the official bicentenary and contribute to the funding of the Foundation. The idea of creating a humanitarian legacy for the bicentennial celebration came about very early in the process of organising the bicentenary. Numerous high-profile Danish and international companies have throughout the process expressed interest in collaborating with the HCA-abc Foundation, provided that their commitment to the foundation was publicised.

The already appointed and coming Hans Christian Andersen Ambassadors in Denmark and abroad will contribute to promoting public awareness of the HCA-abc Foundation. 

Within months, the HCA-abc Foundation will present the entire organisational structure and its board, patron and partners including aid agencies and other operators involved.