Van den Berg Roses wants to meet its social responsibility

At Van den Berg Roses, we’re not just trying to grow and sell the best roses and tulips in China, we also want to meet our social responsibility. Last November, we spent a day with some disabled children. It was in collaboration with ZY Foundation & Climb to Change a Life, who do exactly what they say: climbing to change a life.

The foundation was founded by Walter Lee. He named it after his son Zy, who was born with a malformed arm, no right leg and a deformed left leg. When Zy was 9 years old, Walter carried him on his back to the top of Mount Kilimanjaro. At the time, Zy was the first disabled child to reach the mountain top. Since then, Walter has considered it his calling to stimulate other disabled children and to help them achieve things they normally wouldn’t be able to do. He wants to show that a disability doesn’t need to stop people from doing things.

Last November, Van den Berg Roses got the opportunity to help a few disabled children experience an unforgettable day.

Our goal was the top of the so-called Western Hills, which are located west of Kunming. Each disabled child and its mother were assisted by two of our employees. That’s how, in teams of four, we climbed the Western Hills. I can tell you this: it was absolutely AMAZING. The happiness on the faces of the children, who can hardly, or not at all, walk by themselves, was unforgettable. Supported by us, and where needed, carried by us, they reached the top. We stayed there for a short break, while the children had something to eat and drink, and made drawings of their experience.

The idea behind these activities for disabled children is to create awareness, and to help the children realise their dreams and overcome their disability as well as the social barriers. In short: to try and make their youth as normal as possible and give them some of the same opportunities that children who aren’t disabled have. The activity only lasts one day, but the point is that afterwards, the children realise they can do more than they thought they could. Despite missing an arm or leg.

Whether it makes a real difference, remains to be seen. The character of the individual child also plays a role of course. Are they willing to make the effort or not? That’s something we can’t do much about, but at least we’re giving them something to build on. Personally, I’ve got to say I was deeply moved. Being able to contribute to an amazing experience for these children felt extremely rewarding.

Cok Harteveld,

General manager Van den Berg Roses

Here you can read more from Cok.


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