Around the world, we engage with a large number of projects in the vicinity of our business locations. Our main focus here is on education and research. In addition, we support a variety of initiatives relating to safety, environmental protection, health and social affairs, as well as a variety of cultural projects. Cross-regional involvement is managed by our Corporate Centre in Munich, while local measures are coordinated on site by our employees. In 2017, we made funding available around the world of about EUR 6.7 m for some 200 projects and initiatives, donating approximately EUR 2.1 m. As a result of our social engagement in the year under review, we were able to reach around 960,000 children, school pupils and students. Our employees also demonstrate their engagement with society by carrying out voluntary work. In 2017, we supported around 1,000 of our staff around the world in their endeavours: for example, by granting them time off work.
At our Corporate Centre in Munich, we support two flagship projects. Since the foundation in 2004 of the Carl von Linde Academy at the Technical University of Munich, which we made possible with foundation capital of EUR 8 m, around 25,000 students have taken part in the courses it provides. The Academy offers prospective engineers, scientists and doctors the opportunity to acquire additional qualifications which complement their core subjects, covering areas such as business ethics and risks associated with innovation. As a founding member of the Deutsches Museum Future Initiative, by 2018 Linde had provided funding totalling EUR 5 m to support the modernisation of the largest technology museum in the world. In 2017, a special exhibition entitled "energy.transitions" opened at the Deutsches Museum in Munich. Linde is the main sponsor of this exhibition.
In the various countries in which our subsidiaries operate, we have also been involved during the reporting year in numerous other projects. We select these projects on the basis of how closely they correlate with our core business and with key topics for our Group, such as safety and health.
We provided funds for disaster relief in 2017 in several regions of the world: for example, for hurricane victims in the United States. During the reporting year, we also launched our first global fundraising campaign. With around EUR 95,000, the Group and its employees supported the setting up of a drinking water network and health and education programmes to improve the living conditions of people in Somalia.