2013 in review: just add togetherness
The last twelve months marked a turning point for the Trafigura Foundation. Now in our sixth year, we consolidated much of the experience gained in recent times and really started to soar. In 2013, a year characterised by teamwork, we strengthened relationships on every level, within our own team, our partners, and the Trafigura staff. Here’s a round-up of what happened when we ‘just added vision’ last year.
Adding… to our ambitions
Around the world, our programmes and the scope of our activity echoed the pace and path of Trafigura’s business developments. We maintained the level of momentum we have achieved with our 30 or so partners worldwide. That meant we could renew commitments to long-term initiatives or, where we had seen a project through to its sustainable end, turn to new organisations. We welcomed four such programmes in 2013. Firstly, the Cherie Blair Foundation, which champions women entrepreneurs in the Palestinian Territories became a partner last year. Philippine-based Haligi ng Bata (HBI) also joined our fold, chosen for their income-generation and educational opportunities for marginalised communities. Closer to home, we tackled a different kind of exclusion, extending support to Geneva-based CERTIS, who help the long-term unemployed. We also teamed up with Bateau Genève, whose historic moored paddleboat provides a beacon of hope for adults in difficulty.
Adding… a new focus on women
During the course of 2013, we acted on a new strategic decision to promote a stronger role for women worldwide. In many societies, women’s opportunities are often stymied. With the right conditions, they can be real socio-economic drivers in their communities. We elected to support the Womanity Foundation, who seek to empower girls and women to shape their own future and accelerate progress in their societies. We also became inspired by an initiative from FXB International in the South of India (Tamil Nadu), who help women define projects for micro-businesses.
Adding… to our expertise
New in 2013 was our decision to invite contributions from external experts. These professional organisations are helping us identify new programmes for the coming months and years. We present their recommendations to local Trafigura offices and share with staff who may have a personal connection with the projects proposed. This new approach creates a sense of ownership for each programme that we get on board. Elsewhere, we strengthened our processes, reaping the rewards of optimised tools and methodologies for ourselves and our partners. This lead to better measurement processes, greater monitoring and more efficiencies for our NGO collaborators, all saving precious time, money and resources. Continuing this theme, we expanded our team, bringing on Programme Manager Muriel Guigue, who complements our skill-set with programme management expertise and development sector insights.
Adding… to our amazing Charity Committees
Twelve fully-fledged Charity Committees on four continents show that the Foundation’s philosophy is truly embedded in Trafigura’s corporate culture. The Foundation encourages the Charity Committees, validates the organisations they support, and also activates the ‘Matching Funds’ scheme each time money is raised. As you’ll see, each Committee buzzes with vital energy, driven by the motivation of staff who are compelled to change lives in their local communities.
Adding... to best practice
The Trafigura Foundation is keen to share its knowledge and equally eager to learn from other corporations and think-tanks. The Foundation is a member of several umbrella organisations, which allows us to interact with peers and keep abreast of latest trends and best practice in the field of philanthropy. In 2013 we attended and actively participated in the annual meeting of the European Venture Philanthropy Association (EVPA), of which we are also a member. These events are an opportunity to learn and to shape the agenda for the future of philanthropy at the European level. In November, Eric de Turckheim, Chairman of the Foundation’s Board, participated in a high-level panel on corporate venture philanthropy at the EVPA congress in Geneva, the largest of its kind in Europe.
“With such a fantastic year behind us, we are sailing into 2014 with great confidence. Many exciting things are underway among your local Charity Committees and, at the Foundation, we are looking forward to working with new and current partners. I will be bringing you more news of all these activities as we continue improving the welfare of communities close to Trafigura’s operations.”
VINCENT FABER, TRAFIGURA FOUNDATION, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR