HSBC has pledged an additional US$15 million over five years to extend Future First, the Group’s flagship global education programme that aims to tackle child poverty through education projects. US$5 million will be allocated to SOS Children, for projects worldwide including those in Africa. Future First was started by HSBC in 2006 and has since provided some of the world’s most marginalised and impoverished young people with access to education and life skills, as well as a brighter, better future.
Over the last 4 years, through the US$10 million Future First programme, HSBC has invested US$5 million for 173 SOS Children projects, in 38 countries, with 306,069 beneficiaries. This has delivered vital support to street children, children in care and orphans. Once again, HSBC has chosen SOS Children as its key partner for the Future First Education Programme, part of its commitment to community investment. The programme is expanding its scope to include many more African countries. In recognition of the mutual aim of sustainable projects, HSBC has also agreed to increase the per project funding to USD 50K per year.
At the re-launch of the programme in New Delhi on Friday 2 March, HSBC Chairman Douglas Flint was pleased to confirm the renewal of the major partnership with SOS Children receiving US$5 million in projects worldwide over the next 5 years. Simon Martin, Head of Group Corporate Sustainability, said, “From our excellent experience partnering with SOS Children over the previous 4 years and their extensive footprint in so many countries, they were our clear choice for an additional long term sustainable project. Their work not only in providing a safe environment for orphans but their outreach work in challenging environments has life-changing impacts.” Douglas Flint, HSBC Group Chairman, in New Delhi to announce the new funding, said: “In a world of great change and uncertainty I firmly believe that education is uniquely powerful in reducing poverty and changing lives – and is a fundamental prerequisite to economic development."
Future First works in partnership with NGOs in countries where HSBC has a presence, funding individual projects selected through an annual bidding process conducted by HSBC Country Coordinators globally. Coordinators collaborate with local NGOs to develop a funding submission for a local project that supports at-risk children, submitting applications to the programme secretariat based in Mumbai, India.
SOS Children has been providing a family for life for children who have lost their parents through conflict, famine, natural disaster, disease and poverty since 1949. Over 78,000 orphaned or abandoned children are cared for by SOS mothers in clusters of family homes in 508 unique Children's Villages, in 124 countries around the world. A further million benefit from SOS Children's outreach support which includes education, vocational training, medical care and community development programmes.