We at Bladex are committed to being a corporation socially responsible. We understand that the concept of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) has evolved over time from just corporate philanthropy to become part of the corporate culture of the organizations, embedded in the way companies conduct their businesses and seek to impact in a positive way investors, employees, communities and not less important the environment.
I would like to focus today on the way Bladex is working to impact positively the communities where we conduct business with. It is our conviction that education is the base of sustainable development in any society, as education opens up opportunities for people to grow, and consequently improve their quality of life. Therefore, what better way to impact a community, than to provide support for continued education in the poorer neighborhoods? Committed to help in this direction we created our foundation “Fundacion Crece Lationamerica” (Growing Latin America Foundation) whose primary objective is to support the education of infants and youth in the poorest neighborhoods across Latin America.
I would like to add that we understand very well the growing importance of multi-sectorial partnerships as a way to lead the effort to accelerate social investment and changes that can result in sustainable development over time. Partnerships when well-coordinated can provide a faster and important impact for the communities.
In Panama, where our Headquarters is located, we have successfully applied the concept of multi-sectorial partnership, implementing a very successful alliance with the Panamanian Government, thru the Ministry of Education, and the “Order of the Dominican Nuns of the Presentation”. Together, we are offering education in one of the poorest and more violent neighborhoods in the country, “Curundum”. The Bank, through our foundation, has committed to build the infrastructure for a campus located in “Curundum”, and to develop volunteer programs, which together are impacting more than 500 students with ages varying from 4 to 17 years old. The Ministry of Education, on the other hand, provides faculty and student benefit programs, and the “Order of the Dominican Nuns” is responsible for the management of the campus, the implementation of the curriculum established for the different grades, and not less important to conduct community-based projects with the aim to develop principles and values.
Our experience in “Curundum” has consolidated our view that a multi-sectorial partnership, when well-coordinated and focused, can achieve positive and sustainable results for the benefit of our communities. We are very happy for this successful endeavor where government, civil society, and a business are leading the effort to provide a better and brighter future for the less-favored children in Panama.
I am looking forward to hearing from you.