C&A Foundation is extending its support to refugees by strengthening the local giving schemes in C&A retail countries within Europe. The Foundation has earmarked EUR 1 million to help make meaningful donations to local organisations capable of providing rapid aid to refugee families. “Europe is experiencing a humanitarian emergency of tremendous magnitude – right where we live and work. We want to do more to help these vulnerable people coming to our communities, giving them a hand up to help them get back on their feet and regain their dignity", explains Leslie Johnston, Executive Director of C&A Foundation.
C&A employees are part of the local communities and know exactly where specific help is needed most. Therefore, each C&A retail organisation will be able to submit funding proposals for local organisations that support refugee families. A special focus will be given to those countries most severely affected by the influx of refugees, such as Germany, France, Austria, Italy, Hungary, Croatia, Serbia and Turkey. “Throughout our long history, C&A has always been deeply committed to the welfare of families and our society", adds Jeffrey Hogue, Chief Sustainability Officer C&A Global and C&A Foundation board member. “We have a strong track record of support to local communities and have worked with organisations helping refugees in the past. Now, we want to intensify our efforts as we expect that the need for locally based support will continue to grow with the current European migrant crisis, particularly with the onset of winter."
This latest initiative compliments the ongoing efforts of C&A Foundation and C&A to support refugees. Through their 3-year, multi-million Euro partnership with Save the Children, C&A Foundation and C&A are supporting mothers and children in humanitarian crises and the work with refugees has been a cornerstone of the programme. For example, one of the projects has been helping to empower Syrian women with a fund of EUR 500,000 to provide access to skills training so they can start their own income-generating initiatives. Another project in Sicily is supported with EUR 200,000 aimed to create child-friendly spaces to play, socialize and recover a sense of normalcy following traumatic experiences. In Serbia the C&A Foundation provided Save the Children with seed funding of EUR 50,000 to respond quickly to help refugees on their way to north Europe.
Beyond that, C&A Foundation also donated EUR 100,000 to the campaign “Wir Helfen" (We Help) by the Axel-Springer publishing house in Germany, as part of the “Ein Herz für Kinder" (A Heart for Children) foundation. Over the past years, C&A Foundation has supported many local charities helping refugees through its annual giving campaign. C&A Foundation and C&A are convinced that joint efforts are needed to cope with the refugee crisis and will continue to work through its partners and retail businesses to support communities.