Barclays Bank is committed to supporting communities in which it lives and works, according to Rania Hasanen, Community Relations Senior Manager. Daily News Egypt interviewed Hasanen to talk about the bank’s CSR activities.
What are the CSR projects or activities you provide?
The core of the community investment programme is the desire to support Egyptian youth. Last year, Barclays launched the “Barclays accelerator”,a competition which focuses on technology start-ups with a passion for innovation from all over the world. The winner is granted tools and equipment, such as access to our technology platform and facilities, plus support for start-ups to get their products or services to market.
Barclays supported the “Enactus competition”, which aims to enable youth to develop sustainable projects in their communities. Barclays committed an additional EGP 150,000 special prize to the winning team, in celebration of Barclays Egypt 150 years in Egypt. As part of our commitment to the Barclays founded CSR coalition with BEBA, Barclays took part in the “Support a Poor Village” initiative and the development of Saadna village in Beni Suef, by financing 16 small projects for income-generating activities for the residents of this village. We have supported women in Minya to establish a sewing workshop, 200 youth in Alexandria establish small income generating activities, and the “Ana w Nahno” project teaching life skills to children in Egyptian Schools.
How do you monitor and follow-up these projects?
Barclay’s community investment programme has established a set of criteria for monitoring and evaluation. This includes site visits, interviews with beneficiaries and key stakeholders in the community.
How much has been spent in these projects?
Barclays has invested over EGP 11m in 2013 and 2014, with a commitment of EGP 10m in 2015.
What are the successes and outcomes?
In 2014, Barclays reached out to thousands of young people through enterprise and employability. Through the community investment programme, Barclays Bank continued and forged partnerships and financed a number of local organisations and foundations to help reach our goal of helping people achieve their ambitions in the right way. Barclays Bank continued to support the Nurses Training Project to provide academic and practical training to 500 nurses in cooperation with Gozour Foundation and the Ministry of Health, where they will be employed by local hospitals upon their completion of the training.
At the heart of the community, the investment programme is the desire to engage our employees in community development projects. In 2014, 785 employees volunteered over 3,000 hours of their time and skills in communities. Barclays employees reached out to families in need through the “A time to give” campaign during Ramadan, where employees packaged and distributed 1,000 food packages and 1,000 fresh iftar meals.
As part of the “Make a Difference” campaign, Barclays Egypt employees participated in numerous activities in their local communities. The campaign focused on building the skills of youth in public schools and universities and sick children in the Children’s Cancer Hospital. Barclays also launched its Summer Internship Program (SIP) for the third consecutive year, providing university students a one-month training opportunity at Barclays to gain new experience and prepare for work in the banking sector. Priority was given to third and fourth year students.
Is the CSR funding excluded from the company tax or not?
Barclays donates up to 1% of profit after tax to community investment projects and programmes.