What do a research laboratory in London, a school in Egypt, a centre for sick children in Mexico, and Hong Kong’s largest nature reserve have in common?
The answer is that all have benefitted from HSBC’s 150 community fund.
HSBC set up the three-year USD150 million fund in 2015 to thank communities, shareholders and customers for their support over the bank’s first century and a half in business. The fund makes donations to charities and community projects, with a particular focus on those relating to children and education, medical welfare and research, and the environment and wildlife.
Nearly three years on, more than USD130 million has been given out. Some 190 projects have received support, helping to improve people’s lives around the world.
This video explores how a grant to WWF-Hong Kong is helping people with special needs enjoy access to nature, for example. New paths and walkways have made it easier for people who use wheelchairs to explore the Mai Po Nature Reserve. Specially trained guides help blind and visually impaired people to experience the scents and sounds of the wetlands, while interactive exhibits with model animals let them get a feel for the local wildlife.
Carrie, an HSBC employee who volunteers at the reserve, says the project “not only offers people with special needs a unique access to nature, it also reminds us how precious nature is and how we should cherish it”.
Other projects that have received support from the 150 community fund include:
A biomedical research facility in London for scientists aiming to find new treatment for illnesses such as cancer, heart and lung disease, HIV and malaria (see picture, right)
A charity providing mental health services for vulnerable people in rural Australia
An organisation in Mexico that provides support to young people with cancer and to their families
The broad range of countries and territories covered by the fund reflects HSBC’s extensive international network. Local HSBC executives have helped ensure that funding addresses local needs and priorities. In addition to the above, other programmes that have received support aim to: broaden access to education for young people from indigenous communities in Canada; encourage school pupils in South Korea to develop entrepreneurial skills; teach children to read in Bangladesh; protect marine wildlife in Indonesia, and support young lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) students in the US who might otherwise be unable to complete their higher education.
The 150 community fund supplements HSBC’s existing donations to and partnerships with charitable organisations. The bank gave a total of USD137 million to charities and non-profit organisations in 2016.
In addition to providing financial support, HSBC encourages its employees to get involved in their community by volunteering. Collectively, employees volunteered for 255,000 working hours in 2016.