17 March 2017

The HSBC Youth Opportunities Programme has helped nearly a million young people living in care or poverty or displaced by conflict or abuse.

The programme, formerly known as Future First, donated more than USD40 million to educational projects in 62 countries between 2006 and 2015, supporting about 953,000 young people.

The bank has committed a further USD9 million between 2016 and 2018 to the HSBC Youth Opportunities Programme to help marginalised young people realise their potential.

Education can make the difference between a lifetime of exclusion or becoming an active citizen

Among the organisations supported by the HSBC Youth Opportunities Programme is SOS Children’s Villages. The global charity builds and runs village communities, providing homes for children orphaned or abandoned due to civil war, poverty, natural disasters and pandemics so that they can grow up in a safe environment. The charity also runs day centres for children and young adults.

The SOS-Kinderdorf Berlin in Germany, for example, has a market garden where children and their families, many of whom are migrants or refugees, can get emotional support, meet other members of the community and develop their language skills. The centre also offers disadvantaged teenagers help in finding apprenticeship schemes so that they can ultimately find a job.

“Education can make the difference between a lifetime of exclusion or becoming an active citizen,” says Simon Etherington, Chief Executive, SOS Children’s Villages UK. “It paves the way to decent jobs, healthy livelihoods and opportunities that go hand in hand with sustainable development.”

This year HSBC is helping fund projects at SOS Children’s Villages at three locations in Germany as well as projects in Argentina, Bangladesh, Canada, France, The Gambia, Greece, India, Indonesia, Israel, Lebanon, Mauritius, Mexico, South Africa, the US and Vietnam.

The HSBC Youth Opportunities Programme is just one of a number of educational initiatives supported by the bank. HSBC also has partnerships with organisations including: JA Worldwide, which helps educate young people about money; the British Council, where the bank supports the Kids Read and China programmes; and Young Enterprise, which helps young people in the UK to acquire the entrepreneurial skills to start their own company and succeed in business.