Rabobank Foundation bangs the gong to open stock market trading session together with Youth Sport Fund and Youth Cultural Fund
2014 is Rabobank Foundation’s anniversary year, celebrating the Rabobank social fund’s 40th birthday. On Tuesday March 4, 2014, managing director Pierre van Hedel of the Rabobank Foundation marked this milestone together with the Youth Sport Fund and Youth Cultural Fund by sounding the gong to open the day’s trading session on the Amsterdam stock exchange.
Rabobank can pride itself on a long history of corporate social responsibility. In 1974 it set up the Rabobank Foundation to provide financial aid to underprivileged groups both at home and abroad. ‘We’ve been investing in the self-reliance of people and organisations for the last forty years, taking as our point of departure the cooperative ideas of the Rabobank organisation’, said Foundation managing director Pierre van Hedel.
In the Netherlands, the Foundation supports civil society organisations active in boosting the economic participation and social involvement of people with disabilities and underprivileged youngsters. Since last year we have been paying particular attention to the theme of ‘children growing up in poverty’.
Van Hedel: ‘Combating poverty was long seen as part of our work in developing countries, where we provide poor farmers with access to credit and expertise to help their economic development. But in the Netherlands, too, poverty has unfortunately become a more pressing theme than ever. That’s the reason why we support various civil society initiatives to alleviate poverty and improve financial education. The Youth Sport Fund and Youth Cultural Fund are good examples.’’
Around 380,000 children in the Netherlands are currently growing up in poverty. Nearly half of them aren’t in a position to play sport or join a theatre, music or dance club. Simply because they can’t afford it. And it’s not just low-income families or households on benefits that apply to the Youth Sport Fund or Youth Culture Fund. In the current recession people are increasingly running into difficulties because they’ve lost their job or can’t sell their house. Their children shouldn’t be made to suffer. Van Hedel: ‘Rabobank is helping to increase the number of local Youth Sport and Cultural Funds in the Netherlands. Thanks to the cooperation between Rabobank, the Youth Sport Fund and the Youth Cultural Fund, more and more children are being given the chance to participate fully and actively in society.’