Alto Chicama Commitment Brings Barrick CSR Partners Together in Peru
Alto Chicama Commitment Brings Barrick CSR Partners Together in Peru
(3BL Media) March 23, 2012 - Barrick unveiled a major corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiative Thursday that will bring together highly respected government and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) working with Barrick on sustainable development projects in Peru.
The Alto Chicama Commitment is a unique collaboration that will allow Barrick’s CSR partners working near its Lagunas Norte mine to leverage complementary aspects of their respective projects, maximizing long-term benefits for local communities. The initial partners in the initiative include: World Vision, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), the Sodexo Foundation, the BBVA Foundation, Wayra, the Apoyo Institute, the Alternative Farming Institute and Exporting Highlands.
Alfredo Anderson, CSR Manager for Barrick in Peru, described the cooperation envisioned under the Alto Chicama Commitment as the “second stage” of Barrick’s CSR partnership initiatives. “We have a critical mass of CSR partners in northern Peru,” he says. “But we have been working with our partners on a one-to-one basis, missing opportunities that having a lot of partners working on complementary projects was presenting. This initiative is designed to take advantage of those opportunities.”
Anderson highlighted several areas where there is room for collaboration between Barrick partners participating in the Alto Chicama Commitment. For instance, USAID’s Poverty Reduction and Alleviation Project helps farmers in Peru’s La Libertad region identify markets for their products, while World Vision is implementing a project in the same region that provides start-up loans to small farming operations. The two projects are complementary, Anderson notes, as the PRA Project can help farming operations funded by World Vision determine which products are in demand, as well as identify potential buyers for those products.
Similarly, there is room for cooperation between the two educational programs participating in the initiative: The Apoyo Institute’s “Mathematics for Everyone” program and the BBVA Foundation’s “Reading is Being Ahead” program. Both operate in La Libertad-area schools and, by sharing their expertise and resources, they can improve their capacity and deliver their programs more effectively, Anderson says.
One of Barrick’s primary roles in the Alto Chicama Commitment will be to act as a facilitator, ensuring its partners are aware of collaborative opportunities and communicate regularly, Anderson says. While the Alto Chicama Commitment is unique because of the cooperation between Barrick’s CSR partners in the public and private sector, it isn’t Barrick’s first multi-partner program. In Chile, the company’s Atacama Commitment has brought together eight Chilean NGOs, the UN Global Compact and a number of government partners to help alleviate poverty in the Atacama region near Barrick’s Pascua-Lama project. “The Alto Chicama Commitment certainly draws from the Atacama Commitment,” Anderson says. “These alliances are examples of how Barrick is striving to develop a multi-partner approach to ensure we maximize the benefits of mining in the communities and countries where we operate.”
PARTNERS AND PROJECTS
Poverty Reduction and Alleviation Project (PRA Project)
Partners: Barrick, USAID and Exporting Highlands
The PRA Project was created by USAID in 1998 to reduce poverty in rural regions across Peru. It provides technical assistance to small farming operations and connects them to potential buyers for their products. It encompasses communities near Barrick’s Lagunas Norte mine in Peru’s La Libertad region. The PRA Project recently added Exporting Highlands as a partner. Exporting Highlands is a Peruvian-government organization that supports economic development in La Libertad, and nationwide. Barrick’s agreement with the PRA Project commenced in 2011 and runs through December 2013. To date, more than 400 families have benefited from this project.
Partners: Barrick and the Alternative Farming Institute
The Productive Highlands Project is helping improve the living standards of farmers in the La Libertad region by introducing them to new production technologies, crops and farming methods. The Barrick-sponsored program is being implemented by the Alternative Farming Institute in the Cahuide farming community in La Libertad. Since 2009, 210 families have benefited from this program.
Reading is Being Ahead
Partners: Barrick, Alto Chicama Social Fund and the BBVA Foundation
The Reading is Being Ahead program is designed to improve reading comprehension levels of elementary school students in Peru’s Santiago de Chuco, Sanchez Carrion and Otuzco provinces. The program is sponsored by Barrick and the Alto Chicama Social Fund, a government-development organization funded by Barrick royalties. The program is being implemented by the BBVA Foundation, and includes the creation of socially-relevant textbooks, classroom materials, lesson plans and teacher training. Since 2010, 11,800 students and 530 teachers in 230 schools have participated in the program.
Mathematics for Everyone
Partners: Barrick, Alto Chicama Social Fund and the Apoyo Institute
The Mathematics for Everyone program encourages students to learn math through interactive methods. The program uses specially prepared teaching materials and student books, and includes teacher training and methodological guidelines. The program targets students from grade one through high school in the provinces of Santiago de Chuco, Sanchez Carrion and Otuzco. It is sponsored by Barrick and the Alto Chicama Social Fund and being implemented by the Apoyo Institute. Since 2004, the program has benefited 36,200 students and 1,440 teachers in 690 schools.
Alliances for Economic and Social Development
Partners: Barrick, Canadian International Development Agency and World Vision
The goal of this World Vision-led project is to provide people in Peru’s Quiruvilca District with the tools and capacity to develop an economic plan that ensures sustainable development beyond the end of mining operations. The project, co-funded by Barrick and the Canadian International Development Agency, includes a community investment fund that will finance small businesses and farming operations. A key objective of the project is to increase the participation of women, youth and people with disabilities in government planning for sustainable economic development. The three-year project commenced in October 2011.
Artisan Textile Workshops
Partners: Barrick and Wayra SRL
The Artisan Textile Workshops teaches traditional weaving techniques to women who sell textiles in Peru’s Quiruvilca and Shorey districts. The program is sponsored by Barrick and being implemented by Wayra, a Peruvian company that exports artisan and industrial home textiles. By improving the quality of their products, the program helps women increase their income. Since 2009, 60 women have participated in textile workshops program, where they receive training in hand knitting and loom weaving.
The Sodexo Foundation is the charitable arm of Sodexo Inc., one of the world’s largest catering companies. The Foundation is committed to being a driving force that contributes to a hunger-free world. In Peru, the Foundation is training local farmers to become suppliers of farming and agricultural products to Sodexo Inc., which is the catering service for Barrick’s Lagunas Norte and Pierina mines.