Annual support in a total of 270 million AMD from CRONIMET Charity Foundation
During the holiday season children in various orphanages and care centers throughout Armenia receive many gifts from charitable organizations, and this is being covered by the mass media. Taking into account that the CRONIMET Charity Foundation carries out numerous support programs and always keeps in focus orphanages, special and boarding schools over the country, we have a conversation with the director of the CRONIMET Charity Foundation, Ms. Anna Sedrakyan to find out what has been implemented, are there any new projects and what are the plans of the Foundation for the upcoming year of 2012.
Mrs. Sedrakyan, today charity is widely accepted concept, could you please explain which groups are particularly within the focus of your assistance?
CRONIMET Charity foundation has been founded in June 2011, and the sole founder is the CRONIMET Mining AG. The company has been one of the largest investors in Armenia for already more than 10 years and, while being the main shareholder of the Zangezur Copper Molybdenum Combine, is well aware of the main social issues in Armenia. At the same time, the company actively promotes the Corporate Social Responsibility concept in its subsidiaries worldwide and has quite an exposure to charity activities providing significant financial resources for these purposes. As such, our primary focus group is children in need; so we are working with orphanages, special and boarding schools in different regions of Armenia. Current programs involve Sisian, Kapan and Dilijan boarding institutions, where live and study children from vulnerable families and those having mental problems. At this moment we are directly working with more than 300 children, and I think, the number will increase in 2012. Our second direction is suppor to early learning and basic education, and this component implies projects in elementary and high schools. Further, we support higher education and youth innovative initiatives through implementation of student exchange programs, cooperation with international colleges and universities. Finally, we also have special initiatives for the most vulnerable population, including health care services financing for the neediest.
You have told that significant financial resources are being provided, could you specify what contributions are made to your foundation and how much money is envisioned for the year.
The Foundation benefits both from contributions of its founder CRONIMET Mining AG and from the partner companies in Armenia, namely ZCMC and Plant of Pure Iron. The Foundation has the Board of Trustees, responsible for review and approval of the Foundation’s annual work plan and budget. Upon presentation of the Plan and its approval, the appropriate contribution is made. As such, currently the annual budget totals to about 270 million AMD, however this amount is subject to revision based on the different programs to be implemented by the CCF. Despite the fact that CRONIMET Mining is a German company, they have been operating in Armenia for more than 10 years and are very well aware of all the social vulnerabilities and general issues we have here. In addition, the Board of Trustees is comprised both from Germans and Armenians, and this allows making to the point decisions about possible beneficiaries.
Do you have any monitoring system to oversee the use of resources and make sure that the amounts spent really serve their mission and reach the targeted recipient?
Our approach is not to give cash, but rather provide goods and services, such first necessity goods, equipment, finance training and education, provide stipends to students, finance renovations and alike. Also, we do work with our partners on a daily basis. So, we do think that our assistance reaches its final point and used to the purpose. In the meantime, we do have monitoring activities that allow us avoiding misuse of the funds.
Ms. Sedrakyan, what projects are planned in the area of education?
As I have already outlined, support to education is one of our main directions. Special attention is given to school education, as well as professional and higher education. We can finance studying locally and abroad, give stipends, invite international lecturers or professors. Also, we do plan to organize inter-school Olympiads and thematic summer camps for school children. Another direction is to support innovative youth initiatives. As such, currently we were involved in 24-hour programming contest organized by the Microsoft Innovation Center as one of the sponsors; a prize for the best project with social orientation has been given to the winning programming team.
In case of the crisis, would the contributions to the Foundation lessen?
I do hope that this would not affect the Foundation. I should emphasize, that during 2008-2009 global crisis, both CRONIMET and its partners in Armenia did not stop or decrease their social projects or contributions. Therefore, I am sure the trend will continue and contributions will not lessen.
Could you talk a bit about your future plans?
We envision carrying out some renovation works at the special and boarding schools we are working with this spring. In terms of education, we will be organizing inter-school Olympiads and summer camps, as well as expand our activities to higher educational institutions. There are several new projects, for example we are thinking of implementing a special project in Kapan, named “Cozy Shelter” to provide house for children above 18 years who are unable to live alone and do need everyday care. We also think of renovation of a summer camp and think this would allow us implementing different interesting initiatives. Further, we will work with the Yerevan Municipality to implement the “Voice” mobile project for deaf people, which won the first prize during the “Hackathon” contest.