10 April 2008 - International commodities trader Trafigura today announced the launch of the Trafigura Foundation, with a three year agreement to fund The National Autistic Society’s (NAS) Autism Helpline.
The Trafigura Foundation is a new development that manages the company’s global community investment programme. All Trafigura’s offices around the world can nominate charities that they wish to support via the Geneva-based Foundation.
The projects that are supported will reflect the Foundation’s values through specific, employee-led proposals that will make a real difference to charities at a local level, by enabling people to reach their full potential.
The funding agreement with the NAS, the UK’s leading charity for people affected by autism, is worth £1.5m over three years, and will enable the charity to make significant developments to its national Helpline service, which is a lifeline for 40,000 callers a year. It builds upon Trafigura’s long-standing relationship with the NAS, which has seen the company’s employees raise £150,000 over three years through events including sponsorship of marathon runners.
There are over half a million people in the UK with autism – that’s around one in 100. However, there is widespread lack of understanding of the condition which has a major impact on families, local government and the UK economy.
“We are absolutely delighted with this new development in our partnership with Trafigura,” said Trevor Anderton, NAS Director of Fundraising. “Having supported the NAS for three years to date, this significant increase in their level of support is outstanding. As we continue to raise awareness of autism, the support from the Trafigura Foundation will enable us to deal with far greater numbers of calls and use new technologies through which to communicate.
One example is an Instant Messaging service, that will enable us to reach more young people with autism who may have difficulties seeking help from a telephone-based service.”
Trafigura Foundation Director Graham Sharp commented: “In addition to supporting major investment programmes such as our involvement with the NAS, the Foundation will assist smaller causes that are proposed by our offices. Following a worldwide employee survey, the two issues that generated most support are education and the environment, so we will prioritise initiatives in these areas. However, the Foundation will also keep funds in reserve for urgent humanitarian emergencies.”
Trafigura has provided extensive support to charities and local communities since its formation in 1993. Recent examples have included:
- In Peru, using mining equipment to clear roads blocked by the August 2007 earthquake. Since then, Trafigura has donated more than US $2 million to rebuild houses situated near its mines (which are owned and operated by Trafigura subsidiary CORMIN).
- A US $200,000 gift to Teach For America (New Orleans) to increase the number of trained and certified teachers, in order to replace education professionals displaced after Hurricane Katrina.
- Helping to rebuild the SMP4 school in Banda Aceh, Indonesia, after the 2004 tsunami. Trafigura’s ongoing support also includes sponsoring one student every year to attend the United World College of South East Asia in Singapore.
Trafigura press office +44 207 009 1708 or firstname.lastname@example.org