In 2008, BBVA and UNHCR signed a three-year cooperation agreement under which BBVA undertakes to finance the primary education of a group of child refugees in Dadaab, Kenya. For this reason, and for the second year running, BBVA, with the cooperation of UNHCR and the Madrid town council, is inviting its employees, customers and the public at large to participate in a benefit race, at a fee of €5 per head. BBVA will match the total amount raised. Given that 7,000 people have already signed up to participate, this event has raised €70,000. Those who do not wish to run can still participate by contributing a fee.
Commitment to education
BBVA has made education one of the main pillars of its CSR policy. This reflects the belief that education is of critical importance to maximizing human potential and leveraging progress in our societies. The bank’s motto is we work for a better future for everyone; for many people, education is the only way of attaining this better future.
For example, the BBVA Integration Scholarships Program provided scholarships to 47,104 children in Latin America last year. “Our education program has focused on the neediest, and we want this commitment to continue and be reinforced with a charity element involving all our stakeholder groups: employees, customers, shareholders, and society at large," stated Ángel Cano.
According to the president and COO of BBVA, the project falls under the aegis of an agreement with the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) for the 2008-2010 period, in which it undertakes to finance the primary education of 1,200 child refugees in Dadaab, Kenya. These children are currently living in three refugee camps – Ifo, Hagadera and Dagahaley – managed by UNHCR.
María Ángeles Siemens, Director of the Spanish UNHCR Committee, also participated in the presentation of the benefit race. She noted that out of close to 34 million refugees being assisted by UNHCR, 15 million are children. She praised the fundraising event and declared: “To contribute funds for the education of child refugees is to invest in a better future for us all. In Dadaab (Kenya), 1,700 children are depending on us for their studies”.