SURA Foundation – 45 years driving social development both in Colombia and throughout the region
In 2016, the Foundation invested a total of COP 16,786 million (USD 5.6 million) in social development projects aimed at improving education, promoting local culture and strengthening institutions while taking advantage of our own corporate volunteer corps, amongst other initiatives. Over the last 10 years, the Foundation has invested more than COP110 million, (USD 36.6 million) while working with more than 600 partners.The SURA Foundation, which celebrated its 45th anniversary in 2016, is present in Colombia, Panama, the Dominican Republic and El Salvador. In 2017 it shall be extending its scope to Chile and Mexico. Medellín, February 17, 2015. For 45 years now, the SURA Foundation has been channeling the contributions received from all those companies making up the SURA Business Group towards enhancing social development both in Colombia and in certain countries throughout Latin America through initiatives that improve the living conditions of the underprivileged. Consequently in 2016, the Foundation invested COP 16,786 million (USD 5.6 million) in social projects aimed at improving education, promoting local culture, and strengthening institutions, while taking advantage of our own corporate volunteer corps, amongst other initiatives. This included our Felix and Susana education project aimed at encouraging a greater degree of peaceful coexistence by helping to strengthen relations between children, family and schools by providing teachers with the skills they need to enhance their communications and forge warm ties with their communities as facilitators of the overall training process. With this project, which began in Colombia and then was replicated in El Salvador and the Dominican Republic, a total of 2,800 teachers received training with more than 15,000 families and 82,530 children benefiting from the assistance given to their teachers in 2016. Together with this and other projects such as the Indigenous Ancestral Wisdom, Leading Transformation and Bilingualism for Competitiveness programs plus scholarships for higher education, the SURA Foundation has invested more than COP 110,000 million (USD 36.6 million) over the last 10 years. " From the very outset and as part of its commitment to the countries where it is present, SURA has made a great deal of effort in building better environments as part of its business activity. Here, the Foundation has concentrated the bulk of its efforts and investment on education projects. We have remained fully engaged with social development wherever SURA is present , " stated Fernando Ojalvo, Grupo SURA´s Chief Corporate Affair Officer. Recognizing that culture and art are intrinsic factors in the transformation of a country, this was also an important focus for the Sura Foundation in 2016, with COP 2,795 million (USD 931,446) being invested in cultural initiatives such as the Memory and Creativity program, which benefited more than 200 craftsmen in 9 different departments in Colombia in helping them to create, develop and strengthening their local crafts business. The Foundation also gave its support to cultural and historical centers such as the Modern Art Museums in Medellín and Barranquilla, the Jericho Museum, the National Museum of Colombia, the Antioquia Philharmonic Orchestra and the Metropolitan Theater. We also formed alliances with institutions such as the Diego Echavarría Music Institute, the Yamaha Foundation, as well as the Metropolitan Ballet Association in order to further training in these arts. "Our commitment to art and culture translates into our firm support for multiple initiatives. Our aim is to encourage artists right from the outset, and assist with the institution-building on the part of museums, libraries, cultural entities and festival organizers. We encourage people to go and see these artists. We sponsor important cultural events throughout the region. We have maintained a special interest in encouraging research and publications on historical and cultural issues, as well as organizing exhibitions on both our own premises as well as other venues to encourage both artists and musicians , "concluded Mr. Ojalvo On the other hand, the SURA Foundation invested COP 699 million (USD 232,945 million) in initiatives promoting development and competitiveness, with the aim of strengthening think tanks dedicated to discussing, researching and influencing issues that are key for the country, including the Transparency For Colombia Corporation, Proantioquia, as well as the Todos por la Paz and Teletón Foundation and the Global Pact Network. Also, as an opportunity for channeling the solidarity of the employees belonging to the Organization´s different companies helped by their family members. In this way we were able to develop a hands-on understanding of the country´s reality and contribute to its transformation with the Foundation devoting 35,258 hours of community work, on the part of its corporate volunteer corps, in which 1,632 employees participated in a total of 9 projects benefitting a total of 24,953 people. Finally, in addition being present in Colombia, Panama, the Dominican Republic and El Salvador, the Sura Foundation is expected to officially begin its work in Chile and Mexico in 2017, bringing to these parts of the world this same sustainability mindset that has guided its Senior Management for the last 45 years.