In a move to set up Industrial Centers of Hope in five underserved communities in and around the areas where factories of the company’s suppliers are located in India, Wal-Mart announced a grant of US$1.12 million over a three-year period to Hope Foundation. The centres will be located in Bangalore, Chennai, Mumbai, Panipat and Moradabad.
The grant is given by Wal-Mart’s Ethical Standards department under its International Giving Program (IGP).
“India is a nation at the crossroads. It enjoys a booming economy and young people have never had more opportunities. But, there is also another India. An India where young people often never go to school or drop out early because they have to help support their families. Our experience has shown us that access to better education is a fantastic strategy as it makes people more knowledgeable, boosts earning potential, and improves the quality of work,” said Mark Templer, executive director, Hope Foundation.
By providing quality education and equipping young people with life skills, each Industrial Center of Hope will impart primary education for children from the area as well as vocational training, English language education and social skills for disadvantaged young adults. For older children, the centres will provide English language courses, computer skills, and training in short-term, job-oriented, practical courses (3-6 months long) that will boost their skills and earning power.
The goal is to provide job-oriented education and training to 1,000 older children annually, and to provide education to 1,000 young children by the third year of operation.
“With inclusive development comes inclusive growth. Through this programme, we are empowering not only the children of our suppliers’ factory workers, but the entire sourcing community through better education opportunities and training in employable skills.”
Hope Worldwide and its affiliate, Hope Foundation, draw upon 15 years of experience as an NGO working in partnership with renowned corporations and the government. In this programme, it will build on the already existing synergies between the focus areas of Wal-Mart and Hope Foundation’s main priorities – education and training.