The Candriam Helping Those Who Help (HTWH) program, part of the Candriam Institute for Sustainable Development , supports charitable social-impact projects worldwide. Since 2001, more than 160 charities’ projects—from fighting childhood poverty to helping those with mental disabilities—have received financial assistance from Candriam.
Candriam employees are actively encouraged to submit projects for consideration. Amandine Lesieur, president of the HTWH Committee, explains that employees typically nominate programs that they have personal knowledge of. A rigorous selection process is then undertaken to ensure the validity of the projects, which are then overseen by Candriam colleagues on the ground wherever the project is based.
“We are keen to support projects that deliver real-world impact,” she notes. “This year, the Committee received so many worthwhile submissions—22 in all—from Candriam staff. Once selected, the organizations need to make annual submissions to the institute to demonstrate their impact and to report on the progress of the project, including results and impact, to be published on the Candriam Institute website,” Lesieur adds.
This year, 11 charities have been selected to share €175K in funding. The charities are:
|CIAI - Centro Italiano Aiuti all'Infanzia : Working to assure the well-being of children|
|Associazione Ascolta e Vivi ODV : Providing assistance to people with hearing problems|
|Association Bras Dessus Bras Dessous : mission is to respond to the loneliness of seniors|
|Sterkmakers in Autisme: Striving to ensure that those with autism have full social inclusion|
|Fondazione Massimo Leone Onlus: Providing for the reintegration and recovery of homeless people|
|Making the Leap: Supporting young people’s futures through social mobility initiatives|
|Die Arche Kinderstiftung Christliches Kinder- und Jugendwerk: Providing a range of support services to socially disadvantaged children and their families|
|Alphabetical Order Lebanon: A project to help support Lebanon’s schoolchildren|
|Eau pour Tous: Working to ensure sanitation and access to clean water in African countries|
|Unapei 92: Providing support to those with mental disabilities and their families|
|La Gamelle de Jaures: Distributing food and emergency services to the migrant community|
Spotlight on: Unapei 92
Unapei 92, headquartered in Hauts-de-Seine, France, is a charity that supports children and adults with serious mental disabilities. Its main focus is the general support and moral support of people with mental disabilities and their families.
The charity relies heavily on financing from the private sector, in addition to ad hoc donations from families and subsidies from the cities where the facilities are located. It also organizes fundraising events such as half-marathons, sales of products made by residents, and other initiatives.
In its residential care facilities, Unapei 92 allows each individual to take on their chosen life path by supporting the development of their capacities and helping them towards self-determination. It takes into account many types of disability and adapts support to the needs of each individual through their life.
Care is implemented according to specific disabilities: Neurodevelopmental disorders, including disorders of intellectual development, autism spectrum disorders; mental disorders; and multiple disabilities.
Unapei 92 has three ambitions:
- Support at every stage of life
- Representation of people with disabilities, along with their families and caregivers
- Animate and federate an associative network based on region for adults with disabilities.
For Enguerrand Fougerat, institutional sales manager at Candriam, the work of the charity is deeply personal as his younger sister, now 28, has been a resident of Unapei 92 facilities since she was 4, first in daycare then fulltime when she reached adulthood.
Unapei's mission and support has been at the heart of the Fougerat's family for more than 20 years, as it constantly provided organizational and moral support to Quitterie, her three siblings and their parents. The family has supported the association's volunteering initiatives since the beginning of its involvement. “This may not be the sexiest charity out there but it is comprised of many dedicated people who make a real difference to the lives of its residents,” he notes.
One of the challenges Unapei 92 faces is finding ways to enrich the daily lives of its residents, finding activities that stimulate the senses and provide a sense of purpose.
Two areas that the charity has begun focusing on are cooking and music, simple activities for the majority of us but ones that have the power to bring pleasure and real meaning to Unapei 92 residents.
Candriam’s support of €12K will provide safe kitchen facilities and cooking accoutrements where 40 residents, cooking in groups of six, will learn how to prepare meals and in so doing, gain a sense of accomplishment to support their psychological and physical well-being. It will also support a program of music equipment adapted to people's motor skills and sensory sensitivity. “These may seem like small things to us but for those who live daily in Unapei’s residential centers, these are major steps forward. Seeing a 50 year old mentally disabled man making music for the first time is a wonderful sight to behold,” says Fougerat.