Yesterday marked an important occasion in the life of the UniCredit Foundation as it took stock of its first ten years of activity. Created in March 2003 as the corporate foundation of UniCredit, it was intended to bear witness to a new culture of volunteer work and donations with tangible initiatives dedicated to the communities in which the Group operates.
Funded by UniCredit and in collaboration with local non-profit entities, the Foundation designs, implements and controls development interventions in the 20 different countries in which the Bank is present. In ten years of work, more than 330 projects and initiatives have been supported, making for a total of around 85 million euros disbursed in favour of the territory.
Over the years, the Foundation has been deeply committed to promoting processes of social inclusion, also through the study of new welfare models and the promotion of social entrepreneurship as a tool for the sustainability of projects in the Third sector. The primary objectives of the UniCredit Foundation also include disseminating the culture of non-profit and volunteer work amongst UniCredit employees, calling them to participate, playing active roles, in initiatives to the benefit of their communities. By developing and strengthening information and involvement tools and techniques, today more than 40,000 Group employees are active participants.
In a world context marked by a widespread recession that also strikes the more advanced countries, the UniCredit Foundation has paid careful attention to projects of inclusion and innovation to help cope with problems that can result in social exclusion. In these terms, in recent years the Foundation has decided to dedicate its work to the weaker sectors of society and those most severely affected by the crisis.
"The balance of ten years of work" declared Maurizio Carrara, Chairman of the UniCredit Foundation, "Is certainly a matter of pride for the whole Group. Given the difficult period being experienced by Italy and a great many of the countries in which we work, we feel very responsible towards the weaker segments of society, and have a clear view of the value, also in economic terms, of social cohesion. Our challenge will therefore be to ensure that the addressees of our projects do not lose hope in the future, helping them to achieve initiatives that are economically sustainable over time. Our ambition, however, in addition to acting in various contexts according to our available resources, is also to make repeatable intervention models available to other public and private subjects, with a view to maximising the social utility of our experience".
"Our attention with regards to emerging social issues" - Mr Carrara continued - "Has been able to, and can continue to rely not only on the constant commitment and involvement of our employees, but also on their creative contribution, which has proved to be very helpful over these last ten years, in creating innovative welfare models".
Milan, 25 September 2013