Happy Holidays from the Giustra Foundation

Dec 18, 2018

Dear Friends, 

As 2018 winds to a close, we want to wish you the happiest of holidays and share with you some of our proudest achievements from the past year. It was a rewarding 12 months as the Foundation launched projects and offered continued support to organizations that are working to improve people’s lives from El Salvador to Greece to Canada – and many places in between.

Organizationally, we changed our name from the Radcliffe Foundation to the Giustra Foundation, but our driving purpose has remained the same. We remain committed to helping organizations that strive to alleviate poverty, prevent conflict, and offer humanitarian assistance.

We’ve compiled a snapshot – but by no means an exhaustive list – of some of our achievements and contributions from the past year:

The Giustra Foundation and the Shapiro Foundation provided the lead donations for a $3.5 million fund that helped bring nearly 700 refugees to Canada in 2018. We partnered with the University of Ottawa Refugee Hub, Jewish Family Services, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), and several community organizations to settle 175 families in 49 Canadian cities and towns.

The International Crisis Group appointed two regional experts as 2018’s class of Giustra Fellows. Tanda Theophilus and Zaur Shiriyev will contribute to ICG’s conflict prevention work in Africa and Central Asia. The Giustra Fellowship Program was established in 2016 with a $1 million gift from the Giustra Foundation.

The ICG honoured Frank’s philanthropic work in October at the Pursuit of Peace Award Dinner in New York City.

We worked alongside All Hands and Hearts – Smart Response, contributing $650,000 to help re-build schools and homes in Puerto Rico after they were destroyed by Hurricanes Irma and Maria.

The Clinton Giustra Enterprise Partnership (CGEP) – which creates sustainable social enterprises that provide people in developing countries with gainful employment – had another successful year. The partnership was first established in 2007 with a $100-million pledge from Frank Giustra.

In El Salvador, we helped more than 1,000 farmers and fishers get their products into large supermarkets and restaurants via Acceso, a social enterprise that bridges the gap between rural farmers and large buyers.

In Haiti, where CGEP has been on the ground for more than 10 years, we supported the development and launch of a unique brand of spicy peanut butter that will be rolled out to the rest of the world in 2019, providing stability and income to Haiti’s peanut farmers. We have impacted more than 4,000 farmers in Haiti. 

In Indonesia, CGEP has been working with more than 1,000 coconut sugar producers, helping them get organic certification so they can earn more and lift themselves out of poverty.

In Colombia, Acceso has now trained more than 1,550 farmers and generated $2.9 million in income for them. Acceso is now a supplier of Exito, the country’s largest supermarket chain.

The Ascend Collaborative – a partnership between the Giustra Foundation, the IKEA Foundation, Coca-Cola and the Libra Group – has deployed nearly €5 million to on-the-ground programs in Greece, reaching more than 25,000 people. Among those helped are 300 unaccompanied refugee children who have been provided with secure housing, psychosocial support and schooling.

Through our Global Refugee Sponsorship Initiative (GRSI), we received commitments from six countries – including Argentina, Spain and New Zealand – to implement or pilot community-based refugee sponsorship programs as part of their response to the global refugee crisis. The GRSI is also engaged with 20 other countries, including Brazil and the Netherlands. The GRSI is a joint initiative led by the Government of Canada, UNHCR, the Open Society Foundations, the University of Ottawa, and the Giustra Foundation. 

Here in Vancouver, Frank offered his mentorship and support to a group from the Boys’ Club Network by leading a cooking session and taking them on a tour of one of his companies, Westsonic Music studios. 

And, most recently, the Giustra Foundation partnered with the Young Family Foundation, the Quiet Cove Foundation, and the Spiel Foundation to donate a total of $100,000 to a variety of Vancouver charities that support single mothers and other marginalized people in our city.

Finally, for those of you interested in keeping up with Frank on a regular basis, he recently launched a blog, frankgiustra.com, where he writes about philanthropy, global affairs, and books, among other things. Stay tuned and he might even share the odd recipe!

Wishing you all the best during the holiday season and into 2019.

Frank and the Giustra Foundation