LETTER FROM THE PRESIDENT 2019
With the start of the new year, I thought it would be a good idea to give you a brief summary of the situation in the world regarding the 17 Sustainable Development Goals for 2030, decreed by the United Nations.
The goals are as follows: No poverty; zero hunger; good health and well-being; quality education; gender equality; clean water and sanitation; affordable and clean energy; decent work and economic growth; industry, innovation and infrastructure; reduced inequality; sustainable cities and communities; responsible consumption and production; climate action; life below water; life on land; peace and justice strong institutions; partnerships to achieve the goals.
To start on a positive note, an inspiring fact! Advances in medicine have saved 50 million lives since 2000. However, there are pressing problems to be tackled if we do not want these developments to stagnate, for example the fact that the population of the poorest areas of the planet is growing much more rapidly than elsewhere. Places where life is more difficult.
It is urgent for us not to let our guard down on the subject of the training of young people, since they are the one who will end up performing the kind of innovative and productive work that will stimulate the rapid growth of those countries.
An important achievement has been to greatly increase the levels of schooling of children, and that both boys and girls attend classes. The challenge now (in addition to continuing to increase the numbers) is to ensure the quality of the teaching, because sometimes the levels of reading or simple problem-solving, basic arithmetic... are not what we would like, and this is crucial if young people are to develop properly and have a job which allows them to earn a living.
Many of the projects supported by Fundación Renta this year have involved some of these 17 goals, and we have worked with organizations such as Codespa, in a programme of education for young people rescued from child militias in the Congo, or Fundación Adana, Fundación Pineda, and Fundación Arjau in Barcelona, which grant scholarships to young people with limited resources.
Since 2000, more than one billion people have emerged from extreme poverty ($ 1.90 a day). Thanks to improvements in their living conditions, although they are still poor, they can at least begin to think about something beyond mere survival.
These improvements have occurred in waves. The first was in China, the second in India and the third ought to be in Africa, since the African population is expected to double by 2050 and 40% of the world's poorest people will be living in just two countries, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Nigeria. So it is good not to neglect these areas and concentrate our efforts there, on well thought-out projects. Fundación Renta has supported projects such as Orphanaid Africa in Ghana, which rescues children from illegal orphanages and finds them a family. It also helps them to be able to go on studying as long as possible, even by granting scholarships so that some of them can go to university. This is precisely to invest in the Human Capital of the countries.
We cannot forget the violence, political instability (wars are the biggest cause of migration, poverty and hunger), the importance of health and vaccination programmes, gender inequalities and climate change.
Programmes to boost agricultural projects in those countries are especially important. In this sense, over the last year Fundación Renta has supported the programme of the Emalaikat missionaries in the Turkana region on the border of Kenya, with the orchards they have planted to supply the populations they serve.
As for helping women, I am especially proud of two Fundación Renta projects this year. The first is a project of the World Food Programme called "Safe Stoves" to promote a new type of stove for cooking more safely and healthily, using balls of animal dung as fuel, with many advantages. The most important of these are that they prevent "women" (since they are the ones who do it) from going to look for firewood and from being attacked when they do so. It also means that they do not have to skip school to devote themselves to those tasks. They also offer the possibility of trading both with the stoves (made of mud) and with the dung.
The second is a "Luwengoa Afripads" programme in Uganda, which encourages the manufacture and use of reusable feminine hygiene material. Not having this problem properly resolved is a problem unknown by many but which in this continent causes countless problems, infections, school absenteeism, stigmatisation ...
And returning to our own latitudes, we have learned about many projects whose managers do a wonderful job and we have been delighted to help. The list is very long but I would like to highlight our three most focus areas for this year. The Fundación Pasqual Maragall, for research into Alzheimer's Disease, the Ashoka organisation, for the promotion of social entrepreneurship worldwide, and the much-needed new SJD Pediatric Cancer Centre in Barcelona, for treating children throughout Spain and Europe.
Overall, we have been able to support 60 causes. Of these, 14% corresponds to HELPING CHILDREN AND WOMEN, 32% to EDUCATION, 6% to NUTRITION, 22% to HEALTHCARE, 2% to HOUSING and 24% to SOCIAL ASSISTANCE.
During 2018, Fundación Renta was able to support projects worth close to € 300,000, thanks to the donation of Renta Corporación and the dividends generated by the shares (3%) held by the real estate company's Fundación.
I wish to thank the Renta Corporación team and each and every one of the people involved in these projects, who with their work have contributed to making the world a little better every day.
Cristina Orpinell Kristjánsdóttir
President of Fundación Renta Corporación