HSBC focuses on helping young people reach their potential, regardless of their background. Specifically, we invest in access to education, life skills and entrepreneurship, and discovering cultures and the natural world.
HSBC, as a financial institution with a skilled workforce and global presence, can make a major difference to individuals' lives. By investing in educational partnerships, we can commit time, money and resources to enhance young people's learning and capacity to make a contribution. We support and encourage our employees to get involved – and they say they are proud to volunteer for HSBC.
Access to education
The UN estimates there are 69 million primary-aged children across the world not attending school. Where no education is available, we focus on access for the most disadvantaged children. Where it is, we focus on those most at risk of dropping out of the system, recognising that early intervention can change a child's future. We also invest in scholarship funding, aiming to break down barriers that can stop the most able students moving on to higher education.
Future First, HSBC's flagship global education programme, aims to tackle child poverty through education projects. It was established in 2006 and has given some of the world's most marginalised and impoverished young people access to education and life skills, as well as a brighter and better future.
HSBC has committed USD40 million to Future First, a programme that has so far reached out to more than half a million children through 414 projects in 60 countries. Of the total commitment, USD25 million, announced in 2011, extends the programme to a host of new countries and expands its scope from street children, children in care and orphans to cover all children at risk.
While USD5 million is set aside for SOS Children's Villages projects, the world's largest non-government organisation (NGO) for orphans, the balance funding will go to projects developed in partnership with NGOs around the world.
Douglas Flint, HSBC Group Chairman, says: "We feel privileged to have been part of Future First's work since 2006. They do incredible work that makes a meaningful difference to some of the world's most disadvantaged children. At HSBC, we believe that education is one of the most powerful tools to reduce poverty and inequality, and with Future First, we can help deliver projects that provide young people with a more sustainable and prosperous future. I wish everyone involved the very best success with this important programme."
Teach for All
Teach for All places top-performing teachers in deprived areas to improve the standard of education and reduce inequality. This in turn improves teaching for the next generation.
We have been working with Teach for All since 2007 and are currently supporting them in Australia, Chile, Eastern Europe, India, Lebanon, Malaysia, Mexico, Pakistan, the UK and the USA. We have donated GBP1 million to the programme, plus an additional GBP800,000 to special projects to give more children a chance to get a good education, for example by training maths teachers – a scarce resource in many countries.
Kids Read is a literacy programme running across 13 countries in the Middle East, supported by HSBC and the British Council. It teaches children aged 8 to 12 from deprived areas to read. Hundreds of books have been donated to underprivileged schools to supplement the school curriculum, and teachers are being trained in what is HSBC's flagship education programme in the region.
Life skills and entrepreneurship
Using stories about Zippy, a stick insect, children aged 5 to 7 learn how to cope with emotions such as anger and grief, enabling them to better handle problems and crises in adolescence and adult life. HSBC supports Zippy's Friends, and with HSBC funding more than 130,000 children in nine countries have already completed the programme.
JA More than Money
Junior Achievement (JA) is the world's largest organisation dedicated to educating young people about financial literacy. HSBC has invested USD5.5 million over four years supporting JA More than Money, which teaches students about earning, spending, sharing and saving money, plus starting a new business. The programme operates in 38 countries, including China, India, the UK and the USA, besides Eastern Europe and Latin America. So far more than 4,000 HSBC employees have helped over 179,000 children aged 5 to 11 learn about managing money.
Discovering cultures and the natural world
In our globalised world, it's crucial that young people understand the issues that impact different cultures and environments. As an international bank, we know that understanding cultures is an important part of encouraging international business. Likewise, careful use of the world's natural resources is critical to long-term business success. Our work helps children around the world connect to new cultures and their environment. We promote international understanding and raise young people's awareness of the natural world – to inspire them and show them how they can make a positive contribution.
HSBC and British Council China Programme
HSBC Global Research predicts that China will be the largest economy in the future. In fact, HSBC is named after its founding member, The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited, which was established in 1865 to finance the growing trade between Europe, India and China.
Our work with the British Council China Programme promotes cultural awareness and understanding between UK students and their Chinese counterparts.
Within the programme, Chinese-language assistants and qualified teachers spend an academic year in the UK, teaching Mandarin Chinese and Chinese culture to UK students. There's also a nationwide Mandarin-speaking competition for UK students, plus Mandarin immersion courses for nine-year-olds at residential summer schools in the UK.
At HSBC, we believe that education is one of the most powerful tools to reduce poverty and inequality and with Future First, we can help deliver projects that provide young people with a more sustainable
and prosperous future
Douglas Flint, HSBC Group Chairman