April 14, 2005, Moscow – Two years ago,
IFC and the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs teamed up
to implement a program called “A Chance to Work.” The goal is to help
Russian orphans build the confidence and professional skills they need
to enter an independent adult life, as well as to promote corporate social
responsibility among companies based in Moscow. With the help of a group
of Russian charities, IFC selects and trains orphans on how to write resumes
and interview with employers. IFC then helps the orphans find internships
that provide on-the-job professional training with private companies participating
in the program.
To date, more than 70 orphans have received specialized training, 50 of
whom have been placed in internships or have gone on to find permanent
jobs. Some 17 companies are participating in the project, about half of
which are Russian-owned and -managed.
Arkady Volskiy, President of the Union, and Edward Nassim, Director of
IFC’s Central and Eastern Europe Department, recently presented Certificates
of Appreciation to companies involved in the project, and they encouraged
more Russian companies to give back to their communities. Mr. Volskiy noted
that there are many ways that businesses can support their communities:
"Not all companies have available assets that they could direct
to charity, but almost all can offer a helping hand to the people that
need it most."
IFC has committed more than $250,000 to the program and is working with
the Union to make it sustainable for years to come. According to Mr. Nassim,
"IFC is delighted to see companies participate in A Chance to Work,
and we encourage more companies to get involved in their communities, either
through this project or by giving back in other ways."
The mission of IFC (www.ifc.org)
is to promote sustainable private sector investment in developing countries,
helping to reduce poverty and improve people’s lives. IFC finances private
sector investments in the developing world, mobilizes capital in the international
financial markets, helps clients improve social and environmental sustainability,
and provides technical assistance and advice to governments and businesses.
From its founding in 1956 through FY04, IFC has committed more than $44
billion of its own funds and arranged $23 billion in syndications for 3,143
companies in 140 developing countries. IFC’s worldwide committed portfolio
as of FY04 was $17.9 billion for its own account and $5.5 billion held
for participants in loan syndications.