The Tuesday after Thanksgiving in the US has been dubbed “Giving Tuesday.” It comes after the shopping spree on Black Friday and Cyber Monday and was intended to usher in the end-of-year season of charitable giving. Many individuals and organizations wait till the end of the year to make their donations, but others have a more holistic view – they give all year long.
One Banana donated this year more than $2 million for their CSR programs, which are aligned with achieving the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs.)
In addition, One Banana has invested $1.8 million in a health clinic developed and run in partnership with the University of Colorado. This clinic gives more than 30,000 rural Guatemalan people access to low-cost, affordable healthcare throughout the year.
The health clinic has community programs for mothers and children that aim to reduce malnutrition in the community, and to contribute to achieving the UN SDGs. As of May 2017 1,063 pregnant women have been enrolled and received prenatal care, 905 families enrolled in the “Healthy Children” program and mothers have participated in 7,580 nurse visits and mother/child care groups.
This ongoing culture of giving is evident in other CSR programs, such as “A Banana a Day Makes a Difference.” According to USAID statistics, children in Guatemala have the highest prevalence of stunting (49.8 percent) in the Americas and the sixth highest in the world. More than 45 Guatemalan children die each day from causes related to malnutrition. Of the children who survive, 49.8% suffer from chronic malnutrition (measured by height in relation to age.) It can also make the child more susceptible to diseases and cause a loss of IQ – the effects which are not reversible.
In 2017 AgroAmerica donated 225,000 bananas from One Banana farms to rural children in Guatemala. The bananas provide a vital supplement to the children’s nutritional needs. This program has produced very positive results in both school grades and malnutrition among the children in the program.
One local NGO that has benefitted from this culture of giving is the EcoLogic Development Fund’s agroforestry project: Protecting Livelihoods for Rural Communities in Guatemala through the Sustainable Management of Forest and Water Resources. EcoLogic empowers rural and indigenous peoples to restore and protect tropical ecosystems in Central America and Mexico and One Banana has committed funds for this agroforestry project that will continue over a period of six years
“We are committed to providing a better life for our employees, their families and the communities around our operations,” said Fernando Bolaños, CEO of One Banana. “We work closely with community leaders, NGOs working in the area and Government agencies. While we applaud the idea of an international day of giving, our aim is to work towards attaining the UN SDGs every single day of the year.”