This includes a multi-dimensional Eurasian Resources programme comprising a three-year framework funding agreement with the Fondazione Internazionale Buon Pastore Onlus.
Good Shepherd is implementing a community development programme in Kolwezi in Lualaba Province, DRC. The goal of this programme is to help break the cycle of violence and abuse against children, women and girls in artisanal mining communities and improve their living conditions.
Good Shepherd is particularly focused on supporting children who work in the mines and are involved in the worst forms of child labour.
Eurasian Resources is one of the largest copper and cobalt miners in Africa and, while neither child labour nor artisanal mining form part of the group’s operations, Eurasian Resources recognises the role that it can play in supporting positive change for local communities.
In January 2017 Eurasian Resources announced a funding agreement with Good Shepherd to support their alternative livelihood work throughout 2017. The new agreement significantly expands the partnership and will run for approximately three years.
It provides funding for a range of projects supporting all aspects of the Good Shepherd’s programme: alternative livelihoods; child protection; economic empowerment; citizenship strengthening; and capacity building.
Eurasian Resources Africa, a subsidiary of Eurasian Resources, will lead the efforts of the group through the safety, health, environment and community team under the direction of Dr Loes Schalekamp.
“We are pleased to see Eurasian Resources extending our agreements so we can provide more stable support to local communities in the DRC,” says Good Shepherd programme director in Kolwezi, Sister Catherine Mutindi.
“By supporting all objectives of our work, Eurasian Resources enables us to develop a balanced programme helping children, women, and the broader community”.
“Good Shepherd believes that corporations can play a crucial role at a global and local level in supporting dignified development for all and promoting business practices that are respectful of human rights,” she continues.
“Transparent and cooperative collaboration between business and civil society, as recommended by the UN Guidelines on business and human rights, can deliver transformative and integrated community development and contribute to achieving sustainable development goals.”
“I am excited to see this multi-year programme come together. We are fortunate to be able to partner with Good Shepherd to promote critical issues like child protection, women’s rights, and the development of alternative livelihoods,” states Eurasian Resources CEO, Benedikt Sobotka.
“The potential for impact here is very high, and I expect the projects funded and progressed under this agreement will leave a positive legacy for many years.”
“In the past five years we have brought 1 200 children, girls and women out of life-threatening work in the mines and contributed to setting up alternative livelihood opportunities for hundreds of vulnerable people,” highlights Sister Catherine.
“This agreement with Eurasian Resources enables us to continue and strengthen our programme, which will bring lasting benefits to local communities.”
Feature image credit: Eurasian Resources Group