Halcrow and The British Asian Trust have joined forces to provide education, care and safety for the children of migrant labourers living on construction sites where they work in Mumbai, India.
“We liked what we saw at The British Asian Trust and found a lot of synergies in common,” said Halcrow Group Board Director David Kerr.
One of the UK’s leading engineering consultancies, Halcrow established an independent charitable foundation in 2005 in line with the company’s ethos, values and purpose, says David Kerr. He is the Halcrow Foundation’s Chairman.
The foundation works to relieve suffering around the world. Established in the wake of the Indian Ocean tsunami on 26 December 2004, it grew from ‘within’ Halcrow at the instigation of staff who wanted to help. “Our employees recognise it as their foundation,” said David Kerr.
Halcrow donates 1 percent of its annual profits to the foundation, as well as making a significant contribution in terms of people’s time and its resources. Halcrow’s employees raise funds through sponsored activities and donate money through payroll giving. The Halcrow Foundation has supported 85 projects worldwide, investing around £1.5 million in cash and donations in kind since 2005.
“We seek projects with a beginning, middle and an end where we can make a real difference,” says David Kerr. “That is why they chose to work with The British Asian Trust. We are very impressed by the way the Trust operates and the impact it has created,” he said noting the focus on governance, due diligence and monitoring. “We like to ensure that the money goes directly to the project work.”
The Halcrow Foundation is supporting Trust partner Mumbai Mobile Crèches (MMC). On a recent trip to India, David Kerr saw the work of this pioneering charity first-hand.
Some 50,000 children are growing up on construction sites in Mumbai. They not only lack access to education, they are vulnerable to injury, malnutrition and disease. MMC, The Halcrow Foundation’s chosen charity, has been setting up child care centres and classrooms on construction sites since 1972, serving more than 150,000 children.
“It was heartening to see,” said David Kerr. “I recognised it was a very important project, especially for the safety of the children.” Halcrow has 350 staff in India and some of them hope to volunteer for Mumbai Mobile Crèches. “One of the tenants of how the foundation works is staff involvement, “David Kerr explained.
British Asian Trust Executive Director Hitan Mehta welcomed the Halcrow Foundation’s involvement. “We are proud to be working in partnership with the Halcrow Foundation to transform the lives of children living in these difficult conditions. We look forward to working together to make a real difference,” he said.