The GlobalECHO Foundation is a 501C(3) public charity that receives funds from GlobalECHO Fund, an exchange traded fund (ETF) listed on the New York Stock Exchange (GIVE:NYSE). The fund is a broadly diversified, actively managed ETF with a focus on sustainable and impact investment opportunities. The fund will allocate capital to equity and debt securities of publically traded companies that have a proactive and meaningful sustainability mandate, as well as securities that may technologically, socially, and environmentally impact the earth positively, with a focus on themes such as water, clean energy, innovation, and other sustainable themes as defined by the portfolio managers.
Forty basis points, or .4 percent, of the total assets under management in the Fund will flow as a donation on a rolling basis to the GlobalECHO Foundation. The Foundation, established in June 2012, aims to provide philanthropic resources for work in three key areas, including: support for the lives of women and children, the expansion of micro-enterprise, and environmental education.
Over a two-year period, the funds that accrue to the Foundation will go towards financing the balance of systems cost for the Panzi solar project so that Dr. Mukwege and his team have the best possible infrastructure to serve the women and girls of eastern DRC.
There are several factors critical to this initiative. First, the assets under management in the ETF need to grow in order for the philanthropic dollars in turn to accrue. Second, there needs to be smooth and timely transfer of funds from the ETF to the GlobalECHO Foundation and from the Foundation to Panzi Hospital. Finally, there is significant coordination and oversight required on the ground at Panzi Hospital to ensure the project goes as planned, especially given the current circumstances in the DRC. Action items specific to the GlobalECHO Foundation include:
Board approval for financial support to Panzi Hospital (already complete)
Arrangement finalized with Panzi Hospital and Suntech
Funds-transfer mechanism finalized
Site visit to Panzi Hospital by board members
Targeted presentations of the 'GIVE' ETF to socially and environmentally motivated investors
Ongoing monitoring of project timelines and deliverables
Additional action items will be included as necessary.
The General Referral Panzi Hospital ('Panzi Hospital' or 'the hospital') is a provincial hospital located in Bukavu in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Founded in 1999 by Dr. Denis Mukwege, Panzi Hospital provides care in obstetrics, pediatrics, internal medicine and general and specialized surgery. Additionally, Dr. Mukwege and his team specialize in the treatment of gynecological disorders, specifically those due to reproductive trauma and trauma from sexual violence. The ongoing conflict in the eastern DRC and the ethnic strife that produces so many victims of sexual violence - many of whom are girls and women, who have no other options for care - makes Panzi Hospital's work especially important.
The GlobalECHO Foundation ('the Foundation') learned through CGI that Panzi Hospital lacks access to stable and sustainable energy, reliant as it is on 1) an unstable grid, 2) expensive diesel fuel, and 3) locally sourced wood and biomass. To alleviate the hospital's burden of unstable and dirty energy and allow it to better serve its patients, the world's largest manufacturer of solar panels and CGI member Suntech Power Holdings Co., Ltd. ('Suntech') has committed to donating solar panels that will meet and exceed the hospital's estimated energy demand of 240 kilowatts. In addition to the solar panels, Suntech will provide installation services and technical expertise requisite to integrate the new solar system in to the hospital's current system.
This retrofit project, valued at $450,000, requires additional financing in the amount of $425,000 for the balance of systems (infrastructure that includes cables, inverters etc.) before it can get underway.