At Methanex, we know that our team extends beyond our doors and into the communities where we operate. We have a long-term commitment to bring positive change to Damietta communities through grassroot and sustainable initiatives that stem out of real community needs.
At Methanex in Egypt, our focus on open and transparent collaboration with our neighbors, community leaders, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and community development associations (CDAs) has helped us build trust with the community and respond successfully to local concerns and needs.
Our community investment priorities reflect the global and local nature of our business and focus on areas where Methanex can make a unique and sustainable difference in Egypt including empowerment & training, health, education and many others.
EMPOWERMENT AND TRAINING:
As part of our commitment to positively contribute to the communities in which we operate in a sustainable manner and invest in long-term impactful initiatives, Methanex in Egypt provides training and capacity building workshops to different groups within the Damietta community to enhance services provided and individuals’ living standards.
In June 2019, Methanex Egypt received the International Council for Small Business (ICSB) Humane Entrepreneurship Award at the UN headquarters in New York for the company’s contributions to the enrichment of micro, small and medium-sized enterprise (MSME) culture in Damietta. The award is given by the ICSB to organizations that successfully attain business excellence, while also making a positive impact on their communities as well as businesses that are able to harmonize economic growth, social inclusion, and environmental protection together and meet at least one of the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals.
In Feb 2019, Methanex in Egypt signed a unique partnership agreement with the UN’s International Labour Organization to extend the full-scale of their successful project, Decent Jobs for Egypt’s Young People to Damietta. The project will run from April 2019 to March 2021 and will constitute the core of the company’s new Social Responsibility program in Egypt. The ‘Decent Jobs for Egypt’s Young People– Tackling the Challenge in Damietta’ project aims to build on the wealth of experience and success of the ILO Canadian-funded DJEP project to create decent employment opportunities for youth in the governorate of Damietta, focusing on employment creation through promoting entrepreneurship and facilitating job matching processes. In addition to building capacities of local partners on the ground for improved services to support unemployed youth and job matching processes, the project will address key cross cutting themes including occupational safety and health (OSH), the inclusion of people with disabilities and gender mainstreaming. The decision to embark on this one-of-a-kind partnership will enable Methanex Egypt to support Egypt’s Vision 2030 and the UN Sustainable Development Goals 2030 through addressing decent work.
In 2018, Methanex in Egypt worked with the International Labour Organization (ILO) to provide the Get Ahead for Women in Enterprise training to 108 women from Damietta in the first four rounds of the project. Get Ahead is designed to address the practical and strategic needs of low-income women in enterprise by strengthening their basic business and people management skills. Given the success of the training, Methanex Egypt provided 66 of the GET Ahead for Women beneficiaries with further entrepreneurship and business skills training. Furthermore, of these 66 beneficiaries 27 women were selected to receive in-kind funding from Methanex, to help them grow their businesses. During the same year, Methanex and the ILO delivered GET Ahead for Women in Enterprise Train the Trainer training to 25 women from Damietta in collaboration with the National Council for Women to ensure the sustainability of the program in the future.
In 2018, Methanex in Egypt, in collaboration with the International Labor Organization and with Egypt’s MSMEDA, launched Start and Improve Your Business (SIYB). SIYB is one of the ILO’s largest global business management training programs. It helps small-scale entrepreneurs to start and grow their business, as a strategy to create more and better employment for women and men. Six workshops were delivered to 118 beneficiaries in Damietta during November and December 2018.
Another key tool of the ILO’s Decent Jobs program, Job Search Clubs, was also delivered to 33 beneficiaries from Damietta in collaboration with the Egyptian Ministry of Youth and Sports.
The collaboration with the ILO in 2018 via GET Ahead for Women in Enterprise, SIYB and Job Search Clubs was core to Methanex Egypt’s Social Responsibility program, which is evolving to align with Egypt’s vision 2030 and UN’s SDGs 2030 in particular SDG #8 Decent Work.
Over the years Methanex in Egypt continued to support the community in Damietta by sponsoring annual capacity-building programs in Sananya, Kafr El Battikh and Kafr Saad. These have included workshops on kindergarten teacher training, product development and marketing for income-generating projects, and strategic planning for NGOs.
One of our key community social responsibility focus areas is health. Through our contributions, we support the enhancement of medical services and facilities within the surrounding communities of Kafr Saad, Kafr El Battikh, Sananeya and Damietta in general.
Throughout the years we have provided the Kafr El Battikh central hospital, Damietta Fever hospital and Damietta Cancer Institute, three of main hospitals in the governorate, with the essential equipment to support a population of more than 1.5 million residents. Methanex in Egypt’s support included providing kidney dialysis machines, more than 160 intensive care unit (ICU) beds, chemo-therapy chairs, ICU ventilators, neonatal units for premature babies and many other equipment across the years. We have also built a medical centre for the Friends of Liver Patients Association of Kafr El Battikh, which serves approximately 1,500 families. In addition, our social responsibility (SR) team and some volunteer employees have organized a number of medical caravans providing much needed medical services to nearby villages across the years each serving 2000 patients.
Education has been a key focus area for our social responsibility program over the years. One of our main educational social responsibility projects is a flagship scholarship program executed with the support of Misr El Kheir foundation providing 10 high-school graduates from Damietta with a full stipend to support their university education. The scholarship is given out each year until graduation, provided they maintain their academic standard. So far, we have been able to support 33 top students.
To encourage students to attain high academic scores throughout the different academic years, Methanex organizes an annual recognition event for outstanding students in nearby villages. Almost 100 top performers at different academic stages were recognized so far.
Our team has also invested in the infrastructure of Kindergartens around Damietta through providing financial support, building, renovating and/or equipping them with necessary educational materials and tools. Five Kindergartens (KGs) were supported so far reaching 1700 students and providing essential pre-school education that would have otherwise been unattainable for children of these communities. In addition, we provided teachers with capacity-building programs and teacher training to equip them with the necessary techniques and modern educational methodologies. This was also extended to school teachers of children with special needs to enhance the teachers’ efficiency and skills.