“Give a man a fish and he eats for a day; Teach a man to fish and he eats for a lifetime.”
At Gildan we believe that Genuine Stewardship is achieved when assistance not only helps to address an immediate need but also provides the ability for recipients to “feed” themselves in the longer term. Historically a percentage of our charitable donations as an organization have been focused on youth education in the towns and countries in which we operate in order to encourage sustainable economic development….i.e. the skills and knowledge needed to “fish”.
The Instituto Politécnico Centroamericano, or IPC, located in Honduras, is just one example of our Genuine Stewardship philosophy in action.
In 2005, Gildan spearheaded an industry-wide initiative which led to the creation of the first Central American technical institute to train people for the textile, apparel and other industries through intensive two- to five-month courses and one-year technical programs. With the help of an initial U.S.$500,000 contribution from Gildan, the IPC was created.
On July 8th of this year we renewed our now 5 year long partnership with the IPC through a commitment to fund 26 scholarships valued at roughly U.S. $4,000 each for the 2011 – 2012 school year. The over $100,000 total donation from Gildan willcover tuition, books, equipment, and tools for an entire school year for students from communities near Gildan’s facilities who have limited financial resources and would otherwise not be able to gain these advanced skills.
Since 2006, Gildan has sponsored more than 200 scholarships to the school that has matriculated a total of 3,386 students. 90% of these students have gone on to find employment within a wide range of companies in Honduras including Gildan, where 121 IPC graduates have started their careers.
These graduates are becoming the next generation of plant managers, technicians, supervisors, trainers and designers for the industry in Honduras, many of whom will end up employed by our competitors as well. This might sound counterintuitive…to help educate our competitors’ employees…but we believe this is a good and responsible investment as it sets the foundation for a sustainable industry base for the long term.