Sustainability

Committed to Positive and
Sustainable Development for the Region

Community

Education


"Through education we build a socially responsible country"
We truly believe that education is the engine for progress and the tool for generating changes and achieve goals. With this in mind, Eco Oro promotes constant training for its workers, their family and the community.

Eco Oro's Scholarship
Eager to support distinguished students from the Municipality of California, the company created a scholarship to continue their education on a professional level. The scholarship covers part of the tuition fees and gives a monthly stipend for personal expenses. The scholarship has been given to twelve students of California since 2006.

Construction of a nursery school in California
As a contribution to the education of young children, the company is participating in the construction of a nursery school in the municipality of California. In partnership with other institutions present in the region, a comfortable, safe and fun place is being built to provide education for toddlers and tranquility for their parents.

Parenting and Family Relations
In order to build strong communication between parents, teachers and students, and looking to give parents awareness of the behavior, development and improvement of their children in school, a space was created to give them access to counseling in parenting and family relations through group workshops and individual consultations with a psychologist. Workshop topics include human development, childrearing and preventing family violence. The programs foster dialogue and healthy living at home and around the municipalities of California, Vetas and Suratá, and has reached hundreds of children, adolescents and parents in the region.

Nutrition
The Foundation provides nutritional support for school restaurants and elder homecare services. Some of the food supplies, like eggs, fruit and fish, come from the San Francisco farm, which the Company built jointly with the community in California.

Communications
To improve skills in oral and written communication, local youths are taught how to develop content for radio and press publications. As a result of these workshops, several students have gone on to direct the schools' radio stations in Vetas and California, which were donated by Eco Oro. Students also develop the necessary skills to write and edit for media such as social networks and local newspapers.

The Virtual Classroom
"The internet is for everyone"
The Virtual Classroom in the Municipality of California hosts 10 laptop computers to serve the community and give people free access to the internet, making technology more accessible for those without access otherwise.

Until September this year, the virtual classroom also provided free computer training to people in California, Vetas, Suratá and Matanza. The study program included three levels: Introduction to Windows; Management of Microsoft Office tools and Internet Surfing. These classes were available to anyone in the region including adults and children.

Jewellery workshop
Considering that young people should have different activities in which to invest their free time, we saw the opportunity to teach them an art that relates strongly with their cultural roots. In this workshop, high school students from California learnt jewellery design and production with a professor sponsored by the company, and in a studio donated by Eco Oro. This program was taught over two years.

Arts and craft school
In a joint venture with the SENA (National Learning Center) we were able to execute two big projects in arts and craft focusing especially in supporting women from the Soto Norte region.

The first workshop was doll manufacturing and embroidery, which benefited over 236 women during 2008 and 2009.

The second workshop was carpentry, which educated over 57 people in the commercial uses of wood and furniture production. For this workshop, Eco Oro donated the necessary equipment like workplaces, machinery and raw materials.


Business Initiatives


Eco Oro believes in the ability of communities to innovate and in the importance of new business innovation for growth of the local economy. Various programs were created to support local communities in this innovation:

Income generation program
With the purpose to encourage entrepreneurship in Soto Norte, we designed an income generation program. The program initially identifies associations, companies or business ideas within the community and offers guidance along a business incubation program that provides training in business development, legal counsel and consultancy in organizational structuring. Participants stay in the program until they are able to manage the business on their own.

Small Business Initiative
The Small Business Initiative was established to facilitate the creation of locally-owned companies that render mining services to Eco Oro and other mining companies in the area. Examples include transport of personnel to mine sites, catering and general services, road maintenance, topographic surveys, plant nursery and environmental restoration services, eco and other forms of tourism, administration of protected areas, among others. The business model requires capital investment in equipment and infrastructure and human capacity building. Skill development begins internally and then becomes outsourced maintaining Company oversight until the capacity to operate independently is developed. The business model does not come at additional cost to the company. Rather, it provides an alternative for costs that would in any event be incurred in doing business.

Farm Program "Mi Granjita"
With the help of the community, we built a farm known as the "San Francisco farm", located in the Municipality of California. In this farm, the program "Mi Granjita" took place, designed to provide nutritional supplies for local school restaurants, as outlined in the Nutrition program. The workforce on the farm was comprised of people from various local municipalities, who received technical training in farming and all the necessary supplies for production (seeds, fertilizer, tools and livestock). Over 220 families benefited from this program between 2006 and 2010.

Revolving Fund
Through the Revolving Fund, Eco Oro sponsored new business ideas providing seed money for business startup fees. Viable business plans were chosen from those created during a 12 month business management program. The program started in 2006 and lasted for four years.


Cultural Heritage


Understanding and respecting that the cultural heritage of a community is its people's biggest legacy, we are proud to support their folklore.

Youth Music & Dance
Funding from the Foundation extends to arts and culture. The School of String Instruments, for example, teaches the basics of playing guitar and local instruments such as the tipple and fife. The program also teaches theory giving students both academic and practical training in music. Students of the String School regularly participate in local festivities.