In 2016, the Mustela Foundation granted €20,000 in emergency aid to Haiti. This aid was managed by the Fondation de France.
Martin Spitz, head of international solidarity programs at the foundation, explains the purpose of the donation and how the grant process works.
1. What is the context behind the emergency aid given each year by the Mustela Foundation?
For more than 30 years, the Fondation de France has issued a public appeal for donations to “rebuild lives” after major crises. Following the disaster, the program manager immediately goes to the site to assess needs and identify local players who can help the most vulnerable populations in partnership with French organizations. The Fondation de France’s added value is its ability to select projects that will have a long-term impact on local communities.
The Mustela Foundation shares our values and approach. The foundation trusts us to distribute its funds and handle on-site evaluation and monitoring. This avoids wasting resources during project selection and monitoring, while ensuring that donor funds meet the victims’ needs to the extent possible.
2. What criteria do the supported projects have to meet?
To “rebuild lives” after a disaster, the Fondation de France’s first principle is participation by the disaster-affected populations: they must set their own aid priorities. The second principle is to target the most vulnerable populations – isolated women and children, the elderly and people with disabilities – while being sure to listen to their needs so we can avoid resorting to easy stereotypes when deciding what steps to take. Finally, since we’re operating in the aftermath of an emergency, we support long-term solutions that combine flexible implementation – which helps us adapt to the population’s changing needs – with rigorous project monitoring, including progress reports, victims’ personal accounts and accounting audits.
3. Which project is the Mustela Foundation supporting in 2016?
For donations given in previous years – to Nepal following the 2015 earthquake, the Philippines after Typhoon Haiyan in 2013 and Haiti following the 2010 earthquake – the Mustela Foundation gave priority to relief projects for children, with a focus on health and education.
This year, schools are the top priority. After Hurricane Matthew devastated western Haiti on October 4, 2016, the Fondation de France issued an urgent appeal for donations: 90% of the homes and crops belonging to over 2 million Haitians had been destroyed! As a result, our organization gave priority to restoring agriculture and repairing schools so that the school year could start up again as soon as possible. The project supported by the Mustela Foundation was implemented in the field by the French-Haitian organization Haiti Future, which the Fondation de France had already identified and supported in 2010. The project ended up repairing 30 schools.