Chevron Press Release - Chevron Pledges $5 Million, Five-year Community Development Program
Rev. Leon Sullivan announces pledge at African-African American Summit
ACCRA, Ghana, May 20 -- A $5 million, five-year community development program to improve the quality of life for people living in the Niger Delta has been launched by Chevron in partnership with the International Foundation for Education and Self Help (IFESH). The announcement was made by the Rev. Leon Sullivan, founder and president of IFESH, at the African-African American Summit in Accra.
Sullivan is a Philadelphia minister, Presidential Medal of Freedom winner and author of the Sullivan Principles. This economic code of conduct set the standard for nondiscriminatory employment practices in South Africa under apartheid.
"This partnership with IFESH, called The Western Niger Delta Development Program, complements Chevron's long-standing commitment to bring benefits to communities near our oil and gas production operations," said Richard Matzke, a director of Chevron Corp. and president of Chevron Overseas Petroleum Inc.
The program aims to address critical social, economic and development issues through skills development, basic education, health education, enterprise development and food production.
"This program will focus on helping people help themselves," said Sullivan. "We will encourage residents of the Niger Delta to participate actively in -- and not remain mere spectators of -- their own social transformation."
Specific objectives of the program include:
- Train and facilitate the self-employment of approximately 1,000 youths;
- Strengthen the food production capacity of fishermen/farmers in Chevron's area of operations;
- Provide basic education for primary school children, literacy classes for adults, and teacher training for primary school teachers;
- Facilitate the establishment of a self-run, privately funded credit/finance co-operative organization;
- Provide basic business skills training and access to credit for existing small businesses.
The IFESH/Chevron partnership will impact an estimated 26,000 people at the end of the five-year term, including fishermen, women, teachers, community leaders, youths and children.
"We've invested more than $40 million in Nigerian community development projects since 1991," said George Kirkland, managing director of Chevron Nigeria Ltd. "This program is an extension of Chevron's commitment to our neighbors and is an integral part of how we conduct our business."
Updated: May 1999