Making an impact in our communities
Posted byXavier Hormaechea, UCB Community Health Fund
At UCB, we believe that companies must play a role in ensuring a sustainable future. And that means doing our part to help build a future for the most vulnerable in our communities. Beyond our business, we must seek to support those most at-risk in our communities.
Our goal is to work toward healthier communities in the countries where we operate. And we take a holistic view of physical and psychosocial well-being beyond our therapeutic areas when we talk about health.
While the global pandemic has affected us all deeply, analysis tells us that adolescents and young people are particularly affected. Family stress and social isolation only exacerbated their emotional difficulties. In addition to the fear of the virus and the deep uncertainty brought about by misinformation, many face economic insecurity.
Supporting those most at risk
The UCB Community Health Fund is a key part of our community involvement. The Fund is set up to support young people from the most vulnerable communities where UCB is active. And that includes racial and ethnic minorities, refugees and asylum seekers, those with disabilities and specific health conditions, those facing difficulties due to sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, and those who are socio-economically disadvantaged. So far we have been able to support nearly 100 projects since 2020 globally aimed at positively impacting the lives of those in our communities.
Our first call for projects, which closed in September 2020, aimed to support organizations and projects contributing to understanding and reducing the medium- and long-term impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the health of vulnerable young people. The response was phenomenal: 170 applications for support projects and 43 research projects from 24 different countries. We awarded a total of EUR 2,4 Million ($3 Million) to 44 inspiring support projects and six inspiring research projects.
Contributing around the world
Our second call for projects, which closed in July 2021, focused on the mental health of vulnerable young people aged 15 to 24.
Again, the response was phenomenal: 145 applications were received from organizations and projects positively impacting young people’s mental health. We’re proud to reveal that we are contributing grants to a total of 49 organizations and projects, grants of between €30,000 ($36,000) and €50,000 ($60,000) each.
From ‘Promoting Agency and Resilience Among Girls (PARAG) in urban slums in India’ through Mexico City’s ‘Fundación 5XDÍA AC’ to ‘Belgium Plays 4 Peace’, our grants are reaching organizations and projects around the world.
The size and broad reach of applications highlight how much young people across all corners of the globe need support. The pandemic continues to impact them. And while we are on the journey to recovery, recovering will take time. At UCB, we feel nobody should be left behind. Working together, we can build a stronger and more resilient future for all.