|Tenke Fungurume Mining Launches Social Community Fund – First Grants Awarded|
In an endeavor to better serve communities near Tenke Fungurume Mining (TFM) operations, TFM created a Social Community Fund. The Fund is designed for the primary benefit of the community members impacted by the TFM project by investing in sustainable community development projects supporting infrastructure and relevant services including health, education and agriculture.
Based on a pledge in the TFM mining convention with the Democratic Republic of Congo government, TFM contributes 0.3 percent of its annual net metal sales to the Fund. Contributions commenced when mining began in 2009, and through 2011 have totaled $7.6 million.
The Fund is governed by its Board of Directors which consists of a representative appointed by the provincial government, two representatives nominated by the local community and four TFM representatives. The Secretariat serves as the administrative body that ensures compliance with all Fund policies and procedures and is comprised of an executive director, a coordinator and two community mobilizers. A Stakeholder Forum was created as an advisory body for community consultation. It includes seven representatives from the religious community, four members from local FEC/COPEMECO (chamber of commerce), five members from local civil society groups, and 24 members of CODESA (health zone).
The Fund operates within a Funding Cycle, beginning with a consultation period during which the Secretariat consults with traditional authorities and the Stakeholder Forum on funding priorities and identification of needs. Upon completion of community consultations, a grant application submission window opens. During this period communities prepare their grant applications and submit them to the Secretariat for review. Following the submission deadline, the Secretariat reviews all submissions and establishes an evaluation file for each application received. Proposals are presented to local and traditional authorities for feedback. These proposals are then presented to the Stakeholder Forum for further consideration. It is the responsibility of the Stakeholder Forum to ensure proposals recommended for funding are in alignment with community priorities and needs identified during initial consultations. The Secretariat finalizes grant application evaluation files with recommendations to the Board of Directors. The Board of Directors makes the final funding decisions for each file.
In 2011, the Board awarded its first four grants: (1) the rehabilitation of two schools, (2) for the rehabilitation of two health centers, (3) for the drilling of 10 wells throughout the concession and (4) for capacity-building training for the Stakeholder Forum.
Projects are implemented through local contractors and staffed by local labor wherever feasible. TFM is committed to engaging with traditional local authorities to keep them apprised of the Fund’s progress.