Social & Humanitarian
Fransabank believes that social
responsibility initiatives have the power to provide a lifeline to those that
would otherwise face despair. Whether through funding of medical treatment or
raising awareness of social, results can be achieved to reinforce every
citizen’s right to life .
Road Safety is No Accident
Roads for Life | The Talal Kassem Fund for Post Accident Care is inspired by Talal Kassem, another road victim. His tragic death at the age of 17 when he was hit by a reckless driver turned into an opportunity to help save thousands of lives.
Roads for life fund made the commitment to optimize the survival odds of all victims of road accidents during the first crucial "60 minutes" following such accidents. That is because a swift and efficient intervention by the emergency teams on the scene of the accident would help save each year thousands of lives lost on the roads.
Fransabank supports “Roads for Life” in their commitment and helps them through the co-funding of the Advanced Trauma Life Support (ATLS) course. The ATLS which was tentatively launched in Lebanon in 2011, will be partially funded in order to allow it to rise up to the level of similar programs implemented in more than 41 of the most developed countries, but also to cover the greatest number of emergency physicians. The ATLS course targets emergency physicians, practicing or training surgeons as well as anesthesiologists and reanimation physicians. This course is also open to the Red Cross emergency workers. The main objective of this course is to teach these different types of specialists a single protocol for optimizing the treatment of gravely injured individuals during the first hour following the accident.
The fundraising allows a maximum number of physicians, chosen from all regions of Lebanon, to take this course free of charge at the American University of Beirut Medical Center. All registered doctors will receive a certificate from the American College of Surgeons (USA) upon the completion of the course.
The first fundraising phase for the ATLS course took place through a concert entitled "Roads for Life" in tribute of Talal Kassem where Fransabank was the main sponsor of this concert. A good number of Fransabank Staff and Fransabank clients attended this concert. It was a great success and gathered more than 2,500 persons around a cause that has become a national one, that of going beyond traditional limits while concentrating on those principles uniting us as human beings and advocating for saving lives. The concert raised a total amount of USD 100,000 - The amount of USD 97,500 was allocated for the training of 130 physicians, or USD 750 per doctor over 3 consecutive days and USD 2,500 for Red Cross participants.
In addition, Fransabank engaged in sponsoring all doctors, from private and public hospitals spread on all Lebanese territory who took the Advanced Trauma Life Support course during 2015. More than a hundred doctors were trained and receive certificates in collaboration with AUBMC. Fransabank sponsors as well, on a yearly basis, their fundraising dinner.
In parallel, Fransabank joined forces with local organizations like Kunhadi and YASA (Youth Association for Social Awareness), to raise awareness of road safety issues and to join the campaign to reduce the number of road accidents in the country. In 2011, Fransabank was an active partner of the alliance created by Kunhadi for the UN Decade for Road Safety. The Alliance combined different private sector companies that have come together to act on improving road safety. A Memorandum of Understanding was signed with all partners pledging to work with together on promoting road safety.
Fransabank sponsored as well a traffic law program on LBC TV station entitled “بتفرق عدقيقة. The program explained daily all details of implementation of the new traffic law in Lebanon.
Restoring Hope, Regaining Mobility
In a country that has had more than its fair share of conflict, even when war is over, the impact can continue to reverberate throughout everyday life. Beyond the tragic deaths of civilians, there are the additional casualties of landmines and explosive ordnance, whose loss of limb or limbs can lead to marginalization from society, deprivation of income, and, often, despair. To this backdrop, Fransabank joined forces with UNIFIL to sponsor the Jaipur Foot Project, an initiative to provide free artificial limbs to Lebanese victims.
Since its invention in 1969, the Jaipur Foot has enabled millions of people across the world to once again live normal lives. Unlike traditional prostheses, which can cost thousands of dollars, the Jaipur Foot is made of rubber, wood and aluminium for a relatively low cost. The advantage of the Jaipur Foot doesn’t just lie in its price, though. This prosthetic limb is light and mobile, enabling its wearers to run, climb trees, pedal a bicycle and even kneel. An additional advantage to the Jaipur Foot is, unlike its more expensive counterparts, it does not have to be worn with shoes, making it suitable for the needs of Muslims when praying or entering mosques.
To fulfil the order of Jaipur Foot prostheses sponsored by Fransabank, workers toiled around the clock at voluntary organization Mahaveer Viklang Sahayata Samiti in Rajasthan, India. A total of 90 artificial limbs for 81 people were provided, giving the vast majority of them immediate mobility. Recipients ranged in age from seven years to 77 and came from a wide range of regions including Beirut, Aley, Bekaa, West Bekaa, North, the Chouf and the South.
Fransabank was recognized for its contribution at a presentation parade in which UN medals were presented to the peacekeepers in the presence of Major General Claudio Graziano, UNIFIL Force Commander, senior UNIFIL commanders and battalion commanding officers, as well as Lebanese dignitaries. At the ceremony, Major General Graziano described the camp set up for the distribution of the Jaipur Foot as “the jewel of humanitarian activities”.
At the camp fitting session, emotional scenes of happiness prevailed, perhaps most aptly conveyed by the participant who, after having two above the knee prostheses fitted, immediately began to dance. Later the same day, one of the younger recipients joined the UNIFIL soldiers in a game of basketball. These two poignant vignettes provide just a small glimpse into how this Fransabank initiative restored not only the day-to-day mobility of many but revived their hope for the future to come. The society behind the Jaipur Foot initiative began in 1975 with a very modest fitment of 59 artificial limbs. Today it fits approximately 20,000 artificial limbs and 30,000 polio calipers, in addition to other aids and appliances, every year in India and abroad in countries such as Lebanon.
A Child Right to Life
In addition to helping to give conflict victims a new lease of life, Fransabank initiatives have focused on the right to life. We support a range of humanitarian causes and non-profit organizations which bring hope to people in need of medical treatment. These include the Brave Heart Fund among other NGOs.
“No child shall die of heart disease because of lack of funds” is the noble mission of the Brave Heart Fund, a philanthropic institution that provides funding for surgery on infants born with congenital heart problems. Fransabank wholeheartedly supported the Brave Heart Fund in its mission by donating funds for surgery and hospitalization fees. This support has taken on various guises, such as our participation in the Brave Heart Marathon over consecutive years, and, our sponsorship of Brave Heart’s fundraising gala dinners.
Fransabank supports as well:
- “OpenMinds”, a fund which supports the AUBMC Special Kids Clinic, conducting research into autism and other developmental disabilities, helping families in need, and promoting integration of individuals with neurodevelopmental disabilities across their lifespan
- The Neonate Fund, which aims to raise public awareness, mobilize efforts to reduce death and disability caused by premature birth, and ensure that they receive the appropriate medical treatment
- Himaya, a Lebanese NGO that promotes awareness for the protection of innocent children from sexual and physical abuse. The main objective of this organization is to raise general awareness in order to break the taboos, empower the children to promote self-protection attitudes and mechanisms, train and support parents and professionals.
Restoring Hope and Wellbeing
In line with its evolving corporate citizen role that caters to the people with special needs, Fransabank reaffirmed its commitment and belief in the necessity of supporting various health, humanitarian and social initiatives that work on improving the lives of individuals.
YADUNA - Promoting Women’s Cardiovascular Health
Fransabank and its chairman H.E. Mr. Adnan Kassar joined Yaduna’s board of trustees, thus continuously prioritizing the health issues on the list of the Bank’s corporate responsibility initiatives, and lending a helping hand to those who deserve to live a healthier life, a happier life.
Women’s Heart Health Center (WHHC) was founded by the former first Lady of Lebanon H.E. Mrs. Wafaa Suleiman and in collaboration with The American University of Beirut Faculty of Medicine & Medical Center (AUBMC) and Saint Joseph University Faculty of Medicine (USJ/FM). Its mission is to improve women’s cardiovascular health and reduce the burden of disease through awareness, prevention, screening, primary treatment and advocacy. The center strives to become a model of excellence in preventive and primary treatment of cardiovascular diseases among women, regardless of their social background.
An internal campaign to raise awareness of cardiovascular disease in women was held inviting all women staff, above 40 years old, working at the Headquarters and the Beirut area branches to attend an interactive workshop with cardiologists from prominent local hospitals, American University of Beirut Medical Center and Hotel Dieu de France. The workshop lasted for two days with a total of 82 attendees. Arising from this initiative’s success, and to better reach all of our staff, a special edition of our internal magazine Zapping was dedicated to women’s heart health, including recommendations for a healthier heart and better lifestyle as well as facts and statistics.
As part of Fransabank Group strategy to sustain the health sector in Lebanon especially in marginalized areas such as the Bekaa valley, the Group supported the public campaign launched by Tell Chiha Hospital through financing free medical consultations and laboratory tests targeting mainly the deprived people of the Bekaa area as it is known to have a large population that cannot afford access to adequate health services.
Salim El Hoss Bioethics and Professionalism Program at the AUB
The Salim El Hoss Bioethics and Professionalism Program at the American University of Beirut is an interdisciplinary resource for faculty, students, and healthcare providers who are involved in bioethics education, research, and consultation. It promotes and encourages the development of the essential skills, attitudes, and behaviors among those who practice medicine on issues such as end of life care, stem cell research, organ donations, and health administration, among others… Fransabank contributes to an annual pledge to help this program turn into a self-financed center.
In this scope, Fransabank offers yearly several contributions to non-governmental organization as well as private centers among others. To state few, Fransabank supported Skoun in its mission of advocating for the prevention of drug dependency and other addictions by sponsoring their 6th annual gala dinner. On another side, the Bank donated to the humanitarian NGOs “Walk with Al Younbouh” that cares for less privileged people with special needs, Autism Association for Social Integration- AASI, and the Alzheimer’s Association Lebanon that aims to improve the quality of life of people with dementia and with a primary objective to raise public awareness throughout the Middle East, and Lebanon in particular.
On a parallel note, Fransabank also supported the Center for Osteoporosis which helps enhance knowledge and expert care for osteoporosis and other metabolic bone disorders in Lebanon through education, research and service, the National Eye Bank Center in Lebanon which is responsible for the procurement of corneas from donors, process and distribution of cornea tissues of the highest quality for transplantation and the American University of Beirut Medical Center (AUBMC) volunteerism program which also included the pink ladies of the Women’s Auxiliary group and the blue volunteers of the Children’s Cancer Center.
Last but not least, Fransabank encourages adopting responsible business practices in the areas of Human Rights, therefore, we embarked on a strong push to address human rights obligations of private fiannce and sponsored “Human Rights Watch” annual dinner, one of the world’s leading independent organizations dedicated to defending and protecting human rights.