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Banro Corporation

Banro's commitment to corporate social responsibility has many facets, including the building of positive and supportive relations with local communities, the creation of capacity-building jobs for Congolese citizens, environmental protection, workplace safety, the purchase of goods and services locally and the Banro Foundation, which promotes local social and economic development.

The Company is committed to and compliant with the IFC Environmental and Social Performance Standards, the World Gold Council (WGC) conflict-free gold standards, the standards and guidelines of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), and the Standards of the International Conference of the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR).

Banro is fully supportive of the introduction of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative in the DRC. Through its compliance with the standards and guidelines of the WCG, the OECD and the ICGLR, the Company is aligned with all EITI essential principles. The Company is currently implementing the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights with the assistance of a third party auditor.

Banro's commitment to Corporate Social Responsibility is discussed at length in the 2012 and 2013 Sustainability Reports, which are available on this website. Further information on the Banro Foundation is available in the brochure which is posted on the homepage.

Recent press releases on Banro's CSR activities include the following:

April 24, 2013
September 25, 2012
July 5, 2012

Below are descriptions and photographs of a few of the 60 social development projects, representing a total investment of $4 million, which have been undertaken by the Banro Foundation since 2005.


RECENT DEVELOPMENTS
On May 22, 2013, the Banro Foundation and the community of Lugushwa celebrated the Opening of the Mapale Institute, the third and largest high school built to date by the Banro Foundation and the 11th new school overall. The school has eight classrooms for 340 students. The 11 schools, plus an additional two schools which have been rehabilitated by the Banro Foundation, currently serve 7,300 students.
Regional markets contribute to economic development by creating a focus for the commercial exchange of goods and increasing the velocity of money in circulation. In May 2013, the Banro Foundation completed construction of the Nabuntalaga marketplace at Luhwindja. It quickly filled to capacity and began attracting informal outdoor stalls, as shown below. So successful is this initiative, that the BF committee, composed of local community leaders, has recommended the construction of two more sets of stalls before other projects are considered.
The three boys and two girls in the photo below are the first Banro Foundation scholarship winners from the community of Luhwindja, near Twangiza. They are attending the highly respected Institut Technique Fundi Maendeleo in Bukavu. (Fundi Maendeleo are Swahili words meaning "skill is development"). This technical and professional high school, which is operated by Belgian priests, provides courses in such subjects as electricity, general mechanics, machinery and carpentry. This is the first of three high school and university scholarship programs which the Banro Foundation is introducing to assist promising young people who wish to pursue professional and technical careers in the mining industry.
 
Teachers in the Congolese school system tend to be compensated not by the state but through tuition paid by parents. As parents' resources are limited, many children, girls in particular, are often unable to attend school. As well, teachers often leave in search of better paying jobs. To help remedy these problems, the Banro Foundation pays a monthly stipend to teachers at all 13 schools it has built or rehabilitated. Below, BF project supervisor Mukunguza Buhendwa distributes payments to teachers at the Chiburhi School.
 
On February 4, 2013, the community of Lugushwa and the Banro Foundation celebrated the achievements of approximately 100 women graduating from courses at the Makalanga Women's Centre. The Banro Foundation Centre built the Centre in 2011 and continues to finance its operations. The Makalanga Women's Centre offers courses in basic literacy, sewing, bread making, soap making and hair dressing.
The Banro Foundation hosts a community office in each of the sites where it has ongoing programs. The most recent Banro Foundation office to open is the Kamituga office, which was inaugurated in a community ceremony on February 4, 2013.
The new Makwale Burhinyi Primary School was inaugurated in a public ceremony hosted by the Mwami (chief) of Burhinyi and Banro Foundation on January 30, 2013. With the completion of the school, the Banro Foundation has constructed a total of 10 new schools and rehabilitated an additional two schools, which together serve 4,000 primary and high school students in South Kivu and Maniema provinces.
The new Mulangane Ngweshe Primary School is a modern facility for 240 students. The ninth new school built by the Banro Foundation, the facility was handed over to the community of Ngweshe on January 30, 2013 in a public ceremony hosted by the Mwami of Ngweshe and the Banro Foundation. The school is located north of the Company's Twangiza project.
Communications with local leaders is an important role of the Banro Foundation. On January 29, 2013, the Banro Foundation hosted a BBQ at the Company's exploration office in Bukavu for provincial government officials, South Kivu and Maniema community leaders, local NGOs and the media. The Foundation discussed its current activities and 2013 plans.

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