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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, 2013, 2014 and 2015 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 $4.5 million, which have been undertaken by the Banro Foundation since 2005.

In 2014, the Banro Foundation added a new priority to its mandate -- sustainable agriculture. The inaugural Fundi agricultural project is located 15 kilometres from the village of Namoya in Maniema province. The initial crops to be grown include cassava, beans, corn and soya, with the goal of adding cash crops such as coffee as well as chicken and pigs within two to three years. The project has a number of goals -- to generate local employment, transfer enhanced agricultural skills, open new markets for locally grown produce and provide a local food supply for Banro employees while generating income for the local community. The project received an extra boost in July 2014 with the gift of four new John Deere tractors from the Governor of Maniema Province.

100 hectares of corn, almost ready for harvesting (January 2015)

The Fundi agricultural project has quickly become the largest vegetable farm in Maniema and South Kivu provinces.

Earlier this year - clearing the ground for the new Fundi agriculture project in Maniema Province

Banro and BF staff with two of the four new tractors presented to the Banro Foundation on July 11, 2014 as a gift from the Governor of Maniema Province
The Banro Foundation has completed the second of three facilities that constitute the new Nabuntalaga market at Luhwindja, South Kivu. The Foundation completed the first stage in May 2013. It quickly filled to capacity and the local Banro Foundation committee, composed of local community leaders, recommended the construction of two more stages. Regional markets and critical to local economic development, creating a focus for the commercial exchange of goods and increasing the velocity of money in circulation.

The second stage of the Nabuntalaga market at Luhwindja, South Kivu province

The new Nabuntalaga market, stage one is elevated, on the right
During 2013 - 2014, the Banro Foundation has focused on the building of new medical facilities. The largest is the Salamabila Referral Hospital in Namoya, Maniema Province. Construction of the new facility benefited from a fund-raising event, "Celebrate the Congo", which was hosted by the Foundation in Toronto in 2012 and raised US$112,000. A slightly smaller facility, the Tukolo Health Centre, is under construction at Kamituga, South Kivu Province. More recently, a stone-laying ceremony was held in a small village near Lugushwa, South Kivu for the planned Byombi Health Clinic.

The new Salamabila Referral Hospital, currently under construction

Banro and Banro Foundatin staff in front of the new Tukolo Health Centre, near Kamituga

A children's choir performs during the cornerstone ceremony for the Byombe Health Centre, near Lugushwa
The Banro Foundation is close to completing construction of its latest education project -- a women's residence at the public University of Kindu in Maniema Province, DRC. The dormitory will house 24 students. This modern and growing university, with an enrollment of 15,000 students, began as an extension of the University of Kinshasa in 2004 and became an independent institution in 2010.

The new women's residence at the Univereity of Kindu

Banro and Banro Foundation staff in discussions with the President of the University of Kindu
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.

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