Hedge Funds Care Cayman recently gave $145,054 in grants to support local projects that treat and prevent child abuse in the Cayman Islands, according to an advisory from the charity.
The 2007 recipients are: The Nadine Andreas Foster Home (operated by the NCVO); the Cayman Islands Crisis Centre; St. Ignatius for its ‘Protecting God’s Children’; abuse identification training programme and the Department of Children and Family Services.
HFCC Committee Co-Chair, Peter Cockhill said the grant selection process had been intentionally ‘lengthy and thorough.’
‘There is a careful screening process where the committee conducts site visits and requests that the potential grantees present the details of their proposals.
‘This is an exceptionally important part of the overall process because Hedge Funds Care is committed to ensuring that the donations made by the companies and individuals in good faith are going to be supporting projects that will benefit the children of the Cayman Islands, by directly addressing the issues of child abuse and neglect’, he added.
The process began with an extensive media blitz by the local chapter. Once proposals were received, the Hedge Funds Care team assisted the agencies to ensure that their projects were on target with HFC aims. The committee then met with each of the representative organisations.
‘This was a fascinating exercise for me and all of my colleagues on the committee’, stated co-chair Colleen Montain. ‘We were able to see first hand a side of Cayman’s social network that some of us had not previously been exposed to.
‘The issue of abuse, especially when it comes to children is horrifying, but seeing the treatment centres and the places of refuge that are all at capacity, really brought home the message that there is a need as great in Cayman as anywhere else in the world for caring people to be involved, and funds to make their efforts materialise’.
The Hedge Funds Care committee also hosted a morning meeting attended by almost every representative organisation in Cayman dealing with child abuse and neglect in the Cayman Islands.
‘This meeting played a vital role in assisting the committee with making their grant decisions’, stated Peter Cockhill. ‘It was through this meeting that the committee was able to get a solid understanding on where Cayman is in terms of the development of an infrastructure that supports the victims of child abuse.
‘It was overwhelming to see the passion and commitment on behalf of all of those people who work in the field and to see that there was no shortage of ideas on how best to tackle this very delicate issue,’ he remarked.
Ms Montain said: ‘Hedge Funds Care (Cayman) is extremely proud of its success in being able to raise the amount of money that we did last year and we are very keen to see this money begin to make a dramatic difference in the lives of Cayman’s affected children.
‘We feel that we have a responsibility to the donors as well as to the children to ensure that the money is spent in the areas in which it will have the most long-term impact’, she added.
The Hedge Funds Care mission is built on the understanding that there are several factors that contribute to the incidence of child abuse and maltreatment today. Substance abuse, mental illness, domestic violence, prior victimisation, and poverty (linked with underemployment or lack of access to employment) are some of the factors that cause family strain and can put children at risk.
HFCC is committed to funding activities that strengthen vulnerable families, build community resources for at risk families, preserve the integrity of the family without jeopardising child safety, enhance permanency planning, improve foster care and adoption, and provide clinical treatment to victims as well as support to non-offending family members.
Hedge Funds Care Cayman is also committed to enhancing general awareness within the community and increasing the awareness of children to the problem of abuse in order to facilitate disclosure and break the cycle.
Hedge fund industry professionals established Hedge Funds Care, a charitable organisation focused on assisting young victims of abuse, in 1998. Since that time, chapters have opened in New York, San Francisco, Chicago, Atlanta, Boston, Denver, Toronto, Cayman and most recently in London,. The targeted groups for the organisation include those organisations with interests in hedge funds, including investment managers, investors, prime brokers, attorneys, accountants, administrators and information providers.