Gildan to donate $3.5m to community projects in Honduras

Gildan Activewear is to donate more than $3.5m to special community projects in Honduras.

Four key projects have been selected with the aim of improving education and healthcare services in the northern region of Honduras, where its operations are located, and to facilitate access to housing for its employees.

This unprecedented private initiative in Honduras is being financed through funds to be received by Gildan from the government of Honduras in connection with its participation in an employment programme named ‘Con Chamba Vivís Mejor’ (We live better with jobs).

Executive vice-president, manufacturing at Gildan, Benito Masi, explained: “Gildan’s positive impact on job creation in the country entitled us to receive a special grant as part of this governmental programme, which we decided to redistribute entirely into educational, healthcare and housing projects, as we believe this will have a significant impact in the communities where our employees live.

“In 2014 alone, Gildan generated more than 7,000 new jobs in Honduras, making the company the country’s top recruiter within this programme.”

The majority of the funds will be invested in the following main projects:

  • The Dejando Huella (Leaving footprints) scholarship program of the Instituto Politécnico Centroamericano (IPC), a leading technical educational institution in Central America, which was spearheaded by Gildan in 2005. The donation will cover scholarships for a period of two years benefitting approximately 1,200 students.
  • The expansion of the Leonardo Martínez Valenzuela Hospital in the city of San Pedro Sula, where a significant portion of Gildan’s employees reside.
  • The remodelling of the Colonia Lopez Arellano Daycare, where Gildan’s largest manufacturing complex is located.
  • A housing programme which will directly benefit approximately 200 Gildan employees.

With the support of the First Lady, Ana Garcia de Hernandez, Gildan selected other projects that will receive the balance of the funds:

  • Child protection programs developed in collaboration with UNICEF to provide assistance to orphans and children living in highly underprivileged communities at risk of exposure to violence, exploitation and abuse.
  • A number of schools to be identified by Gildan and FUNDEIH in order to improve toilet facilities and therefore offer a healthier environment for the students.
  • A number of cultural activities will be developed and implemented in high risk communities as a means to prevent violence amongst youth.
  • Centres offering recreational activities for elderly citizens will be constructed.

With more than 27,000 employees in the country, Gildan is one of the largest private employers in Honduras.

Throughout the years, Gildan has been a key contributor to local Honduran economic development through significant capital investments in state-of-the-art facilities employing leading working conditions, continuous job creation, and support to local businesses, in addition to ongoing investments in local community projects which have an impact on people’s well-being and education.

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