FEMSA Foundation’s mission is to make a positive impact on the people and communities where we operate by furthering social investment projects that promote sustainability. Specifically, we focus our commitments on the principles of innovation, replicability and scalability for three strategic action areas: water security, early childhood development and cultural programs.
In 2017, our programs benefited 7,945,957 people directly and indirectly in over 600 communities.
We know that the participation and expertise of our strategic partners is crucial to the success of our projects. For every dollar that we currently invest, we are able to leverage approximately US$ 3.46 dollars through our partnerships (an increase from about US$ 1.40 dollars during 2016).
In all the Foundation’s programs, we aim for maximum impact with the resources and partnerships available to us. Over the coming year, we will focus on reaching more people by scaling up our existing programs and replicating best practices in new areas.
For a water secure region
One of our goals is to address water challenges in Latin America by utilizing technology-supported decision-making, increasing access to water and sanitation, and enhancing water security through watershed sustainability.
We are increasingly addressing water stewardship in the context of the inextricable linkages between water, energy and food resources. By leveraging a sophisticated modeling tool run by the Water Center for Latin America and the Caribbean, called the Strategic Decisions Hub (or NED, its acronym in Spanish), we are able to generate a 360-degree perspective on water availability and use in the region. This tool supports the decision-making process—guided by a multidisciplinary network of experts—for finding solutions to complex problems.
Our partnership with The Nature Conservancy, the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and the Global Environment Fund has expanded the scope of our water initiatives beyond conservation. As a member of the Latin American Water Funds Partnership, we provide technical and financial assistance for the creation of Water Funds. These funds help communities achieve water security by investing in natural infrastructure and good governance. For example, in Monterrey in September 2017, we gathered 20 key stakeholders—from government, to private enterprise, to agricultural producers and water utility companies—to develop a common agenda on how the community can work together to manage this water resource. From our discussion, we identified 11 areas for this common agenda and we are now executing on the first four:
As of the end of 2017, the Latin American Water Funds Partnership has leveraged over Ps. 43.5 million (US$ 2.2 million) from more than 100 local partners.
In March 2017, we launched Water Links (Lazos de Agua) together with One Drop, IDB and the Coca-Cola Foundation. Through this multi-stakeholder partnership, we are improving the health and living conditions of the poorest and most vulnerable communities in Latin America. Through a focus on behavior change, we aim to develop sustainable water access and sanitation projects. By helping communities change their habits and learn the practices needed to sustain ongoing investments, we seek to empower them and give them the tools to make this initiative sustainable once the project is complete. By using this model we have assisted 7,299 persons and plan to help more in the coming year.
Promoting early childhood development
By strengthening early childhood development, our vision is that all children reach their maximum potential and transform the communities where we operate.
All children deserve to achieve their maximum potential, but not all have the resources to do so. In partnership with IDB and Open Society Foundations, we launched the Early Childhood Development Innovation Fund. Designed to benefit children in the most vulnerable of communities, the new fund will finance initiatives to improve the cognitive, linguistic, motor and socio-emotional abilities of children in the first five years of their lives. We are excited to be a part of this collaboration because it will afford us the partnerships and resources necessary to test innovative models and develop opportunities to scale.
We also remain active in Sesame Workshop’s ¡Listos a Jugar! (Ready to Play!), a multi-platform initiative to promote lifelong, healthy habits through educational entertainment for children from 0 to 6 years of age. We provide financial and advisory support for the many activities provided to teachers and parents, including games focused on nutrition habits, emotional intelligence, self-esteem and physical health. Through this initiative we have reached 7.8 million people in Mexico, Ecuador and Colombia, and we are planning to launch in Brazil in 2018.
Another one of our goals is to raise awareness in the private sector community about the importance and benefits of implementing early childhood development initiatives for the families of employees. By making these investments, we believe that companies can build a team that is more successful and sustainable, as well as increase employee productivity and satisfaction. In November 2017, in collaboration with LEGO Foundation and United Way Mexico, we hosted a one-day summit and symposium to discuss these early childhood development opportunities with the CEOs and human resources executives of some of the most important companies in Mexico and Latin America. 18 speakers shared knowledge and best practices for promoting early childhood development with over 280 participants and 9,000 remote viewers from six different countries. To learn more about the symposium, please visit: http://ecdsymposium.com/.
Arts and culture advocacy
Our goal is to preserve, promote, and share the FEMSA Collection in order to contribute to a further understanding and appreciation of modern and contemporary Latin American art.
At FEMSA, we believe in the power of art and its ability to positively transform the way people interact with their surroundings. This is why, 40 years after its institution, the FEMSA Collection continues its endeavor of sharing the legacy of its artworks with diverse audiences in different geographies through an exhibition program and various other initiatives.
The FEMSA Collection gathers more than 1,200 works of art that document the evolution, diversity, and heritage of the arts that have unfolded in Latin America since the 20th century. Throughout 2017, more than 1 million people visited exhibitions in Mexico, Costa Rica, Guatemala, and Panama made possible by our exhibition program, as well as other museums around the world, where works from the Collection were displayed as part of our loan program.
In addition to safeguarding the FEMSA Collection, the FEMSA Cultural Program manages two significant initiatives: the FEMSA Biennial and Estancia FEMSA – Casa Luis Barragán.
The FEMSA Biennial was launched in 1992 with the purpose of recognizing, strengthening, encouraging and providing a platform for artistic creation in Mexico. Since then, it has evolved into a collaborative model that seeks to generate a dialogue that connects local cultural context and the global contemporary art scene. Now in its 13th edition, the FEMSA Biennial takes place from 2017 through 2019 in the state of Zacatecas, in partnership with various local cultural institutions and museums.
Estancia FEMSA – Casa Luis Barragán is a cultural and artistic platform hosted by Casa Luis Barragán in Mexico City, the former residence of Luis Barragán, one of the most relevant architects of the 20th century. It presents a series of exhibitions, performances and editorial content to promote dialogue on the historical context offered by the house, as well as the possibilities of the modern and contemporary art disciplines.