Our approach

We believe in adopting a very entrepreneurial approach and applying it to achieve our philanthropic goals. This encompasses every aspect of our funding support — from grants through to venture-philanthropy investments in projects where we recognize the potential for social benefits and where money can be recycled over time. For example, investments in microfinance institutions and social enterprises. We are willing to experiment, try new approaches, and focus on measurable results. We believe in capacity building, and we get deeply involved with the recipients of our grants.

Some of Our Projects

 

Ray of Hope

Manta Rays are magnificent creatures of the ocean. Unfortunately, they are being hunted for their gills which are used in Chinese medicine. Demand is growing and because they are easy to hunt, these rays may be facing extinction soon. Silvercrest Foundation has partnered with WildAid and Shark Savers and produced a compelling short film (www.mantarayofhope.com) to help build awareness about this. In addition, we initiated a global research study to better understand the trade at both the source and consumer ends and compiled key findings in the world's first report on the issue. This report can be downloaded at: (www.sharksavers.org/mantareport).

 

Back to school program, Cambodia

M'Lop Tapang is a local NGO registered with the Cambodian government and has been working with children and families in Sihanoukville, Cambodia since 2003. Silvercrest recently sponsored a “Back To School Program”. 900 children are attending school as of January 2012, who otherwise wouldn’t. Silvercrest is assisting with staff costs, providing uniforms, books and educational supplies. MT works to keep the children in school by monitoring their attendance, offering counselling, support and incoming generating ideas for families.

 

Day centre, Vietnam

Kianh Foundation has been offering special education and physiotherapy services to children in Vietnam since 2001. Many disabled children were being institutionalized by their families at one of the orphanages to take advantage of these services as there were no alternatives available. Kianh decided to open the Dien Ban Day Centre that will provide special education, physiotherapy, speech therapy, access to dental care and life skills. This is the first of its kind in Central Vietnam. Silvercrest Foundation, together with another donor is assisting with the Centre’s running costs. We are very excited about this project as it not only provides an important service to the children and their families but hope that this can lead the way to future centres like this in other parts of Vietnam and Asia.

 

Microfinance, China

We believe that microfinance is one of the most effective approaches to alleviating poverty. Our efforts are focused on rural China, where microfinance is highly underdeveloped. We are working with Wokai (www.wokai.org), an innovative internet platform created by young social entrepreneurs that enables person-to-person microlending.

 

Ecuador

Hope of Bastion is a vibrant Christian school located in a squatter neighborhood in Ecuador. Together with an associated camp a few hours away, it provides a fun, loving and learning environment for disadvantaged local children. Both are integral and highly appreciated parts of the community. Heather Berry, the wife of Silvercrest Foundation Director Don Berry, was very interested in this project. Don started raising funds to build an administrative building and clinic there after she passed away in May 2009. These have been named “Casa Heather Berry” in her memory. Silvercrest Foundation has also given financial support to complete their construction, and we are sponsoring the education of some of the school’s pupils.

 

Vocational school, China

In this project we provided a central heating system to improve the living and learning conditions of a vocational school in rural Darlag County. At over 400 meters above sea level, the average annual temperature in this region is -2˚C. This school provides a home for disadvantaged young girls rescued from slavery, poverty, or abandonment and helps them become self-reliant through education, vocational training, and counseling.

 

Rehabilitation center, Cambodia

Sex slavery is a devastating issue affecting many children in Cambodia. The Silvercrest Foundation has chosen to support an organization dedicated to the rehabilitation of girls rescued from brothels. In addition to a safe home, nutritional meals, healthcare, and education, the center is committed to reintegrating the girls into society through post trauma counseling, optional family reintegration, and placement in sustainable employment.

 

Tsunami survivors, Sri Lanka

Following the tsunami, the Hayhoes joined forces with staff members of RT Sourcing to rebuild a school in Kirinda, a picturesque town on the southeast coast of Sri Lanka. The project involved maintenance work, re-painting and completely refurnishing the school. In addition, we “adopted” 15 orphans for the year and gathered funds for their education. In January 2012, the Hayhoe family visited the school, were pleased to see the improvements and are continuing with some additional educational efforts.

 

House building, Cambodia

Thanks to the vision and passion of a former school principal, the Hayhoes and other families had the priviledge of travelling to Cambodia for a house-building mission. Working together with Tabitha, the organization on the ground, we helped to buy the materials and construct homes with our own hands in a village outside Phnom Penh.

 

Leprosy villages, China

The Hayhoe family with RT’s employees and other organizations in Hong Kong have jointly been involved in several leprosy projects in China. They included purchasing a mobile sterilization unit that now travels around the country, and helping to arrange much-needed eye surgery. We also donated stationery supplies for the school, helped women sell their handi-crafts and organized fun events for people with leprosy who live in rural areas. In 2011, Silvercrest Foundation improved sanitary facilities at two villages, enhanced a bee keeping program to help villagers generate additional income from selling honey and sponsored a medical worker.