James Finlay (Kenya) Limited has officially launched a Trust that seeks to empower communities and nurture sustainable growth in Kericho and Bomet Counties.
According to the company in the tea value chain, the Finlays Community Trust aims to deliver maximum social, environmental and economic benefits by taking a collaborative approach in working with the local communities, thus creating shared value. The Trust, which will receive enhanced funding from James Finlay Kenya, will replace the existing Finlays Charitable Trust and will take on existing commitments and initiatives of the previous Trust, including welfare, infrastructure, conservation of the environment and education for communities.
“We are delighted to announce the launch of the Finlays Community Trust, which represents a significant evolution in our commitment and approach to supporting and empowering the communities we serve. Nurturing collaboration with community partners will help to stimulate job creation, boost economic development, build community capacity and leadership in the two counties.” Said James Finlay (Kenya) Limited Managing Director Simeon Hutchinson.
The Trust is aimed at building a collaborative partnership with the local community, providing it with control over how funding is allocated to different projects. Finlays will provide Ksh 23.1m for local scholarships and Ksh 13m for overseas scholarships. Funding for other projects will also be increased. The amount available each year will vary depending on a number of factors, such as the number of projects prioritized, the complexity of projects selected and the ability of the businesses cash flow to fund the activities.
The Trust will be independent and will have three trustees from the local community to give the community an equal voice in the ownership and administration of the Trust.
Speaking at the launch, the new Chair of the Finlays Community Trust, Rt. Rev. Alfred K. Rotich said that “I am excited because what we launched today is a game-changer for the communities in Kericho and Bomet. Finlays has set a good example and is empowering the community to lead and take ownership of projects that will improve the lives of people. The community best understands their pain points and now have an opportunity to continuously empower themselves and shape their future. I would like to encourage the community to take advantage of the new Trust and work together with the Trustees to develop and design initiatives that will make a difference in our two counties.”
Initially, James Finlay (Kenya) Limited will work closely with the Chairman and Board of Trustees to provide guidance and expertise in various aspects to ensure the success of programmes. However, over time, the Trust will become increasingly independent from James Finlays (Kenya) Limited. To ensure accountability and transparency, regular reports on funding allocation will be published each year.
Finlays has been in sustainable tea production in Kenya for nearly 100 years. It says the launch of the new Trust is expected to nurture and develop more community partnerships over the years and enhance both the organization and community outcomes in the two counties.