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Enabling social equity

At the Z Zurich Foundation, we want to help create a society of equal opportunity, a world in which those on the fringes can step into the light, no matter their race, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, economic status, age or different abilities. Our social equity programs are designed with the ambition of transforming people’s lives by working alongside NGOs, governments and businesses in service of a future in which everyone might thrive.

The stands we make and actions we take together today can shape the lives of those inheriting the world. But we can’t change our society for the better without the help of this generation coming up, embracing differences and diversity. By empowering young people and giving them the tools and resources to take control of their future, we believe we can have a more significant and long-lasting impact on both them and society at large.


Our local grant programs

Through our local grants programs, we support Zurich business units across the world in tackling local societal issues to enable social equity. 

Our local programs initiative provides practical support and funding to help Zurich business units initiate long-term, strategic relationships with local community organizations. 

All programs must align with our strategy, engage employees through the donation of time and talent, and respect local cultures and priorities.

As part of our approach, we like to identify and facilitate further charitable opportunities to add value. This could include in-kind donations of Zurich’s products, use of Zurich’s premises, facilitating introductions for supported organizations to Zurich’s wider business networks, undertaking capacity audits and seconding Zurich employees to help address identified gaps, or even encouraging Zurich senior employees to accept positions on management committee/board of trustees of organizations we work with. 

All our local grant programs are developed in collaboration with the local Zurich offices and/or in collaboration with Zurich Santander Insurance America SL. local offices


  • Argentina - Helping young people prepare for the labor market

    A three-year grant to promote and enhance employment opportunities for those most in need, in collaboration with Zurich Santander Seguros Argentina S.A and the Fundación Pléroma.

    The Fundación Pléroma’s Empujar program is made up of a group of local companies that have come together with the mission of promoting and enhancing employment opportunities for young people from vulnerable social contexts. Their collective aim is to strengthen cooperation between community groups that promote local development through the training and development of young people. The intended beneficiaries are students living in the vicinity of the headquarters of the supporting companies. Through the Empujar program, beneficiaries are matched with volunteering professionals.  

  • Austria – Providing access to prevention, diagnosis and therapy for disadvantaged young people

    A five-year grant to increase health competence with young people as a success factor for workplace integration with Verein T.I.W.

    With this grant, we are taking a stand for disadvantaged youth and their health care and health education needs. This local program will also support the establishment and operation of the “T.I.W. Gesundheitszentrum powered by Z Zurich Foundation” (T.I.W. Health Care Center) in Vienna, open to young people in these programs.  

    Through a previous three-year grant with Verein T.I.W, we worked with people facing limited prospects of finding employment. 

     
  • Brazil – Empowering minorities

    A three-year grant to promote the personal and professional development of minorities, in collaboration with Instituto Techmail.

    Instituto Techmail’s apprenticeship program is helping young people with their social and personal development, equipping them with the kind of specific knowledge, skills and attitudes that can transform their lives and help them to fulfil their potential, in turn making them an agent for social transformation in their own communities. Our local grant program will fund four classes per year, with each class receiving 30 students from the identified minority groups.

  • Brazil – Empowering the Brazilian Amazonian communities
    A three-year grant to support Amazon’s Indigenous communities with IMAFLORA and Zurich Brazil.
    The COVID-19 pandemic has had a multiplying effect on the damage being done in many Indigenous communities already affected by the deforestation of the Amazon. Through the Origens Brasil® program, we aim to empower thousand of people and producers from the Indigenous communities and also provide local Zurich employees with tangible experience to understand the Amazon region and its people.
     
  • Canada – Empowering the next generation to succeed 

    A five-year grant to help students build resilience and take control of their finances and career paths. with Junior Achievement.

    Through this program, volunteers from Zurich Canada are inspiring students in grades seven to 12 by delivering Junior Achievement (JA) programs focused on money management, work-readiness and entrepreneurship. Working with approximately 200 Specialist High Skills Major (SHSM) students, Zurich employees will deliver four JA work-readiness programs over two school years. These students will take part in several programs and events that focus on critical thinking, communication, collaboration, career options and more. Students will also have the opportunity to win one of five post-secondary scholarships.

  • France – Fighting against social determinism
    A three-year grant to support Télémaque to fight social determinism and promote equal opportunities in education, in collaboration with Zurich Insurance PLC in France.
    This grant will aim to support more than 400 young people per year from fragile territories who have the desire to succeed but lack the keys and the means to achieve their ambitions, by facilitating social success and access to employment, through support courses, English coaching and help with professional integration; self-confidence, through an innovative personal development program "I develop my potential"; social ties and socio-cultural openness, through cultural outings, company visits and educational workshops; discovery of the professional world, through digital meetings with Zurich employees who will present their jobs.
  • Ireland – Increasing education outcomes for disadvantaged young people

    A four-year intervention program in Ireland, together with the University College Dublin (UCD) and Zurich Ireland to narrow the socio-economic gap on education outcomes for young people. 
    Designed by UCD, the ‘Power 2 Progress’ program seeks to foster educational resilience in the Irish educational system with a three-year intervention plan for senior cycle DEIS school students and by informing on educational policy for future students via an integrated four-year PhD. This program targets 4 tuition groups each at 15 schools with ten pupils per group. It aims to transform the lives of 600 pupils, and positively impact many more (such as the teacher participants, and those benefiting from the eventual policy reform this program seeks to influence). 

  • Isle of Man – Investing in the future prospects of young people
    A five-year grant to support a career education program in collaboration with Junior Achievement.
    ‘Learn to Earn’ is a career education program provided in all schools across the island for students aged 13 to 14. The program is helping young people understand their career options, as well as practice various employability skills, including presentations, CV writing and interviewing. Our funding also contributes towards ‘Our World’, a financial literacy and entrepreneurial skills program offered in schools for children aged between 9 and 11. It includes a trading game that’s helping to introduce young people to the important concepts behind modern, international business.

 

  • Latin America – Focusing on education and career opportunities for youth

    A three-year grant to help young Latin Americans prepare for the labor market. It is our first regional local grant in Latin America, in collaboration with several Zurich local offices, Zurich Santander Insurance America S.L and the Foundation Forge.

    “Skills for the Future” is a program aiming to reduce the gap between the skills of young people from vulnerable communities and the labor market they will face. Through this program, we are hoping to support the personal and professional development of more than 84,000 young people across Argentina, Chile, Brazil, Mexico and Uruguay.

  • Poland – Addressing violence against women

    A five-year grant in collaboration with Fundacja Centrum Praw Kobiet (Center for Women's Rights – CPK).

    With this grant, we are taking a stand for women in need and will be establishing a new local Women’s Rights Center in Krakow. This center aims to empower women (and their children) who are victims of domestic violence by providing counselling, mental health services, as well as legal, life and career advice. Going forward, we will together establish the basis of a sustainable funding model for the center.

  • Slovakia – Encouraging young women to consider STEM studies and careers

    A five-year grant to empower young girls and teenagers to choose STEM as a career, in collaboration with Aj Ty v IT.

    This grant will help Aj Ty v IT expand its program to regional cities in Slovakia to reach more girls at an early age, and to encourage teachers and other stakeholders to become involved. Our grant is intended to provide a support structure for female IT students at universities. We’re looking to develop more strategic tools to create a step change, including an educational roadmap, an awareness campaign and a network to support female students. 

  • Spain – Focusing on youth empowerment

    A four-year grant to support young people starting their careers through a three-pillar initiative, in collaboration with Junior Achievement, Dual Vocational Training in Insurance, and the Get Ready for Life program.

    Under the “Z-Shake” umbrella, our three local grants focus on youth empowerment by providing young people with the workshops, training and apprenticeships they need to fulfil their potential in life. Participants will have the chance to go even deeper by addressing the mental health issues that can come with unemployment. “Z-Shake” equips young people to be better prepared for the future and provides resources to deal with key risks such as stress and anxiety.

  • Switzerland – Supporting children's rights

    A three-year grant to support children’s rights, in collaboration with the Ombuds Office for Children’s Rights Switzerland.

    Our grant will enable the Ombuds Office for Children’s Rights Switzerland to offer a national service, covering all cantons, that helps children and those up to the age of 18 to better understand and exercise their rights in legal proceedings. The service will help people with accessing age-adapted legal information and offers mediation between them and courts, authorities, public or private institutions or organizations involved in the care of children and young people. With this funding, we hope to directly improve the lives of 3,000 children.

  • Turkey – Training women teachers as social entrepreneurs

    A six-year program to support female teachers in the first year of their career, in collaboration with Türk Eğitim Derneği (Turkish Education Association).

    “Our Teachers: Insurance of Education” is a program with the ambition of supporting 1,000 female teachers assigned to villages/small towns in the first year of their career by offering tailored personal and professional development plans. The objective is to try to reduce the environmental, physical and professional challenges experienced by the teachers, to enhance their knowledge, and to improve the confidence and motivation of these people that play such a critical part in children’s education and future. In addition to teachers, this program will also directly impact more than 30,000 children, and indirectly impact 150,000 family members.

     
  • USA – Ensuring equitable opportunities for all young people 
    A three-year grant to equip young adults and empower them to reach their potential with Year Up and Zurich North America.
    In the United States, Zurich employees directed our attention to Year-Up, a charity empowering young adults to move from minimum wage jobs to meaningful careers by helping them gain the skills, experiences, and support necessary to reach their full potential and thrive in higher education and professional careers. Our collaboration with Year-Up is helping ensure equitable opportunities for young people of color from all backgrounds. Zurich employees are also actively involved in volunteer and employer engagement and support. Together we want to support over 4,000 young people in need of an opportunity.