Letter from the Trustees

We are humbled by the resilience of our partners during the coronavirus pandemic. They innovated, adapted, and redoubled their commitment to serving their communities despite all the disruption. Their work allowed Oak Foundation to contribute to social and environmental change that meets communities where they are.

In response to the extended crisis, Oak Foundation ramped up our grant-making to help ensure that our partners could continue serving communities in need during a global lockdown, which impacted our lives all around the world. We provided 445 grants to 410 organisations in 44 countries and in addition, we provided more than USD 24 million in grants that were directly Covid-19-related.

In 2020, we all had to be adaptable and find new ways to work with the circumstances at hand. While the crisis is not over yet, as we start a new year, we take time to reflect and celebrate our accomplishments in 2020 in the pages of this annual report:

With support from our Environment Programme, Care for Wild is working to secure free-ranging white and black rhinoceros populations within a healthy and secure ecosystem in South Africa, through a project that ensures financial sustainability and the equitable participation of the community. “Our vision of inclusive community involvement addresses some of these global challenges we face together.”

The Housing and Homelessness Programme’s partners in the housing sector did great work, across countries, to house those experiencing street homelessness, prevent evictions, give emergency relief and support, and strengthen campaigning and advocacy to ensure that everyone was safely housed.

The International Human Rights Programme supported the efforts of its partners working to address racism in prisons. In many countries, Black and other marginalised people make up the highest per cent of all incarcerated people. “Ending mass incarceration is crucial for racial justice all over the world.”

The Issues Affecting Women Programme supports women’s efforts in Switzerland to build, lead and grow strong, vibrant, and influential movements that achieve equity and justice. “Until 2019, more men named Hans had served in the Swiss Parliament than women.”

In 2020, schools shifted to distance learning nearly overnight. The Learning Difference Programme’s partners worked hard to ensure that students received the best support possible. We hope that their efforts inspire greater equity and access to meaningful educational opportunities for all children.

The Moore Center, in partnership with the Prevent Child Sexual Abuse Programme, launched a research effort to evaluate programmes that are most effective at preventing the perpetration of child sexual abuse. “What we’ve been doing for the past 30 years – teaching our children how to protect themselves, mandating teachers, and others to report abuse, and relying on law enforcement strategies – just isn’t enough.”

Through the Special Interest Programme, we are supporting children in Kenya to be agents of positive change in their communities. We are helping fight against food waste in Geneva, Switzerland, and supporting the distribution of food packages to families in need. Research by Oxford University is helping uncover fundamental questions about Covid-19, produce a reliable vaccine and therapy, and bring us one step closer to understanding the illness to better protect communities. The Conservation Fund in North Carolina continued supporting communities of colour, including Native American and Latinx communities. Its work seems more relevant than ever, given the current fight for racial justice in the US.

We supported partners at the forefront of providing health treatments to people in Zimbabwe. Their work is helping to eliminate clubfoot and to eradicate blindness through cataract surgery. In Brazil, our partners worked to protect people in urban favelas, as well as the territorial and environmental rights of vulnerable communities. In Denmark and Greenland, our partners rose to the challenge of meeting the needs of society’s most vulnerable people, by supporting those experiencing homelessness, and helping to construct an emergency shelter in Greenland.

In India, the crisis prevented many of our partners from meeting in person with the communities most in need. In their absence, frontline workers and volunteers took their places as natural leaders to ensure that vulnerable communities were supported by communal safety nets in practical ways, helping to mitigate risk. “I learned about tactics to claim rights and entitlements from the training.”

We are proud of our foundation and our partnerships. Through the work we do, we support others to make the world a safer, fairer, and more sustainable place to live. Our pursuit of social justice and the protection of wildlife and the environment address the root causes of injustice. The pages of this report give an insight into our partners’ efforts to this end. We hope you enjoy reading about their work as much as we do.

Trustees of Oak Foundation
Caroline Turner, Kristian Parker, Natalie Shipton, Jette Parker, Alan Parker, Christopher Parker