Message to staff with Sincere Thanks.


Dear 1% Fund Members,


Today is the 1% Calendar Day when we distribute our calendar that illustrates some of the micro projects that have been funded during the course of the year. This is our main way of publicizing the 1% Fund and we normally gain a few new members on the days following the distribution of the calendar. I should stress that we have no overheads other than the calendar, so it’s fair to say that all your contributions go to the disadvantaged.


I would like to take this opportunity to sincerely thank each one of you for your support provided throughout the year. You should remember that by donating 1% of your salary to the fund, you have improved the lives of many people in financially deprived communities.


Together, we have supported several small-scale development initiatives in vulnerable areas of the developing world. Indeed, glancing over our 2019 calendar, you will see some of the projects that we funded. Some examples are: a project aimed at decreasing malnutrition and mortality rates among mothers and children and  a bee-keeping project in the Democratic Republic of Congo; A poultry farming project in Ecuador; a small-scale market gardens and livestock project in Rwanda; a sewage works and mosquito-proof windows installation project for a health centre in Tanzania; and also a crafts workshop in Argentina, projects helping some rural families to become food self-sufficient in Pakistan and improving sanitation at a child nutrition centre in Zambia.  


I would to like to encourage you to visit the 1% Fund Rome website where you will find some very descriptive photos of Congolese beekeepers setting up artisanal hives, photos and drawings from the Zambian sanitation project personally handed by a former staff member who was in Zambia this summer.  You can also find updates from projects approved last year, notably from the children’s home project in Peru, where we funded the installation of a water pump and large storage tanks for drinking water and sanitation. We also received good feedback on the construction of a fishpond in a children’s school in the Bandarban Hill Tracts, in Bangladesh. 


These are just some of the projects that we funded together. If you get the chance, please take a look at the calendar to see some of our other small-scale projects.


We are always looking for volunteers and the Project Assessment Group (PAG) is the best way to get involved, and it can be very interesting too. We meet every second Thursday at lunchtime for a short meeting to go over the projects that are in the pipeline. One PAG member takes responsibility for the project and performs a feasibility study, mostly by liaising with the requesting group and discussing the proposal with the rest of the PAG. It’s a great way to get to know colleagues and have direct contacts with community groups in developing countries.


Colleagues who could devote some time are more than welcome! Membership is now at only 67 staff members, which marks a drop compared to 10 years ago when there were about 150 members. We obviously welcome new members and perhaps together we can all try to reverse the downward trend by encouraging colleagues to join.


“It’s only 1% of your pay” as we state on the 1% calendar. That’s true, it’s not much. But it’s still not trivial to sign up to the 1% Fund as we see from the membership list. You should be really proud that you are part of this staff initiative and pause for a moment to quietly acknowledge the impact that your small contribution has made on the lives of others who are less fortunate.


In my capacity as Chairperson of the 1% Fund (Rome) I’d like to say a “sincere thanks” and I hope you have a happy and peaceful holiday break.


Kind regards,


Gerry Murphy

1% for Development Fund (Rome)