Inditex is aware that education is one of the most effective tools with a positive influence on the community. That’s why, in 2014, the brand dedicated 23% of its investment in social programmes to initiatives focusing on providing opportunities through quality education, allowing a dignified life and promoting social justice and the personal growth of young people.

We Water Experience. China

The objective of the We Water Experience programme is to raise awareness on the scarcity of water among Chinese students aged between 12 and 16, encouraging them to reduce their water consumption and share this information with their family and friends. This three-year programme implemented in collaboration with the Foundation for UNESCO – Education for Children in Need and the NGO Thirst began in 2013. Some 21,810 students were trained in 2014.

Awareness-raising activities were held in schools (62.9% of which were state-run), while 4,368 tests were carried out to assess the change in awareness levels regarding water availability, comparing the results obtained before and after classes. The comparison showed a 27% increase in the level of knowledge of course attendees regarding issues related to the water crisis. Participants were also trained to become leaders in good practices among their families and friends. The teachers involved are also an important element of this programme. This programme was recommended by 70% of the teachers to other schools or teachers from their academic network.

An important component of the work involved was encouraging students to undertake small-scale initiatives which, when taken as a whole, represent a great change. During 2014, 31 new clubs were established independently of the project to develop specific water saving initiatives. This means that a total of 88 clubs and 5,108 members have taken part in the programme since it began. The members, who are particularly active and aware of the water situation, serve as an example for other new groups.

In 2014, a collaboration agreement on the joint development of the programme was signed with the UNESCO Project on Education for Sustainable Development in China under the auspices of the Chinese Education Ministry.

Educating People, Generating Opportunities (EPGO)

The collaboration between the Fundación Entreculturas and Inditex takes place as part of the Framework Collaboration Agreement signed by both organizations in 2001, through which Inditex has donated more than €35 million to educational and job creation projects. In particular, the Educating People, Generating Opportunities (EPGO) project represents a joint effort between the Fundación Entreculturas and Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) with actions in Latin America and Africa.

America Programme

Within Latin America, this programme focuses on providing care to vulnerable groups in Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Ecuador, Mexico, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay and Venezuela, with an emphasis on education and job creation. The programme aims to provide support for more than 80,000 people during the period 2014-2016.

The programme involves 16 projects that revolve around the two general lines of professional training and education, and assistance for the most vulnerable groups. In 2014, some 34,000 people (children and young people at risk of social exclusion, indigenous populations, people with disabilities, migrants, and so on) participated in courses, receiving materials, work experience, legal and psychological support, accessing/continuing in the education system, improving their employability or accessing a job, depending on the needs of each project.

Colombia Programme

Inditex has collaborated with the Fundación Entreculturas in Latin America and the Caribbean since 2007 to provide support for the population victim of the Colombian conflict, with one of the largest quantities of displaced people in the world. Apart from its work in Colombia, the programme also carries out its activities on the country’s shared borders with Ecuador, Panama and Venezuela.

The regional programme to assist refugees and those displaced by the conflict in Colombia and the bordering countries of Ecuador, Panama and Venezuela assisted more than 7,000 people during 2014. The Jesuit Refugee Service provides assistance by means of access to education, psychological care, legal assistance, and awareness-raising activities within the population, as well as support for productive projects and small-scale enterprises to improve the labour market integration and opportunities of the local people. Despite the advances made in achieving peace in the region, the conflict has caused millions of people to be displaced and left hundreds of thousands of refugees, who need support in order to improve their conditions.

Africa Programme

The programme is articulated through two main lines of action: the social and labour integration of urban refugees, and education in emergency situations. It is estimated that this three-year intervention from the Fundación Entreculturas in collaboration with Inditex will provide support for more than 35,000 people.

Specifically, some 20,000 victims of violence and poverty were given support during 2014 in South Africa, the Republic of the Congo, Chad and Uganda. The Jesuit Refugee Service offers education for children, literacy assistance for women and vocational training courses in refugee camps. In big cities, professional training is offered to urban refugees along with language training, medical care and legal support with a view to social integration.

Inditex Chair of Spanish Language and Culture at the University of Dhaka, Bangladesh

The Inditex Chair of Spanish Language and Culture at the University of Dhaka, Bangladesh was created by means of an agreement between Inditex; the universities of Santiago de Compostela and A Coruña in Spain; and the Dhaka University in Bangladesh, and embarked on its activity in 2011. Its purpose is to promote Spanish language and culture in Bangladesh and to encourage scientific production and exchange in this area, as well as to promote the movement of students and teachers between the university institutions.

In 2014, the teaching activities related to Spanish language and culture for the 2013/2014 academic year came to an end, while the new academic year commenced with 323 students, 28% more than in the previous year.

Thanks to the Spanish grant programme that sustains the Chair, three students participated in an intensive Spanish course during the summer months as part of the international courses held by the University of Santiago the Compostela.

The Chair’s budget for the year 2014 was of €546,874.

Inditex-UDC Chair of Social Responsibility

The Inditex-UDC Chair of Social Responsibility in A Coruña, Spain has the mission of promoting a space for community reflection, academic training and research applied to social responsibility in administrations and public organisms, enterprises and non-profit organizations.

In 2014, the third edition of the postgraduate course in social responsibility was imparted to 32 students, 10 of whom were rewarded grants to cover fees by Inditex. The postgraduate course provided a total of 200 hours of certified training spread over ordinary sessions and seminars, workshops, talks and visits to companies.