Cindy Hislop, chair of the local HFC Cayman board and the Committee of Hearts, reports on the important work done by the hedge fund community in support of vulnerable children.
Hedge Funds Care (HFC), also known as Help for Children, is an international charity supported largely by the hedge fund industry and the wider alternative investment community. HFC has a mission that is focused on the prevention and treatment of child abuse. By raising as much money as possible, HFC is able to distribute grants to high-impact organisations that protect and heal children while focusing resources of the financial sector on a major community need.
Formed in 1998 as a single dinner in New York, HFC has expanded to 12 cities, in seven countries across three continents. Each of these locations raises money through events and donations and then distributes funds in those communities to local non-profit organisations that address the treatment and prevention of child abuse in four major impact areas:
- Decreasing risk;
- Reducing trauma;
- Building individual strengths; and
- Strengthening families.
Since inception, HFC has awarded more than $47 million in grants worldwide, positively impacting the lives of more than 87,000 children and families each year.
In Cayman, HFC was founded in 2005 and remains largely volunteer driven, with professionals from the hedge fund industry serving on the board and committees to plan events and evaluate grant proposals. The Committee of Hearts organises the annual gala. The Committee of Hope organises two to three smaller annual events, including the very successful Oktoberfest. All net proceeds raised at the annual events are distributed in the form of grants to child abuse prevention and treatment programmes located in the Cayman Islands. Over the past 11 years, HFC Cayman has distributed more than $2.5 million in 75 grants, serving more than 500 children.
HFC Cayman’s grantees provide services to children of all ages. Services offered range from preventive and educational services for at-risk families to support and therapy for children who have already experienced abuse.
“The Grants Committee is continuously inspired by the dedication of the local professionals involved in the field of child welfare, by what they have accomplished to date and by their aspirations for the future,” notes Jennifer Collins, chair of the HFC Cayman Grants Committee.
“We are proud to do our small part by providing funding and access to global resources through our HFC global connection.
“The introduction and implementation of the 2012 Children’s Law was an important step, and we are seeing an increased awareness and accountability in the community which is another important piece of the puzzle—protecting the children of Cayman needs to be everyone’s priority.”
In 2016, HFC was proud to provide funding for the newly opened Cayman Islands Crisis Centre drop-in centre and TAYA (teen and young adult) Lounge, a project that was launched and inspired by the cross-collaboration of HFC grantees from Cayman visiting HFC grantees in San Francisco. Clients can come to the TAYA Lounge for support in the form of group and individual counselling and volunteers can support clients by cooking family meals there. The TAYA Lounge is a welcoming and safe community space for teenagers and young adults to hang out and learn how to keep themselves safe.
"The partnership between the private sector and the public sector in the Cayman Islands to keep children safe from abuse and neglect is truly extraordinary." Renee Skolaski, HFC Executive Director and CEO
During 2016, HFC Cayman continued its tradition of hosting grantees for their biannual reviews. During these reviews, grantees share their progress along with their innovation in practice areas and plan next steps to continue to improve the overall child welfare system in Cayman.
“The HFC Cayman Grant Committee has worked diligently and strategically over the years, not only to fund key programmes and closely monitor outcomes but to help strengthen and integrate the child abuse prevention and treatment system of care in Cayman,” says Dr. Bart Grossman, HFC Cayman’s academic consultant and child welfare expert.
“The impact of HFC Cayman has been so significant that Cindy Hislop was invited to represent HFC on the newly created Child Safeguarding Board which will coordinate efforts, develop policies and ensure accountability of organisations responsible for the safety of children in Cayman.”
The 2016 Annual Gala Dinner and Auction was held at the Kimpton Seafire Resort last November. The event was attended by many of Cayman’s dignitaries and representatives from the local hedge fund industry and as always, an exciting auction was an important part of the evening. The evening was an enormous success and raised over $400,000 for the charity.
Following the Gala, the Grants committee has begun their rigorous evaluation and due diligence process for potential grantees to determine how these funds will be distributed. Following the close of the grant cycle at the end of April, HFC Cayman will announce the recipients.
For more information visit cayman.hfc.org/
HFC Cayman’s Committee of Hearts and Committee of Hope are made up of senior executives and professionals from a wide range of organisations within the Cayman Islands’ hedge funds community including Campbells, Carne, Citco, Deloitte, DMS, EY, Harbour, Harneys, Highwater, IMS, Intertrust, KPMG, Maples, Mourant, MUFG, Ogier, PwC, Queensgate and Walkers.
Over the past year, HFC Cayman supported 11 organisations, distributing approximately $317,000 in grants to:
- Cayman Islands Crisis Centre—Drop-in centre and TAYA (teen and young adult) Lounge
- Cayman Islands Red Cross—‘Protection Starts Here’ campaign
- Children and Youth Services Foundation—Family support worker for the Frances Bodden Childrens’ Home
- Department of Children and Family Services—Children’s Law education campaign and PR
- Department of Children and Family Services—Place of Safety—specialised foster care
- Department of Counselling Services—Family Resource Centre support and sessional workers
- Health Services Authority—Child sexual abuse intervention and treatment programme
- National Council of Voluntary Organisations—Nadine Andreas residential foster home after care programme
- Special Needs Foundation of Cayman—Child abuse prevention for children with disabilities
- University College of the Cayman Islands—BSc Social Work: tuition assistance for students
- Big Brothers/Big Sisters of the Cayman Islands—Awareness and recruiting campaign
Hedge Funds Care Cayman, HFC, Help for children, Child abuse prevention, Cindy Hislop, Cayman Islands