The Kupol Foundation provides funding for socio-economic initiatives in the Chukotka region. Under its governance structure, funding recommendations are made by an independent board of regional stakeholders, with one-third of the $250,000 annual budget awarded to initiatives that support the region’s indigenous peoples. Since being established in 2009, the Foundation has awarded financial support to 46 projects. To support transparency, a “community audit” of Foundation projects was introduced in 2013 and openly reviewed by community stakeholders. Going forward, the audits will be conducted annually.
In December 2013, the Kupol Foundation was expanded to reflect our increased presence in the region following the opening of our Dvoinoye mine. A formal agreement was signed with the Association of the Indigenous Peoples of Chukotka and Northern Gold, our subsidiary operating Dvoinoye, as a Foundation co-sponsor. To this end, through Northern Gold, we will transfer a total of $600,000 to the Kupol Foundation in 2014, including an initial contribution of $450,000. Beginning in 2015, Northern Gold plans to contribute $150,000 annually.
Some examples of programs selected for funding by the community representatives on the Foundation board include:
- The “Chukotka Without Orphans” is a local adaptation of a national project that creates video passports for children living in orphanages. The video profiles of the local orphans were aired on national television to help find adopting families. Chukotka was the first entity of the Far Eastern Federal District to adapt the national program for local implementation. As a result of the Kupol project, eight children from the Chukotka program were adopted by new families. As part of the program, an orphanage website was also developed and contributed to the permanent adoption of an additional 50 children. The program’s success has led to the closing of the orphanage in Bilibino town with the remaining children located to Anadyr.
- Supported the “All Together” project of the Chukotka Association of Indigenous Peoples, designed to transfer knowledge of cultural traditions to the next generation. Participants nominated 18 creative works and received awards. Training events and performances were held in Pevek in 2013 and Anadyr in 2012. Videos will be distributed to cultural and educational institutions in the region.
- Provided support to a coaching program for herders in the areas of Anadyr and Bilibino. A total of 20 older coaches delivered training to 40 young people on how to make fur clothing, dog sledges and harnesses. When completed, the participants were awarded contracts to sew fur clothing for the herders.