Citi Foundation invests $250,000 in European Disability Forum’s Program supporting the empowerment of persons with disabilities in Central Europe

Citi Foundation invests $250,000 in European Disability Forum’s Program supporting the empowerment of persons with disabilities in Central Europe

The new program “Strengthening the Disability Movement in CE” will be implemented in Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Hungary, Romania and Slovakia starting February 2022

Citi Foundation today announced the launch of the new community program “Strengthening the Disability Movement in CE” to be implemented across five countries in Central Europe: Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Hungary, Romania and Slovakia, starting February 2022. The program will be rolled out in partnership with the European Disability Forum (EDF), a strong umbrella non-profit organization, led by persons with disabilities and their families, defending the interests of over 100 million persons with disabilities in Europe.

The program will support the capacity building of Disabled People’s Organizations across Central Europe in the areas of developing communication channels with disabled individuals, ensuring accessibility to EU-level international policies and programs, as well as youth leadership and opportunities. Five local Disabled People Organizations in the above-mentioned countries and 150 people will be directly supported through the program and will benefit from a better awareness on their rights and opportunities, on the options to access EU funding and programs – especially for disabled youth – as well as networking events. Citi Foundation has donated $250,000, equally benefitting the countries, to support the goals of the program in 2022.

“Persons with disabilities are an underserved segment of the population in Central Europe. An unacceptable percentage of them live in precarious conditions at the margin of society. It is critical to focus on improving the inclusion of people with disabilities. At Citi, we are committed to providing support for better access, appropriation of rights and empowerment. It is an ambitious program that aims to tackle an important social challenge and I am very proud that Citi Foundation is embarking on this journey in Central Europe”, said Munir Nanji, Central Europe Cluster Head at Citi.

“Building the strength of the Disability Movement in Europe and reaching young people with disabilities is one of EDF’s main priorities. Young people have been particularly hit by the pandemic. EDF is committed to working with our members to ensure all people with disabilities know their rights and can claim them. Europe will be stronger and more inclusive when we can all participate. We appreciate the strong commitment made by Citi Foundation to support our work”, said Yannis Vardakastanis, EDF President.

The program is part of Citi Foundation’s Pathways to Progress, a global job skills-building initiative that addresses the persistent issue of youth unemployment. Through a combination of Citi Foundation philanthropic investments, Citi employee volunteers, career development opportunities at Citi, and research, Pathways to Progress aims to address the skills mismatch and equip young people, particularly those from underserved communities, with the skills and networks needed to succeed in today’s rapidly changing economy. Since launching Pathways to Progress in 2014, the Citi Foundation has committed more than $330 million globally in workforce preparation.

About Citi Foundation
The Citi Foundation works to promote economic progress and improve the lives of people in low-income communities around the world. We invest in efforts that increase financial inclusion, catalyze job opportunities for youth, and reimagine approaches to building economically vibrant communities. The Citi Foundation’s “More than Philanthropy” approach deploys the enormous expertise of Citi and its people to fulfill our mission and drive thought leadership and innovation.

Citi, the leading global bank, has approximately 200 million customer accounts and does business in more than 160 countries and jurisdictions. Citi provides consumers, corporations, governments and institutions with a broad range of financial products and services, including consumer banking and credit, corporate and investment banking, securities brokerage, transaction services, and wealth management.

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