Samuel Family Foundation supports partnerships to overcome poverty

Toronto, March 9, 2007 -- The Samuel Family Foundation is supporting efforts to dramatically reduce poverty and other social problems around the world by providing US$250,000 to Synergos Canada, a newly organized trust based in Toronto. Synergos Canada is affiliated with The Synergos Institute, a US-based nonprofit organization with twenty years experience in fighting poverty in the Americas, Africa and Asia.

The Samuel Family Foundation gift will support Synergos' efforts to convene and learn from "multi-stakeholder partnerships" -- initiatives that bring actors from different sectors of society together to create systemic solutions to specific problems. In announcing the gift, Kim Samuel Johnson, President of the Samuel Family Foundation and a Trustee of Synergos Canada said "In most parts of the world there is no lack of interest in overcoming poverty. But what's missing are the means to enable very different stakeholders to work together effectively. Without that kind of partnership, finding real solutions is impossible."

One such multi-stakeholder partnership is in India, where Synergos has brought together national and international businesses with state and national government and Indian civil society organizations. The partnership's goal is to reduce Indian child malnutrition by 50% within ten years. Another partnership, the Sustainable Food Lab, has brought together businesses, governments, farm groups and non-governmental organizations to find ways to make food systems more economically, environmentally, and socially sustainable.

Another effort is in Canada, where Synergos is working with the Aboriginal Leadership Institute to explore possibilities to bring together government, business, nonprofit, and Aboriginal groups to work together to address pressing issues facing Canada's aboriginal youth. An additional emerging partnership, in Namibia, aims to improve leadership capacity for public health.

Ms. Samuel Johnson added that in the long term "Synergos Canada would help bring knowledge and experience from around the world to address issues of poverty and equity in Canada and bring Canadian ideas and expertise to these same issues in other countries."

Robert Dunn, President of The Synergos Institute and also a Synergos Canada trustee said, "The Samuel Family Foundation has again demonstrated its leadership in supporting innovative approaches. We really appreciate this gift, and also the creative thinking and connections Kim has given Synergos in our efforts to bring people together to solve the root causes of poverty."

About the Samuel Family Foundation

The Samuel Family Foundation has a long history of supporting the arts, healthcare and education in Canada. Recently it has broadened its mandate in the international arena to engage in multi-sectoral partnerships directed toward global poverty alleviation, human rights advocacy, environmental sustainability, disability rights and family support, basic primary education and youth empowerment. It was established by members of the Samuel family, a Canadian family that leads The Samuel Group of Companies, which has been engaged in the processing, manufacturing and distribution of steel and other metals since 1855.

About The Synergos Institute

Synergos is an independent nonprofit organization dedicated to the development of effective, sustainable and locally based solutions to poverty. Working with partners, Synergos' mission is to mobilize resources and bridge social and economic divides to reduce poverty and increase equity around the world. Synergos was founded in 1986 and has offices in New York, Cape Town, Rio de Janeiro and along the US-Mexico border. Its work is supported by private foundations, international agencies, corporate donations, and individual and family contributions. For more information, visit