Vitol Foundation

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We first began making charitable grants in 2002 and established the Vitol Foundation in 2006. Since then we have funded over 2,000 projects in 124 countries around the world.

Since inception, the focus has been on enabling children living in deprivation to escape the cycle of poverty and reach their potential in life. To this end, the Vitol Foundation supports projects that fall under four programme areas that are critical to a child’s development: Health, ‘WASH’ (Water, Sanitation & Hygiene), Education and Livelihoods. It also responds to humanitarian emergencies with trusted partners.

The Vitol Foundation considers its grants as investments and looks for initiatives with the potential to generate a social return in a sustainable way. It supports initiatives globally and independently of business activities, but at all times seeks to deploy resources to the greatest effect.


healthOur Health Programme prioritises projects that reduce maternal and child mortality, improve equitable access to quality primary healthcare, and strengthen the national health system in the project location.

We target projects that:

  • Strengthen health systems through provision of training and infrastructure development, supply chain improvement and improved quality of health data collection
  • Focus on preventable and curable health burdens that significantly contribute to child mortality and impair a child’s development, including NTDs
  • Address all aspects of maternal and neonatal health, including sexual and reproductive health
  • Support breakthrough innovations that are affordable, scalable and evidence based
  • Encourage public-private-partnerships (PPPs) to increase access to, and demand for, healthcare services

In 2013 the Foundation supported 44 health projects in 34 countries and made 14 new grants. Of the health budget, 67% was spent in Africa, 16% in Asia, 8% in Europe, 7% in Latin America and 2% in the Middle East.


washOur WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) Programme focuses on countries where access to clean water and uptake of hygienic sanitation practices is lowest, with the overall aim of improving health.

We target projects that:

  • Support government and/or private-sector engagement in scale-up prospects, encouraging public private partnerships (PPPs)
  • Increase demand for, and sustainable access to, improved water sources
  • Increase demand for, and sustainable access to, improved hygiene and sanitation
  • Promote universal access so that no one is left out
  • Strengthen supply chain and management structures

In 2013 the Foundation supported 39 WASH projects in 24 countries and made 14 new grants. Of the WASH budget, 56% was spent in Africa, 25% in Asia and 19% in Latin America.


educationOur Education Programme includes early years, primary and secondary school, further and informal education, as well as educational projects targeting the leaders of tomorrow. We support projects that offer children the opportunity to improve their lives and contribute to positive change within their communities and wider society.

We target projects that:

  • Develop and strengthen the government’s ability to deliver high quality education
  • Ensure gender equality and universal access
  • Make education relevant, preparing young people for the job market and for life
  • Keep children in school for as long as possible to reach their full potential
  • Support schools for the most disadvantaged as well as the leaders of tomorrow

In 2013 the Foundation supported 73 Education projects in 36 countries and made 15 new grants. Of the Education budget, 52% was spent in Africa, 35% in Asia, 6% in Europe, 4% in Latin America, 2.5% in Middle East and 0.5% in North America.


livlihoodsOur Livelihoods and Enterprise Programme aims to break cycles of poverty by strengthening market systems and helping young people transition from education into meaningful employment.

We target projects that:

  • Strengthen market systems to enable the poor to access knowledge, finance, financial literacy, technical inputs, infrastructure and supply chains
  • Help youth transition from education to meaningful employment
  • Move communities from subsistence and small-scale income to enterprise
  • Deliver energy and communication systems to off-grid communities

Support innovative employment solutions, particularly those that incorporate on-the-job training

In 2013 the Foundation supported 57 Livelihoods projects in 28 countries and made 10 new grants. Of the Livelihoods budget, 78% was spent in Africa, 19% in Asia, 1.5% in Latin America and 1.5% in Middle East.


emergenciesOur Emergency Programme supports communities in the aftermath of natural disasters and human conflict. Our ability to release funds almost immediately has set the Vitol Foundation apart over the years, resulting in us being named Save the Children’s first ever Corporate Emergency Partner of the Year in 2011.

We aim to:

  • Respond rapidly when needed
  • Support trusted partners in hard-to-fund and low-profile emergencies
  • Engage staff in fundraising for large-scale and high-profile emergencies
  • Engage experts to help assess where/when we are needed
  • Proactively work to increase access to, and quality of, education in humanitarian response
  • Make strategic investments in emergency preparedness
  • Embed disaster risk reduction and resilience in our four programmatic areas

In addition to direct support from the Foundation, Vitol Group employees have raised significant funds for large-scale emergencies and we are extremely proud of the outstanding support from Vitol staff around the world.

The Vitol Foundation supports a number of initiatives that encourage staff to get more involved with philanthropy, including:

  • Making project suggestions
  • Undertaking project visits
  • Volunteering opportunities
  • Individual fundraising events
  • Global campaigns
  • Sporting challenges

We communicate to staff on Foundation investments and seek to harness the local knowledge, expertise and capabilities of Vitol employees worldwide. We also encourage staff to visit projects and suggest new charity partners, which we then evaluate against our Goals and Principles. Some of our best partners have come from staff suggestions.

In 2013-2014, the Vitol Group and Vitol Foundation were proud sponsors of the Street Child World Cup. Every office supported a street child country team to help them get to the tournament in Rio and, most importantly, to sustain legacy programmes back home that will transform the lives of many more street children for years to come.

Worldwide location

We understand that every market is different and that our customers and their requirements are as diverse as the world in which we live. With 40 offices worldwide our colleagues comprise over 60 nationalities...