Annual Letter From The Trustees
Once again, the Annual Report aims to capture the richness and diversity of the work of Oak Foundation. During 2012 we granted USD 152.82 million to organisations around the world. Our partners have been on the frontline of many struggles, from advocating for global agreements on climate change to promoting women’s rights, child protection and an end to arbitrary detention. We continue to be proud of what they are achieving and feel privileged to support their work.
Within Oak Foundation, we have taken steps to streamline our grant-making procedures and to reflect on how we can make our partners even stronger. In doing so, we have continued to draw on the results of the 2011 Grantee Perception Survey and on further consultations with grantees from every programme. Updates on these efforts have appeared regularly on our website and will continue to do so. This year we also reviewed our marine conservation work in the Arctic. We are pleased by the positive assessment provided in this review and welcome its constructive suggestions, which the Environment Programme will integrate into its future work.
2012 has not been without its challenges. Funding in our priority areas remains scarce, causing some partners to scale back their work at critical points in time. Some important environmental and social goals remain elusive, despite the best efforts of organisations on the ground.
Nonetheless, positive trends are evident:
- More is being learned about the causes of child abuse and child sexual exploitation, including how to understand and change the behaviour of perpetrators of this abuse – and to end societal tolerance of these crimes against children.
- Efforts are underway in New York City and London to address the complex problems of veterans who end up homeless and/or in trouble with the law.
- Recent evidence confirms that strengthening autonomous, broad-based women’s movements at national levels is among the most effective ways of reducing violence against women, which has long been the basis of our work in this area.
- Significant victories have been won to protect our oceans, including the designation of Turneffe Atoll in Belize as a marine protected area and the creation of the Coral Sea Marine National Park in Australia, which is the second-largest marine reserve in the world.
- Breakthroughs in technology will soon offer free, widely accessible tools to teachers and students who struggle with learning differences.
- Online advocacy is reaching new constituencies for human rights, deepening commitment to a range of issues across the globe.
- Through the Special Interest Grants Programme, a range of innovative efforts have been supported, from cutting-edge medical research to the conservation of forests, and increasing the accessibility of arts and culture to the general public.
To ensure continued progress, Oak is supporting organisations at every level, including wellestablished international groups, start-ups, networks of local advocates and community organisers. Our goal remains constant: to shine a bright light on the needs of the disadvantaged, amplify their voices in policy and decision-making and support them in shaping their own futures.
The Trustees of Oak Foundation
Kristian Parker – Caroline Turner – Natalie Shipton – Jette Parker – Alan Parker