An integral part of our corporate culture is to donate to charities and causes that are close to the hearts of our employees, including in the communities in which we operate.
At the beginning of 2019, RFM commenced funding a 3 year agricultural project in Cambodia. RFM is applying its agricultural expertise and financial resources, to improve the economic prospects of the village of Tahen, in northwest Cambodia. Situated near Cambodia’s second largest city of Battambang, Tahen was specifically chosen due to the communities need for agricultural support and education and the presence of a Welcome Centre, which houses, feeds and educates around 150 young children.
The 3 year project is being conducted in partnership with Catholic Mission which has had a long and productive record providing support for individuals, families and communities in Cambodia. The Catholic Church owns around 100 hectares of land in or around the Tahen Village. In the past, the Church has allowed individual farmers to operate small sections of land, sharing the crops they produced with the Church. However, Cambodia’s very troubled history means that education levels are low and farming practises are outdated. Despite the Church owning what is considered by local standards a large area of land, outdated practices mean that insufficient rice is produced to feed the people of Tahen, including the children at the Welcome Centre.
The project plan is to improve the farming operations at Tahen Village, materially increasing its rice production and changing its status from a net buyer of rice to potentially a net seller of rice. Structural changes to farming operations including farming co-operatively in larger areas rather than operating very small blocks are underway, and new equipment to assist with the planting and maintenance of the rice crop has been acquired. Water delivery systems are being improved and a small irrigation system covering around 14 hectares will be installed in the dry season.
This Project is focussed on educating and mentoring local people, and RFM has committed to funding the Tahen Project, donating $1 million over three years. These funds allow for the farming to be undertaken under guidance of an experienced Australian agronomist and a Spanish agronomic engineer, who both live locally and who are working closely with the local people of Tahen to sustainably and reliably improve production.
RFM is proud to be funding the introduction of ArtSound’s Senior Memories into regional centres starting with Griffith NSW. Pioneers Lodge and Scalabrini in Yoogali are now running the program with positive feedback.
ArtSound is a 24-hour, not-for-profit digital audio service. Senior Memories is a program tailored to the needs and interests of people in aged care facilities and retirement villages.
RFM is also looking at supporting the potential expansion of Silver Memories into the Queensland regions where we operate.
Meg’s Children operates a children’s home and community outreach program in outer Kathmandu, Nepal. Meg’s Children was started in 2005 by Trish Ryan who lost her daughter to complications associated with spina bifida. Trish organised for 26 abandoned children to come under the charity’s guardianship, renting a house, employing staff and providing food and education.
In 2018, RFM provided a $20,000 donation to support the work of Meg’s Children. As a result of the charity’s focus on education, six of the original children are now at university and supporting themselves. Meg’s Children also runs a scholarship program that children can apply for to receive education support.
Hartley Lifecare Brain Injury Information Service
Hartley Lifecare is a Canberra-based not-for-profit organisation providing supported accommodation for people with disability, their families and carers.
RFM has previously been a significant contributor to Hartley Lifecare’s major fundraising event, the annual Hartley Ability Cycle Challenge, through managing, motivating and sponsoring a team of 12 cyclists.
RFM is now supporting Hartley’s Lifecare’s Brain Injury Information Service with a $100,000 donation over the course of four years. The Information Service supports those suffering from brain injuries and their families to navigate complex medical information, financial, legal and lifestyle issues, as well as ongoing residential, respite and health needs. The service helps people with brain injuries to once again become a contributing member of society.
Other recent contributions include a $5,000 donation to the McGrath Foundation to support a breast cancer care nurse in the Riverina community and a $500 donation to the Rolleston State School. The company also made a $500 donation to support the Bundaberg Science and Engineering Challenge, a two day event attended by over 700 school students.