The Lebara Foundation is the non-profit, philanthropic arm of the Lebara Group, which contributes a portion of its profits to the Foundation. We strive to make a difference to the communities of our customers and their families and friends. The Foundation is guided by the provisions and principles of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. We believe it’s every child’s right to reach their full potential, and that this is non-negotiable.
Aged 15, Lebara co-founder and CEO Ratheesan Yoganathan sought refuge in the UK from the Sri Lankan Civil War. In 2001, he and friends Leon Ranjith and Baskaran Kandiah co-founded the Lebara Group.
Their vision was to help migrant communities keep in touch with loved ones back home by providing high-quality, low-cost products and services.
But when Ratheesan witnessed the impact of the 2004 Tsunami in Asia that vision widened, because he saw first-hand what happens to young children when denied basic needs such as water, food, shelter and education. It was then that the idea for the Foundation was first conceived. In 2008, the Lebara Foundation was registered with the aim of providing housing, health measures and schooling for displaced communities around the world.
We are committed to making a difference to the lives of vulnerable children across the world, and do so by delivering sustainable, high-quality services for youngsters affected by conflict and poverty.
Our projects are delivered in partnership with the United Nations, international non-governmental organisations, the private sector, national governments and local communities.
Our guiding principles are equal rights and dignity for all, non-discrimination, transparency and accountability.
Areas in which we seek to make an impact include:
Education and Empowerment
We believe access to a quality education is a human right, and that its absence limits and devalues life and perpetuates poverty. We also recognise the importance of gender equality in education. This is why we are determined to help more disadvantaged girls and boys gain access to a formal education.
Over 800 million of the population in Asia still live in poverty, with 90 million pre-school children suffering from malnutrition. Most of the hungry rely on agriculture for both food and their livelihoods, which places a great strain on natural resources. In Africa, meanwhile, much-needed agricultural growth must be fairer and more sustainable than in the past. The Lebara Foundation is alleviating such problems by providing both direct food relief and innovative agricultural practises.
Safe Water and Sanitation
We support innovative economic, environmental, and social projects to reduce the impact of climate change on children, and to increase access to clean water and sanitation in these areas.
Safeguarding Human Rights
Our projects operate within different legal systems and cultural traditions, promoting entitlements and freedoms that should be respected by governments.
Provision of Housing
We promote access to shelter and housing for children, regardless of race, colour, gender, language, religion, opinion, background, economic status, birth status or ability.