Samena Foundation

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Samena Capital’s commitment to Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is an integral part of the firm’s philosophy.

Established in 2016 by the employees of Samena Capital, the Samena Foundation (“the Foundation”) was the result of a collective effort to bring together the firm’s various philanthropic initiatives under a single umbrella. Funded from Samena Capital’s management bonus pool, the Foundation operates through partnerships with various charitable organisations as well as Samena Capital’s portfolio companies.

The Foundation’s mission is to support high-impact, sustainable CSR programmes across the SAMENA region; with a particular focus on the advancement of education, youth empowerment and poverty alleviation.




Inspiring Young Leaders

In partnership with The Lila Poonawalla Foundation, an Indian educational charity and the ASHA Educational Centre in the UK, the Foundation continues to support efforts to empower underprivileged young women from India to transform their lives.
The Peace Ambassadors leadership programme has seen the participation of a number of industry leaders, including Toby Malhoutra (CEO of Dynamatic Technologies Limited), Anil Agarwal (Founder & Chairman of Vedanta Resources Limited), Owais Shah (ex-England cricketer), Sikander Khan (Principal Advisor for UNICEF) and Komal Syal (Managing Director at Standard Chartered); all of whom have made valuable contributions in helping these women capitalise on their potential and develop their leadership skills.

The associated scholarship program supported by the Foundation, also provides financial support to underprivileged, academically outstanding young women in India; providing them with the financial support necessary for them to pursue their higher education.



Building Knowledge

Together with The Inle Trust, a UK-based charity that supports children in Myanmar, the Samena Foundation helped fund the construction of an education centre at the Phaya Taung Monastery in the remote Lake Inle region of Myanmar. The centre aims to support the education of underprivileged children, particularly the orphans who are in the care of the monastery. The completed building has a classroom capacity for 300 students and a dedicated lodging facility to house visiting faculty and volunteers from international schools.

In partnership with Charterhouse, a UK-based educational institution, the Foundation has helped develop a local teachers’ training programme. Teachers from Charterhouse trained and mentored their local peers at the new education centre, to improve their teaching methods and capabilities. This training programme is now being developed to be accessible online

A video from the 2019 programme can be seen here


Team Work

The Foundation also works with the Samena Capital Charity Cricket Team, a regular participant in charity matches in the UK every summer. Matches have included playing against the Lashings All-Stars Team, which includes world-renowned players such as Sir Curtly Ambrose, Adam Hollioake and Martin Bicknall. Matches such as these, raise funds for the Charterhouse Hardship Fund and sports bursaries, amongst others.



shirish saraf

COVID-19 Initiatives

Organised by the Foundation, the 2020 Samena Virtual Challenge saw staff undertake a series of individual activities during the global lockdown period in early 2020 to raise funds to support various relief efforts in their communities for the COVID-19 Coronavirus Pandemic.

Working with the charity M Kids, the Mauritius office provided support to vulnerable youth in their community. Dubai staff contributed to the Emirates Red Crescent Coronavirus Emergency Appeal, and the India office supported the relief efforts for those affected by COVID-19 in the slums of Mumbai.

A separate partnership saw Shirish Saraf work with Go Dharmic, a UK-based charity that works on the ground in India, which helped feed over one million vulnerable people during the lockdown in India. At the height of the pandemic, the Foundation helped supply oxygen and other key medical supplies which inspired others to also contribute towards the cause.



Local Poverty Relief

The Foundation’s efforts to help alleviate poverty in the Middle East have extended to Samena staff participating in charity runs, charity golf tournaments, and donating blankets to the Emirates Red Crescent. A partnership with portfolio company RAK Ceramics saw the organisation of a Ramadan iftar meal for over 5,000 blue-collar workers in Ras Al Khaimah in June 2017. The event, one of the largest of its type, was subsequently recognised as “Best CSR Impactful Initiative” at the 2017 Global Giving Awards in Dubai.

In Hong Kong, employees helped prepare hot meals for 2,400 underprivileged people, in addition to assisting in packing gifts for underprivileged children at Christmas. Staff at our India office worked alongside various local charities to take part in a music therapy program for patients with mental illnesses, and also distributed educational equipment and hosted a Christmas party for street children. Mauritius employees delivered meals to both the elderly and orphans during Ramadan, and also hosted a party for orphans and gave out gifts during Christmas.



Youth Empowerment

Partnering with SOS Children’s Villages International, the Foundation took part in a mentorship programme to provide life coaching and business training to young people in both Lebanon and Sri Lanka, in order to support them in their scholastic and professional pursuits.

Further support from the Samena Foundation helped fund the IT and internet infrastructure in Lebanon and Sri Lanka, which made a significant impact on the lives of many more young people especially during the global lockdown period.



Other Initiatives

Other initiatives supported by the Samena Foundation include WorldView, a non-profit initiative offering development support to film makers who provide alternative global perspectives, as well as The Vishvas Foundation, a spiritual educational organisation established by Gurudev Shri Swami Vishvas in India. The Foundation has also supported the Little Dreams Foundation, founded by Phil and Orianne Collins, which grants the wishes of underprivileged and disabled children.