JCI conference: highlighting Monegasque Foundations with a global impact and a local focus

Impactful discussions took centre stage at a breakfast conference organised by the Junior Chamber of Commerce of Monaco on Tuesday, where leaders from the Monaco Red Cross and the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation shared insights on global initiatives.

On 4th June, the Junior Chamber of Commerce of Monaco (JCI), a community of young professionals under 40 dedicated to improving Monaco’s economic development, organised a breakfast conference at the Meridien Beach Plaza. The conference explored the balancing act that Monaco’s foundations and associations carry out between local initiatives and global commitments. 

The two key guest speakers were Olivier Wenden, Vice President and Managing Director of the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation, and Bettina Ragazzoni-Janin, General Treasurer of the Monegasque Red Cross. 

Commitment to vulnerable communities worldwide

The Monaco Red Cross operates locally and globally. Locally, it assists those in need, organises events for the elderly and underprivileged, and provides first-aid training. Internationally, it partners with other Red Cross societies on sustainable projects, ranging from emergency response to long-term development, focusing on social and health sectors.

“The principle is to help vulnerable communities as much as possible,” said Bettina Ragazzoni-Janin.

The focus of the Monaco Red Cross is currently on Burkina Faso. This country is experiencing a humanitarian crisis due to a significant escalation in violence and the closure of over a third of health facilities and thousands of schools.

The Monaco Red Cross opened a multi-purpose training centre in Loumbila, Burkina Faso, to aid the vulnerable community. It also provided two fully equipped ambulances and a shelter for women and children to escape abuse. 

“We always try to be present in any project that we undertake by providing assistance and support to the vulnerable community,” said Ragazzoni-Janin. 

In addition to its ongoing projects in Burkina Faso, the Monaco Red Cross provided over €850,000 in financial aid in 2023 alone to support those affected by natural disasters, humanitarian crises, armed conflicts, and health emergencies. 

“In light of today’s complex geopolitical situation, we must persist in our mission,” affirmed Ragazzoni-Janin. 

Leading global initiatives for planetary health

Like the Monaco Red Cross, the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation is a local foundation that takes its initiatives worldwide since it is dedicated to advancing planetary health globally. With over 100 sponsored projects, 110 partners, and €11 million in grants awarded, the Foundation collaborates with international partners to address biodiversity, climate, and ocean challenges.

Olivier Wenden revealed that one of the foundation’s current focuses is its collaboration with MedFund, an association financing marine protected areas in the Mediterranean. The foundation aids its projects to safeguard biodiversity, aligning with international agreements and the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

“The foundation plays a big and interesting role in international diplomacy. In 2030, we will be able to judge the acts carried out by our collaboration,” states Wenden. 

Wenden also announced the Green Shift Festival, which is only in its second edition and will take place from 5th to 7th June. It includes an exciting programme that promotes ecology and social projects. For more information, click here: The Green Shift Initiative – 2024 Edition

“We wanted to create a project that mixes policy and economic and environmental aspects in a fun and engaging manner,” revealed Wenden. 

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Photo credits: Monaco Life