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NRF partners with global charity

Global law firm Norton Rose Fulbright has revealed the theme of its 2022 Global Charitable Initiative, partnering with a charity to improve the living conditions for Cambodian communities.

user iconLauren Croft 15 February 2022 Big Law
East Tonle Sap Lake Cambodia
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Norton Rose Fulbright has partnered with Save the Children for its “Building Sustainable Communities” Global Charitable Initiative theme, with an aim to improve living conditions for fishing communities on east Tonle Sap Lake, one of the most ecologically fragile areas of Cambodia. Save the Children is a global non-governmental organisation that operates in more than 100 countries, helping children reach their full potential by making sure they stay safe, healthy and learning.

2022 marks the 10th anniversary of Norton Rose Fulbright’s Global Charitable Initiative. Since the program’s inception, the firm has selected a specific cause each year as part of the firm’s commitment to give back to its local communities and beyond – something which NRF pro bono team leader and partner Chris Owen said was particularly important for BigLaw firms to be doing.

“People working in major law firms experience some of society’s most challenging situations and see first-hand the impact on vulnerable people. They also have the unique skills and abilities that can make a difference to the outcomes, either in-the-moment or through systemic change,” he said.

 
 

“At Norton Rose Fulbright we believe it’s our responsibility to take action and do the right thing to improve what we can, where we can, as much as we can. Through both our legal pro bono matters and social impact work we demonstrate our commitment to being a good corporate citizen and living our values of quality, unity and integrity.”

Raising funds for the four-year GREEN project – implemented by Save the Children in collaboration with institutional partners and local authorities in the east Tonle Sap Lake region – is one of three pillars of the firm’s charitable effort this year. The other two pillars involve working with local communities on sustainability-related projects around the world and focusing on internal sustainability within the firm.

Previously, the Global Charitable Initiative has helped bring attention to systematic racism and helped provide food to struggling Australian communities.

“To raise awareness and fight systemic racism and champion social justice worldwide, we held the Run Against Racism in 2021 in Houston, featuring nine-time Olympic gold medalist Carl Lewis as master of ceremonies. The event raised over US$260,000. In Australia, we ran a webinar called ‘Standing Together’ with the Victorian Multicultural Commission, CEO MindTribes, Jaramer Legal, North American Australian Lawyers Alliance and Asian Australian Lawyers Association to recognise the trauma suffered by victims of racial discrimination and raise awareness on systemic racism and social justice,” the firm said.

“When Australia last ran the global initiative here, in 2018-2019, we committed to fighting hunger and reducing food waste in our local communities through the Global Food Challenge. Partnering with OzHarvest in Australia, we hosted a Global Food Challenge ‘Cooking for a cause’ in Sydney to cook more than 1,000 meals using rescued food which were then packaged and delivered to people who needed them. A team of our Sydney partners cycled from Melbourne to Sydney to raise funds for OzHarvest’s FEAST program, a curriculum aligned education program to inspire kids to eat healthy, reduce food waste and be change-makers in their communities.”

East Tonle Sap Lake is home to more than 40,000 people and 8,000 fishing households, whose livelihoods and future have been hugely impacted by climate change. This fundraising effort aims to improve the community’s economic development and resilience to climate change through increasing access to clean water, sanitation and hygiene, by helping families diversify their incomes to reduce reliance on the fishing industry and by improving access to education, according to Save the Children director of partnerships Caroline Whatley.

“We’re so excited to be partnering with Norton Rose Fulbright to help Cambodian families tackle the impact of the climate crisis, which is a child’s rights crisis at its core,” she said.

“The communities living on east Tonle Sap Lake have been hit hard by extreme weather and climate change-related disasters. By joining forces, we will help these communities adapt to the effects of climate change and earn a sustainable living, so that the children can build the future they deserve.”