BHP Billiton Sustainable Communities (BSC) marked 2014 Homeless Persons Week in Australia by announcing another three-year commitment to The Big Issue Women’s Subscription Enterprise (WSE).
The Big Issue found selling magazines on the street was not a viable option for many women because of issues including safety and childcare. Under the WSE model, women are given the opportunity to work in four-hour shifts in a friendly and safe female-only team environment.
The BHP Billiton Sustainable Communities charity has supported the WSE since 2011, and over the next three years will purchase 650 annual subscriptions for BHP Billiton workplaces around the country. This support will provide employment for more than six women a year.
BHP Billiton CEO, Andrew Mackenzie said helping homeless, marginalised and disadvantaged people improve their life was an important part of BHP Billiton’s contribution to communities.
“The provision of housing is a basic human right and I’m delighted that through the BHP Billiton Sustainable Communities we are able to support The Big Issue in their important work to provide thousands of people with a sustainable way forward,” Mr Mackenzie said.
Since launching the Women’s Subscription Enterprise in 2010, the Enterprise has employed more than 100 women in Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide.
The Big Issue CEO, Steven Persson welcomed the partnership.
We know there are some 46 000 women homeless in Australia on any given night,” Mr Persson said.
Corporate Australia can make a big difference to the lives of marginalised women by supporting simple solutions like the Women’s Subscription Enterprise.
“The support of BHP Billiton Sustainable Communities will allow us to employ more women through the Women’s Subscription Enterprise, giving women in need the opportunity to earn an income and turn their lives around.”
The Big Issue is an independent, not-for-profit organisation that develops solutions to help homeless, marginalised and disadvantaged people positively change their lives: http://www.thebigissue.org.au/?WT.mc_id=EDM_newsletter
Adapted from a press release by David Bizley
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