How it can be beneficial for kids in Gibraltar to FLIP out over charity

However, it's difficult to tell those that have the resources to help people less fortunate than themselves that they should use their money to help if they have not done so already. Their upbringing and the values that have been instilled in them from an early age will determine whether they then feel that they should do something to help, even if it's just regular contributions to one charity. FLIP (Future Leaders in Philanthropy), which is based in Gibraltar, has been set up to do just this.

The initiative is part of the Bonita Trust and was founded by Ruth Parasol, a technology entrepreneur who has used her influence and wealth to kick-start a number of charitable organisations across the world. It aims to teach gifted local students about the value of charity by raising money through organising and hosting charity fundraising events, such as quiz nights and the like, in addition to their educational activities. Local charities that have benefited so far include the Gibraltar Alzheimer's and Dementia Support Group, the Happy Faces Charitable Trust and the Association for Kids in Need, with many more reaping the rewards which have been greatly needed.

The process works by carefully selecting and inviting twenty students every year that have proven themselves to be gifted through their exam results, as these could end up becoming the business leaders of the future, to apply to the initiative. These students then work individually on various charitable projects during Years 12 and 13 when they are at school and then during their first year of university - their final assignment is to create a 5-year business plan for a charity they have created and finalise an investment portfolio.

The aim is for them to raise at least £40,000 for their chosen charity, which the Bonita Trust will then match. Guidance will be provided by the investment strategist Credit Suisse in terms of teaching the students about managing money - this will also enhance their financial acumen for the future. The students will receive financial incentives and gifts throughout the process in order to maintain their interest.

The thinking behind the initiative is that if these potential business leaders can develop a passion for corporate philanthropy at a young age, this will carry on and stay with them into adulthood, meaning that charities in the future can hope to benefit from their success. While this might not be to the students' tastes, they do at least benefit from the business and financial advice provided throughout the process, and taking part in it looks good on any CVs they might write to apply for jobs once they have left university. The most important thing, though, is the contributions they might make to change people's lives for the better.

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The FLIP project encourages local students to become involved in communal & charitable giving in Gibraltar. Visit for more information.


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