In our Annual Report of 2015 we committed ourselves to the further development of our original ambitious idea for the Foundation, from the emerging reality of its first decade into an enduring force for good. That ‘good’ is the opportunity to make a difference to the lives of very many people all around the globe through our active projects. As we enter our second decade we can record a year that has not only achieved much but also, perhaps more importantly, laid the foundations for significant developments in the years ahead.
This year’s projects, once again in Africa, Asia and Latin America, underline not only the global reach of the Foundation but also the substantial range of skills and experience encompassed by the Members. For the past twelve years, our existing Members have, each year, taken time to consider with considerable care whom they should invite to add to their number, to bring particular new skills, to introduce fresh ideas and to broaden the experience base of the Foundation so that we can extend its appeal and increase the opportunities to assist those who can benefit from our help. Each of the six new Members who joined the Foundation this year brings something special and distinctive to add to the galaxy of our existing Members.
The second area that promises much for the future is the first glimmer of a solution to an issue that has perplexed us all since we began: that of making the Foundation more widely known whilst still remaining true to our pledge of confidentiality and thus being unable to describe our projects to a larger audience. What sets us apart is the discretion with which we conduct our business and we guard that reputation with care. Sometimes the host chooses to make the GLF visits public, but that is rare. At the end of the year covered by this Report, our well-established relationship of trust with the President of Mozambique resulted in an invitation from him to act as a mediator and facilitator for the widely reported peace talks held in preparation for a later ‘summit level’ dialogue between him and the leader of the opposition party. This is not only a clear vindication of our belief that discretion creates trust and trust creates opportunity, but it also gives the Foundation a public profile that we have hitherto been unable to create, yet now provides us with a platform on which we can build a broader awareness of our way of working.
The third strand of opportunity lies in the creation of the GLF Strategy and Development Committee, bringing together a number of eminent leaders from the corporate sector on 3 continents to add their very different perspectives to our Board’s deliberations about the future. GLF exists because we believe that experience is a priceless asset and it is clear to all of us that the lessons of the business sector have much to offer in helping us to thrive as a non-aligned, not-for- profit organisation.
I remain very grateful to all those who work so hard in so many ways on our behalf all over the world; we could not exist without them. The GLF is now a widely spread, impressive and effective network of distinguished people from all continents and every walk of life. All contribute in their own way to the stature, the reputation and the capabilities of the Foundation and from those three attributes flow the opportunities that enable us to make a difference.