Markabo and her daughter Maryama* cook a meal under the light of a solar powered lantern

Markabo and her daughter Maryama* cook a meal under the light of a solar powered lantern. © IKEA Foundation

Get to know the Canadian foundation that is helping support displaced families worldwide.

Trottier Family FoundationThe Trottier Family Foundation was established to create meaningful impact that improves the lives of Canadians. Now, they are taking their generosity even further, with a $200,000 donation to UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency.

Since 2000, the Trottier Family Foundation (TFF) has been supporting organizations that work to promote education, improve health and mitigate climate change. That’s why UNHCR, which is providing protection and assistance to many refugees and other people displaced by conflict, violence, persecution, and the effects of climate change, was a natural partner for them.

The Trottier Family Foundation’s commitment to bringing positive change to those most vulnerable is on full display in their most recent donation, which includes a gift of unrestricted funds. A flexible form of giving, unrestricted funds allow UNHCR to identify where the need is greatest and target the refugee and displaced communities that need help the most. The remaining portion of TFF’s contribution is for an innovative project supporting solar energy solutions.

“The Trottier Family Foundation is very excited to see this project come to life,” says Eric St-Pierre, Executive Director of the TFF.

“Knowing that the UNHCR is committed to not only supporting refugees, but to doing so in a way that supports efforts to slow and fight climate change made for a compelling proposal to consider.” 

How the Trottier Family Foundation is supporting sustainable energy

By providing refugee and host populations with access to solar lanterns, UNHCR and the Trottier Family Foundation’s joint-project contributes to elevating living standards for vulnerable populations. The lanterns will help reduce emissions, limit deforestation, and advance energy alternatives. With the Trottier Family Foundation’s support, UNHCR will be able to distribute 1,000 solar lanterns per year, for two years, to refugee families in east Africa.

A Syrian refugee shows how the IKEA-donated lamp also doubles as a mobile phone charger in Azraq Refugee Camp, Al Azraq, Jordan

A solar lantern that also doubles as a phone charger. © UNHCR/Warrick Page

Solar lanterns, which are an important part of sustainable energy in refugee camps, provide light for refugee families, along with a sense of safety, security, and comfort.

“This type of impact is not something that many Foundations might look to the UNHCR as a viable partner in exploring, which is precisely why it is so important,” says Paul Simard, UNHCR Canada’s Director of Community and Impact Partnerships for Quebec and Eastern Canada.

“The Trottier Family Foundation has, once again, demonstrated that they are ready to take a leadership role around issues that they are committed to supporting and, I believe, this gift will be a catalyst for others to step forward.” 

Learn more about the Trottier Family Foundation and their work on their website.

UNHCR is grateful to have the support of corporate partners to offer protection, food and other life-saving essentials to refugee and displaced families and communities. Learn more here.

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