CAUSES, CHARITIES & AFFILIATIONS
Carmen is involved with the below organizations, all focused on the environment, sustainability and social welfare, in a multitude of capacities.
WWF is the world’s leading independent conservation organization. Its work extends across many spheres from protection of the planet’s wildlife, rivers, forests and seas; campaigning for a reduction in carbon emissions to counter climate change; and pressing for measures to help people live sustainably. Carmen is a member of the WWF council, working to create a Zero Waste program for sustainability in the fashion industry.
The Costa Rica Omina Summit is a non-profit initiative created to inspire people to change their mindsets to a more sustainable lifestyle by sharing the insights of global innovators and disruptors. 'Omina' comes from Latin and means 'omen' - a sign that warns us about the future. Following the success of the 2017 Costa Rica Fashion Summit, Omina was created by Costa Rica-based philanthropist Andrea Somma-Trejos and Carmen.
This El Salvador-based non-profit works with children facing poverty and extreme violence in some of the most dangerous countries in the world. Founded in 2007, its mission is to foster change by investing in a community’s infrastructure and its people, and over the past ten years it has extended its reach into 15 Latin American countries. Carmen is a donor and mentor to the charity, and is also a member of the board.
The British Fashion Council is a non-profit organization set up in 1983 to foster the growth of Britain’s largest creative industry. And via the BFC Fashion Trust, it provides support to British-based designers through a program that offers financial grants, mentoring and graduate traineeships, funded by private donors, including Carmen.
Bhutan For Life
Bhutan for Life is a strategic and long-term initiative designed to ensure that the Himalayan kingdom remains economically and environmentally sustainable. A partnership between the Royal Government of Bhutan and WWF, supported by Carmen and the Bhutan Foundation, it has received funding of $43m to safeguard two million hectares of land, which will not only benefit Bhutan, but its neighbours and the wider world.
The Bhutan Nuns Foundation (BNF) champions the cause of nuns and nunneries in recognition of the crucial role they play in Bhutanese society. More than 50% of Bhutanese girls living in rural areas join nunneries as an alternative means of schooling, and the BNF works to provide practical education for the nuns as well as improve the living conditions in the nunneries. Carmen works with the Bhutanese government to foster the nuns’ livelihood and development.
From its first program in a township in Cape Town with just 20 students, today the Lalela Project’s work extends to eleven communities in South Africa, Northern Uganda and New York’s South Bronx, empowering over 3,500 students by providing them with access to a curriculum of innovation, art and music. The Lalela Project is run by Andrea Kerzner, and Carmen acts as a consultant and is a donor.
Carmen is a donor to this international network of organizations that work to defend children and protect them from all forms of exploitation, specifically sexual abuse and trafficking.