We believe that our mining improves lives. Our community engagement initiatives seek to create enduring and sustainable value for our host communities both during and after the operating lives of our mines.
Effective community engagement requires a dynamic and evolving process of stakeholder engagement and a commitment to partnering with governments and other organisations. We engage meaningfully, as much as possible with our stakeholders, to ensure we are in a better position to understand their perceptions of value and deliver accordingly. We have developed a stakeholder perception index which is helping us to identify and address specific challenges, including employment, legacy issues and transparency, and local procurement opportunities.
Our process of stakeholder engagement is designed to respect local customs, traditions and cultures while encouraging open, honest and constructive dialogue. For further information, see our Community and Indigenous People Policy.
We invest in a diversity of community engagement programs. In Southern Africa, our efforts range from building early childhood development centers near our housing facilities to providing employment and entrepreneurship training to donating obstetric ambulances that ensure mothers-to-be have access to safe patient transport.
In the U.S., we have worked with the local environmental community to develop an innovative framework called the Good Neighbors Agreement that ensures we protect the natural environment while encouraging responsible economic development. Every year in Montana, we give out more than US$50,000 in scholarships and nearly US$400,000 in charitable contributions, focusing on rural emergency and health services, as well as STEM education, community improvement activities and environmental stewardship.
We invest in training and development programs, learnerships and portable technical and vocational skills training and education and research programs at universities that help strengthen the workforce in the communities where we operate.
In South Africa, we recently established a new community trust intended to enhance the impact of socio-economic projects on communities by augmenting and optimising our community development programs. It will promote the use of local suppliers to unlock, create and share value in the communities.