The Greater Good

Q&A with Monique Villa, CEO of the Thomson Reuters Foundation

2013 was an incredible year for the Thomson Reuters Foundation through the growth of TrustLaw, establishing Trust Women as a global movement, by shining a light on the world’s under reported stories, and providing journalism training around the world. The following Q&A is from our Foundation’s 2013 Annual Report. You can see the complete series of blog posts on our 2013 Annual Review here.

Which words would best sum up 2013 at the Thomson Reuters Foundation?

Growth, impact and women. It has been an incredible year for the Foundation, on many fronts.

Which areas of the Foundation have seen the most growth?

TrustLaw, our service connecting NGOs and social enterprises with lawyers offering free legal assistance, has grown exponentially. In 2013, we made a significant impact in India, with 200 members registering for our service. We also expanded in China – where we’re now working with 10 law firms – in Brazil and in South Africa, hiring staff to help recruit both law firms and organisations that could benefit from the service.

You said women? (more…)

A year of impact

Annual report slides6[12]

Impact, growth and women. These are the three words that best define 2013 at the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

It’s been an exceptional year.

TrustLaw, our service connecting NGOs and social enterprises with lawyers offering free legal assistance, has grown exponentially. In 2013, we made a significant impact in India, with 200 registered members. We also expanded in China – where we now have 10 law firms – and in Brazil and South Africa, hiring staff to facilitate the recruitment of both law firms and organizations that benefit from the service.

Trust Women, our flagship conference dedicated to putting the rule of law behind women’s rights, brought together top decision makers in the fields of law, finance, business, technology and government, reaching 1.5 million people through social media. Participants took 32 strong commitments to action.

As a direct result of Trust Women 2012, together with the Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr, I co-hosted a working group to encourage some of the biggest banks in the USA to contribute to the fight against human trafficking. The financial institutions accepted to share suspicious data with law enforcement agencies, and the working group issued international guidance aimed at helping the wider financial communities to identify and report irregularities in financial transactions that might be linked to human trafficking. The Thomson Reuters Foundation distributed the document to a select number of top financial institutions, law enforcement agencies and anti-trafficking NGOs. (more…)

Volunteering for impact in 2013

Thomson Reuters Global Volunteer Network councils are teams of passionate employee volunteers who support the company’s value of social responsibility, and are committed to bringing it alive for the mutual benefit of the company, employees, customers, and communities. In 2013, they worked with their local community partners to develop volunteer opportunities in line with our corporate programs and policies across our international footprint.

How our Volunteer Action Network employees invest time, money and expertise for great projects worldwide

Here are some of the ways our employees worked together with local community projects in 2013 through the VAN councils: (more…)

Bridging the gap


There are very few moments in the history of a nation that manage to bring together people from all paths of life to demand radical change. The 2012 Delhi gang rape is certainly one.

It’s one of them because of what it meant across Indian society, and because of what it triggered, both domestically and abroad.

Imposing itself with all its ferocity, the story of 23-year-old trainee physiotherapist who was brutally gang-raped on a bus and left for dead, was undoubtedly India’s most covered story around the world in 2012. (more…)

Coating Chicago’s winter in warmth

coat drive

30 in 2012. 70-plus in 2013!

That’s how many coats the Thomson Reuters Chicago office donated to kids at Ninos Heroes Elementary Community Academy, located on the south side of Chicago.

How it all started

Eric Cochran, who spends two days a week at Heroes as the school’s social worker, asked his friends and family in the fall of 2011 for some help. He wanted to provide winter coats for students at this school who would otherwise have to go without. That first year, Eric was able to provide coats to 12 of the students.  (more…)

Covering the world’s under-reported stories

Spotlight on our Foundation’s journalists Anastasia Moloney and Katy Migiro

Journalism is one of the core pillars of the Thomson Reuters Foundation, with a team of reporters dedicated to covering the world’s under-reported stories, including human rights abuses, the human impact of climate change and the social damage posed by endemic corruption.

This month we spoke to Anastasia Moloney and Katy Migiro, both journalists at the Foundation, to find out more about the people who devote their careers to concentrate on stories highlighting social issues.

Anastasia Moloney

Good Sports: Playing it forward

Good Sports

By Wilbur Swan, Thomson Reuters

Thomson Reuters has been a key sponsor of the annual Good Sports Legends of the Ball events in Boston and Chicago since 2007. Good Sports helps to lay the foundation for healthy, active lifestyles by providing athletic equipment, footwear, and apparel to disadvantaged young people nationwide in the U.S. Unfortunately for many children, the lack of equipment in their schools and community programs is a key barrier to participation. They aim to address that issue by partnering with sporting goods manufacturers to secure donated and deeply discounted equipment to benefit programs in need. What began with a donation of 500 basketballs has grown to more than $10 million worth of equipment to impact youth across the country. (more…)

The financial story of Zimbabwe: Q&A with Nelson Banya, Editor in Chief of the Source


Launched in October 2013, a new independent financial and business news service called ‘the Source’ is thriving in Zimbabwe. Supported by Thomson Reuters Foundation and the European Journalism Centre, the Source provides citizens, media organisations, and potential investors in Zimbabwe with greater access to financial and business news and analysis.

We spoke to Editor in Chief Nelson Banya about the challenges of telling a complex economic story in a difficult climate. (more…)

Spreading the message of diversity and inclusion in London

diversity & inclusion

2014 got off to a great start in the UK this year with a little help from the Lord Mayor of the City of London, Fiona Woolf. Last month, Thomson Reuters and 36 other organizations supported the launch of the Power of Diversity Programme. Three buses have been designed to highlight diversity and inclusion in the corporate world. The buses are part of wider project that the Lord Mayor has launched to support diverse talent in the city of London and kick start a conversation about diversity on boards. The Mayor stated that she would like businesses to understand that diversity & inclusion not only has a moral case, but a clear business one as well. The buses will run on the “Golden Route” throughout 2014. (more…)

Slavery, the darkest face of corruption

REUTERS/Jumana El Heloueh

Last month I met a man whose life had been entirely shattered by corruption. He had lost everything he had: his family, his friends, his freedom. He had become a slave.

This man was lured to another country, far from home, with the promise of a good-paying job as an office clerk. To make the trip and to pay the intermediary, he took a loan. Upon his arrival, instead of being handed an office badge, he was forced to hand over his passport, and was dragged into the world of modern-day slavery.

The job he had been promised never existed. He was suddenly in debt, far away from home and unable to leave. He had no option but to start working as a construction worker to repay the loan he had taken. (more…)