Sallyport has always been conscious of the communities it works amongst. In some areas of its operation, like South Sudan, the people are among the poorest on the planet. Others, such as those in Iraq and Afghanistan, have endured decades of war and political instability. In all the countries Sallyport operates, (including the US), many communities live in austere and unforgiving environments.
It has always been Sallyport’s policy to ’give something back’, and work as a part of the community. Sallyport’s CEO, John DeBlasio, is a former US Army Civil Affairs Officer who has a respect and appreciation for the importance of working with local communities in support of US foreign policy initiatives. Initially, his concepts were applied to Sallyport’s efforts to help reconstruct Iraq and promote stability, but have subsequently been applied elsewhere. Many of Sallyport’s clients, such as the UN, USAID, the Department of State, and others, run considerable economic, vocational and governance development programmes, which Sallyport are proud to support.
Since the start, Sallyport has always tried to employ and procure locally, so far as possible. This not only benefits the host country, but helps Sallyport and its clients by promoting good will, and utilizing valuable experience and skill-sets, that are particular to the environment and climate.
This is sometimes not enough, and Sallyport is conscious of sustainability. When Sallyport and its clients move on, and operations cease, finding other employment can often be hard for the local workforce. Most local labor is unskilled, and although Sallyport has always tried to address this imbalance, by on-the-job-training, mentoring and apprenticeship, this too is often not enough.
What began as a commitment to responsible business practices and a common sense approach to working locally, is now set to be part of a formal charitable foundation. The intended beneficiaries of this foundation reflect the backgrounds and experience of many of the 'founding fathers' of Sallyport. The foundation will provide funding and support to organizations seeking to develop sustainable economic development, with a strong emphasis on vocational training and education. Importantly, the foundation will also help educate and develop American service men and women, through a partnership with the Department of Geography at the United States Military Academy at West Point. This effort is designed to help young officers understand better how to better apply “non-kinetic” resources to achieve military objectives.
Watch this space for developments.