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Monday, September 22, 2014

Western Union Education for Better Program on Track to Exceed Goal


ENGLEWOOD, Colo., Sept. 22, 2014 – The Western Union Company (NYSE:WU) and The Western Union Foundation today announced that they are on track to meet and exceed the goal of pledging $10 million for educational programs around the world – more than a year ahead of schedule.

The commitment represents philanthropic giving over the three-year period in partnership with the Western Union Company, employees, Western Union Agents, other business partners and consumers.

“One of the main reasons our customers send money is to fund education for loved ones at home,” said Western Union President and CEO Hikmet Ersek. “Education is important to our customers, and it’s important to us. We’re committed to supporting programs around the world that help ensure success for the next generation.”

The achievement coincides with Western Union’s participation this week at the Clinton Global Initiative in New York.
 
The program has funded grants to charitable organizations such as UNICEF, Teach For All, UNESCO, Mercy Corps, Pratham, Save the Children and Jobs for America’s Graduates. The Western Union Foundation will continue to give to education programs around the world to support even more access to quality educational opportunities.

Two years ago this week, Western Union announced its “Education for Better” program, a three-year commitment. The program aims to provide an average of $10,000 per day for more than 1,000 days in potential Western Union Foundation grant funding for nonprofit, nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) working in the education space, including support for one million days of school.

Since its inception, The Western Union Foundation has pledged more than $98.5 million in grants and other giving to more than 2,729 nongovernmental organizations in more than 133 countries and territories.

About Western Union
The Western Union Company (NYSE: WU) is a leader in global payment services. Together with its Vigo, Orlandi Valuta, Pago Facil and Western Union Business Solutions branded payment services, Western Union provides consumers and businesses with fast, reliable and convenient ways to send and receive money around the world, to send payments and to purchase money orders. As of June 30, 2014, the Western Union, Vigo and Orlandi Valuta branded services were offered through a combined network of over 500,000 agent locations in 200 countries and territories and over 100,000 ATMs. In 2013, The Western Union Company completed 242 million consumer-to-consumer transactions worldwide, moving $82 billion of principal between consumers, and 459 million business payments. For more information, visit  www.westernunion.com.

About the Western Union Foundation
The Western Union Foundation is dedicated to creating a better world, where the ability to realize dreams through economic opportunity is not just a privilege for the few but a right for all.  Through its signature program, Education for Better, and with the support of The Western Union Company, its employees, Agents, and business partners, The Western Union Foundation works to realize this vision by supporting education and disaster-relief efforts as pathways toward a better future.  Our combined social ventures efforts make life better for individuals, families and communities around the world.  Since its inception, The Western Union Foundation has paid more than $98.5 million in grants and other giving. These funds have been pledged to more than 2,729 nongovernmental organizations in more than 133 countries and territories. The Western Union Foundation is a separate §501(c)(3) recognized United States charity. To learn more, visit www.westernunionfoundation.org.



Wednesday, July 02, 2014

President's Blog: The Power of sport in Senegal

Patrick_GastonWith the world seemingly caught up in soccer (football) fever, I recently made a site visit to a UNICEF-supported school in Dakar, Senegal, along with soccer legend and Western Union® PASS Ambassador Patrick Vieira. It was an incredible trip – one that I’m very glad I made. To be a part of the PASS initiative, working directly with bright, enthusiastic local students in my native French language, was a truly magical experience.

The PASS initiative is part of Education for Better, the Western Union three-year commitment to help meet global education goals. It’s all about harnessing the power and popularity of soccer to build awareness of the need for greater investment in education, and to support UNICEF efforts to deliver secondary school education in Senegal and other countries across the globe. Now in its second year, the PASS initiative is converting every successful pass during Western Union’s three-year sponsorship of the UEFA Europa League into better education. Funding has already been delivered to UNICEF in Jamaica, Nigeria and Turkey, with support for education programs in Brazil, Senegal, Morocco and China scheduled for this year.

In Senegal, the need is there. Although there have been great strides in creating access to education at the primary school age, student numbers drastically drop to 58 percent for junior and to 29 percent for senior secondary school – mainly due to cost. Through the PASS initiative, Western Union is working to improve the situation in Senegal by building awareness of the importance of secondary education and supporting the transition of 200 disadvantaged students from primary to secondary school via two-year grants that cover educational costs.

The students at the school in Dakar are really benefitting from the work UNICEF is doing there, thanks to the PASS initiative. To show their gratitude, they were energetic and warm in their welcome to us. Patrick Viera is a hometown hero in Dakar, and he stressed to the students that, although he achieved his dreams through football, an education is the key that can allow them to be whatever they want to be. I left the soccer playing to Patrick Viera: after we met with the students, he invited them to kick the ball around the schoolyard in a friendly match, to the students’ great delight.

I know that education can change lives, change futures and change society – making life better for current and future generations. The grants we are making through the Western Union Foundation are making this happen. Having been part of the Western Union PASS program in Senegal, I can attest to the power of sport to mobilize young people to help deliver this critical message and meet the challenge.

 



Friday, May 23, 2014

Western Union Responds to Flooding in Bosnia & Herzegovina, Serbia with Support for Relief Efforts

 

ENGLEWOOD, Colo.--May 23, 2014-- The Western Union Company today announced a multi-faceted program to provide support for disaster-relief efforts for the families and communities most affected by flooding in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Serbia.

The program includes grant funding from The Western Union Foundation, as well as Western Union® employee and retail Agent giving elements.

International Consumer Activation
In the United States, Western Union has set up a no-fee Payments contribution account benefiting the American Red Cross to support international relief efforts in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Serbia. Donors in the United States can contribute by making a no-fee Payments transaction at www.wu.com, directed to the account, up to US$5,000.

Western Union Foundation Grant Activity
The Western Union Foundation is making a grant of US$75,000 to the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) to support the organization’s immediate response activities in the region, which include providing emergency materials, shelter, meals and water to disaster victims.

Employee and Agent Activation
To encourage and support additional philanthropy, through May 30, 2014, The Western Union Foundation will match qualifying Western Union employee donations to the Foundation’s Flooding Disaster Relief Fund, which benefits the IFRC’s efforts in the Bosnia and Herzegovina and Serbia.

Western Union is also encouraging its Agents and business partners to join together in supporting relief efforts. Under the Western Union Foundation Business Partner Giving program, the Foundation will provide a dollar-for-dollar match of qualifying Agent contributions to NGOs that provide disaster-relief support in the impacted region.

“The flooding throughout this region is the worst in the area in more than 100 years, with reports that thousands of people have been displaced from their homes and of billions of dollars in property damage. Western Union is responding with support for relief efforts in the immediate aftermath of the disaster, including programs that provide meals, water and emergency materials to the families and children most affected by the flooding in the region,” said Patrick Gaston, president of The Western Union Foundation.

“We are committed to helping the communities we serve, and our thoughts are with the people affected and their extended community around the world during this time of need.”

Due to the severity of flooding in the area, some Western Union Agent locations in the region may not be immediately operational or possess sufficient funds.

About Western Union
The Western Union Company (NYSE: WU) is a leader in global payment services. Together with its Vigo, Orlandi Valuta, Pago Facil and Western Union Business Solutions branded payment services, Western Union provides consumers and businesses with fast, reliable and convenient ways to send and receive money around the world, to send payments and to purchase money orders. As of March 31, 2013, the Western Union, Vigo and Orlandi Valuta branded services were offered through a combined network of over 500,000 agent locations in 200 countries and territories and over 100,000 ATMs. In 2013, The Western Union Company completed 242 million consumer-to-consumer transactions worldwide, moving $82 billion of principal between consumers, and 459 million business payments. For more information, visit www.westernunion.com.

About The Western Union Foundation
The Western Union Foundation is dedicated to creating a better world, where the ability to realize dreams through economic opportunity is not just a privilege for the few but a right for all. Through its signature program, Education for Better, and with the support of The Western Union Company, its employees, Agents, and business partners, The Western Union Foundation works to realize this vision by supporting education and disaster relief efforts as pathways toward a better future. Our combined social ventures efforts make life better for individuals, families and communities around the world. Since its inception, The Western Union Foundation has paid more than $96.0 million in grants and other giving. These funds have been pledged to more than 2,720 nongovernmental organizations in more than 133 countries and territories. The Western Union Foundation is a separate §501(c)(3) recognized United States charity. To learn more, visit www.westernunionfoundation.org.