Why Education for Better?
When companies and causes collaborate, they can make a difference in tackling a societal problem. This is what Education for Better, our new Western Union® three-year commitment to help meet global education goals, is all about.
Unveiled two weeks ago, during the launch of the United Nations (UN) Education First initiative, Education for Better is a company-wide program that will include new services related to education, cause marketing campaigns, grantmaking, advocacy and Western Union Agent and employee engagement. As part of this three-year commitment, the Western Union Foundation has pledged an average of $10,000 per day for more than 1,000 days in potential grant funding for education, including support for one million days of school through the recently launched “Western Union PASS initiative.”
We’ve also become a founding member of the Global Business Coalition for Education (GBC-Ed), designed to champion the education cause with governments and donor agencies worldwide.
So why education? According to the UN, as of 2010, 61 million primary school age and another 71 million secondary school age children were not in school. And too many who do graduate lack the skills necessary for employment. The UN statistics also show that globally, there are 775 million illiterate adults – two thirds of them women. Yet, only 2 percent of all development aid goes toward education.
Lack of education is a barrier to financial inclusion – especially for those underserved by the current financial system and many of whom are Western Union consumers.
At Western Union, we understand the powerful role that education, together with our services, can play in changing people’s lives for the better. By strengthening education for all, our Education for Better initiative can create economic opportunity and more inclusive communities – all across the globe.
Luella Chavez D’Angelo is senior vice president, Western Union Social Ventures and president, Western Union Foundation.