Western Union and The Western Union Foundation Commit $500,000 for Education and Economic Development Programs of the U.S.-Mexico Foundation
ENGLEWOOD, Colo. and MEXICO CITY – Feb. 27, 2013 – Western Union and The Western Union Foundation today announced a two-year grant commitment, supporting education and economic development programs offered through the U.S.-Mexico Foundation (USMF).
Western Union and The Western Union Foundation join a number of other important contributors to the USMF. The combined grant consists of $250,000 from The Western Union Foundation and $250,000 from The Western Union Company to support the USMF Educational Transformation Fund, providing high-impact educational opportunities to communities throughout Mexico, and the USMF Economic Opportunity Fund, which improves the economic opportunities for marginalized communities in Mexico. The total commitment of $500,000 supports USMF efforts to improve global access to quality education and economic opportunity.
“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. With the support of The Western Union Company, its employees and Agents, The Western Union Foundation works to realize this vision by supporting education as a pathway toward a better future through Western Union’s Education for Better program,” said Patrick Gaston, president, The Western Union Foundation.
“We are proud to work with the USMF to offer innovative, high-impact educational opportunities,” continued Gaston. “Research and our own experience shows that quality education is one of the surest pathways to prosperity. We have been impressed with the holistic approach USMF takes to issues surrounding education, and are confident that we can make a meaningful difference together.”
The U.S.-Mexico Foundation works to improve the relationship between the United States and Mexico by promoting broad social transformation in Mexico through strategic grant-making in the areas of education, economic development and civil society engagement. The USMF’s Educational Transformation Fund seeks to transform the education system in Mexico by strengthening teacher quality and teaching methodologies, and increase parental engagement and high-impact educational programs. The USMF’s Economic Opportunity Fund has a goal of improving the economic prospects of communities by enabling access to national and international markets for small producers, and increasing the employment prospects of at-risk populations through well-organized and sustainable workforce development programs.
“Only 62 percent of children in Mexico continue on to secondary school, and at the secondary level, half of students eventually drop out, with only a quarter reaching higher education1,” said Martha Smith, president and chief executive officer of the U.S.-Mexico Foundation. “For a country with the 12th-largest economy in the world, and more than $1.25 billion in daily two-way trade with the U.S.2, more has to be done to ensure that Mexico’s future leaders are equipped and prepared to enter the workforce.”
Despite the fact that Mexico is the 12th largest economy in the world, enjoys macro-economic stability, possesses a growing middle class, and ranks as the United States’ third largest trading partner3, the income distribution gap persists – 51 percent of its population lives in poverty4 and has not benefitted from the free market policies of the past 20 years.
The combined grant is part of the Western Union Education for Better initiative, a commitment to help meet global educational goals, with a focus on secondary and vocational training. Unveiled during the launch of the United Nations Education First initiative, Western Union’s Education for Better includes programs that have social impact, advocacy, volunteerism, and a pledge from The Western Union Foundation to give an average of $10,000 per day for 1,000 days in potential grant funding through the three-year commitment to support education.
About the U.S.-Mexico Foundation
The U.S.-Mexico Foundation (USMF) is a 501c3 organization and began full operations in 2009. The U.S.-Mexico Foundation is dedicated to expanding opportunity for the people of Mexico through effective philanthropy and binational partnerships. The Foundation’s main focus is to stimulate broad social transformation in Mexico through the promotion of civil society organizations and strategic grant-making in the areas of education, economic development, and citizen participation. The USMF also seeks to benefit both the United States and Mexico by raising awareness about Mexico, as well as the bi-national relationship. To that end, USMF helped launch the Mexican-American Leadership Initiative (MALI), which is comprised of Mexican-American leaders from throughout the United States who are committed to deepening the bi-national relationship. To learn more, visit http://usmexicofound.org/.
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 he few but a right for all. 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 awarded more than $81.7 million in grants to more than 2,551 nongovernmental organizations in more than 124 countries and territories. To learn more, visit www.westernunionfoundation.org.
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 December 31, 2012, the Western Union, Vigo and Orlandi Valuta branded services were offered through a combined network of approximately 510,000 agent locations in 200 countries and territories. In 2012, The Western Union Company completed 231 million consumer-to-consumer transactions worldwide, moving $79 billion of principal between consumers, and 432 million business payments. For more information, visit www.westernunion.com.
1. MexicanosPrimeros.org: http://www.mexicanosprimero.org/images/stories/Reporte_Mexicanos_Primero_-_Brechas_2010.pdf
2. CIA World Fact Book: https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/mx.html and the Office of the United States Trade Representative: http://www.ustr.gov/countries-regions/americas/mexico
3. U.S. Department of State: http://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/ps/2010/05/142020.htm
4. The World Bank: http://data.worldbank.org/country/mexico