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Western Union’s PASS initiative reaches 250,000 pass milestone

PASS initiative turns every successful pass in the UEFA Europa League competition into funding for education

Contributing to UNICEF’s efforts to enable access for children to one million days of education 

LONDON – December 11, 2013 The Western Union Company (NYSE:WU), a leader in global payment services and a Global Partner of the UEFA Europa League, today announced that, as the group stages in this season’s competition come to an end, over 250,000 successful passes have been made since the launch of its three-season PASS initiative in September 2012.

With the PASS initiative, Western Union and the Western Union Foundation, in collaboration with UNICEF, are turning every successful pass in the UEFA Europa League into funding for better education, harnessing the power of football to support vulnerable children around the world.

At the end of last season, the PASS fund totaled 178,231, a figure which has now reached 282,568 since the 2013/14 season started on September 19, 2013.

The top 5 clubs/players for passing in the UEFA Europa League 2013/14 season to date are as follows:

Leading Passing Teams

1. Tottenham Hotspur FC (3,673)
2. Swansea City AFC (3,269)
3. AZ Alkmaar (2,663)
4. Valencia CF (2,651)
5. PSV Eindhoven (2,532)

Leading Passing Players

1. Mousa Dembélé, Tottenham Hotspur FC (451)
2. Jeffrey Gouweleeuw, AZ Alkmaar (352)
3. Thanos Petsos, SK Rapid Wien (346)
4. Alexandros Tziolis, PAOK FC (340)
5. Jan Wuytens, AZ Alkmaar (337)

In September, Western Union announced that Jamaica, Nigeria and Turkey were the first countries to receive funding raised by the PASS initiative. In Jamaica, PASS is supporting UNICEF programs aiming to achieve high levels of attendance, retention, numeracy and literacy among secondary school children with a focus on adolescent boys. In Nigeria, Western Union is helping increase the number of qualified female teachers and, in turn, the enrollment of female students, contributing to UNICEF’s efforts to meet the country’s need for 1.3 million more[1] qualified teachers in the country. In Turkey, funding raised by the PASS initiative is being used to ensure disadvantaged children and ethnic minorities have access to a quality secondary education, with a focus on rural and low income areas where only 30 percent of children attend secondary school.

As part of Western Union’s three-year partnership with UNICEF, Brazil will be a future recipient of funding from the PASS initiative.

Brazilian International and Tottenham Hotspur FC midfielder, Sandro Raniere said: “The Western Union PASS scheme means a lot to me because we can help children go to school, and children in Brazil need this help as some children are very poor”.

“It means a lot to me also because I am from Brazil so I can help children from my home country and around the world. I’m so happy on the pitch doing my job and helping people around the world. Tottenham are the highest passing team this season and that is amazing – I feel great, helping people, it’s amazing”.

Patrick Gaston, president of The Western Union Foundation, commented: “Since the PASS initiative commenced in September 2012, we have experienced an outstanding level of support from players, fans and customers, which has been instrumental in allowing us to not only use the power and reach of football to build awareness of the global education challenge, but to also start to make a real difference to young people and their communities. PASS is a key part of Western Union’s Education for Better campaign for secondary and vocational education, and it is fantastic to see the positive impact funding from this initiative is making in the countries that need it most.”

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 September 30, 2013, the Western Union, Vigo and Orlandi Valuta branded services were offered through a combined network of approximately 515,000 agent locations in 200 countries and territories and approximately 115,000 ATMs.  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.

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 committed more than $91.2 million in grants and other giving to more than 2,682 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.

About Western Union’s UEFA Europa League Sponsorship

In July 2012, Western Union announced a three year deal as the new Global Partner and the Presenting Sponsor of the UEFA Europa League. This sponsorship of the world’s largest club competition, comprising 193 professional football teams from 53 countries, provides Western Union with a unique opportunity for worldwide brand visibility, with the competition broadcast in more than 200 countries and territories, and enjoying a global live match unique reach of 634 million per season. This will allow Western Union, with its extensive network of approximately 515,000 Agent locations in over 200 countries and territories, to engage its customers and Agents in the excitement of the UEFA Europa League.  The agreement also provides video, digital and social media content opportunities, and use of the UEFA Europa League brand assets. This partnership will run to the UEFA Europa League Final in 2015.

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About UNICEF

The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) works in more than 190 countries and territories to save and improve children’s lives, providing health care and immunizations, clean water and sanitation, nutrition, education, emergency relief and more. The U.S. Fund for UNICEF supports UNICEF’s work through fundraising, advocacy, and education in the United States. Together, we are working toward the day when zero children die from preventable causes and every child has a safe and healthy childhood. For more information, please visit www.unicefusa.org.

For additional information, please contact:

Andrea Sioris, U.S. Fund for UNICEF, 212.880.9146, asioris@unicefusa.org 


[1] Nigerian National Commission for Colleges of Education Executive Secretary Prof. Muhammed Junaid, as reported by the News Agency of Nigerian September 2012