September 19th , 2013 - Today, The Western Union Company (NYSE:WU), a leader in global payment services and Global Partner of the UEFA Europa League, and the Western Union Foundation, in collaboration with UNICEF, have announced the first programs that will receive funding raised by Western Union’s innovative PASS initiative.
Launched in September 2012, Western Union’s PASS initiative turns every successful pass in the UEFA Europa League competition into funding for education, harnessing the power of soccer to support children. Through PASS, the company is contributing to UNICEF’s efforts to help give children access to one million days of education.
Every pass made during the 2012/13 UEFA Europa League season resulted in funding support for UNICEF programs that aim to provide children with a better education. Funding from Western Union and the Western Union Foundation’s three-year commitment is already supporting UNICEF’s education programs in Jamaica, Nigeria and Turkey, with further beneficiary countries to be announced during the coming season.
In Jamaica the funding will support programs that aim to achieve higher levels of attendance, retention, numeracy and literacy among secondary school aged children, with a focus on boys. These programs will reach young people in Jamaica’s rural areas where drop-out rates and learning outcomes for boys are of particular concern. In Nigeria, Western Union is supporting teacher training, contributing to UNICEF’s efforts to meet the country’s need for 1.3 million more qualified educators in the country, and as a result improving the overall learning experience, student retention and achievement. By focusing on training female teachers, UNICEF also aims to encourage the enrollment of female students.
In Turkey, funding for UNICEF programs will focus on ensuring disadvantaged children and ethnic minorities have access to a quality secondary education. In many disadvantaged, rural and low income areas in Turkey only 30 percent of children attend secondary school. These programs place emphasis on vocational education that best aligns with local labor market needs, improving young people’s prospects for future employment and earning potential.
“This is a significant step for the PASS campaign,” said Patrick Gaston, president of The Western Union Foundation. The overwhelmingly positive reaction and support for PASS from players, fans and customers during our first season was more than we could have hoped for and has helped us to not only use the power and reach of soccer to build awareness of the global education challenge, but also start to make a difference to young people and their communities.”
“We are very excited to partner with Western Union to strengthen children’s educational opportunities in Jamaica,” said Deirdre Kiernan, Deputy Representative, UNICEF Jamaica. “Western Union’s funding is supporting programs in rural Jamaica that are helping to keep children in the classroom, ensuring they complete school and have a brighter future.”
PASS is running for the three years of Western Union’s sponsorship of the UEFA Europa League through the spring of 2015. The funding supports UNICEF education programs, with a focus on secondary education initiatives - like the ones in Jamaica, Nigeria and Turkey - through activities such as teacher training, vocational training, curriculum development, school improvements, and policy and advocacy work. It is a key part of Western Union’s broader Education for Better program, launched at the UN General Assembly in September 2012, which includes advocacy, products, volunteer and marketing support for secondary and vocational education.
International soccer star Patrick Vieira helped launch PASS and remains an enthusiastic supporter.
“Soccer was my ticket to success, but for the vast majority of young people education is the key that allows them to become whatever they want to be,” said Vieira, the former AS Cannes, AC Milan, Arsenal FC, Juventus, FC Internazionale Milano, Manchester City FC and French international player, who was born in Senegal before moving to France at the age of eight and is Elite Development Squad, Head Coach at Manchester City FC.”
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, 2013, the Western Union, Vigo and Orlandi Valuta branded services were offered through a combined network of approximately 520,000 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. 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 $90.2 million in grants and other giving to more than 2,657 nongovernmental organizations in more than 130 countries and territories. 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 520,000 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.
Simon Kleine T: +44 (0)7725 206 640 Vice President, Corporate Communications E: Simon.Kleine@westernunion.com
Claire Treacy T: +44 (0)7808 243 380 Senior Manager, Corporate Communications E: Claire.Treacy@westernunion.com
Andrea Sioris, U.S. Fund for UNICEF, 212.880.9136, firstname.lastname@example.org