passes = 1 million
days of school*
The Western Union® PASS initiative, launched in September 2012, harnessed the global power of soccer to build awareness of the need for greater investment in education. As part of its three-year, European soccer league sponsorship, Western Union committed to turning every successful pass into funds for UNICEF to support access to quality education for young people.
“For the vast majority of young people, education is the key that allows them to become whatever they want to be. That’s why I’m supporting this campaign. It will benefit students, teachers and schools across the world, particularly in places that need it most, like Senegal where I was born.”
— Patrick Vieira, Soccer star and World Cup winner
Home Country: Senegal
#PassForSchool: This two-week social media campaign called on soccer fans worldwide to share childhood sports photos via Facebook or Twitter. Fronted by goalkeeper, Tim Howard, the campaign automatically converted every photo into a pass for the PASS initiative. The campaign captured the 2015 Corporate Engagement Awards “Best Corporate Social Responsibility Programme.”
“I was intrigued by Western Union’s PASS initiative and immediately felt a connection. I’ve played most of my professional career outside of Colombia, but I am still incredibly proud of my home country and welcome the opportunity to raise funding for educational projects across Latin America.”
— Radamel Falcao, Soccer star
Home Country: Colombia
With a goal of supporting one million days of school by the end of 2015, Western Union Foundation committed to a US$1.8 million, three year grant to support UNICEF education programs in 10 countries, focusing on secondary education and helping young people complete school. UNICEF projects included teacher training and curriculum development, financial literacy and vocational and life skills training for adolescents.
Below are some highlights of the UNICEF Pass Initiative
The goals of the Educate by Sports program are to train 1,000 teachers and coaches and engage 100,000 secondary school students.
Rural minority students are better able to prepare for the school-to-work transition through increased access to information technology and computer-aided learning.
Training teachers and reinforcing that schools are safe spaces are helping increase rural secondary school attendance and improve the quality of education.
Through advocacy, teacher training and special programs to increase attendance in rural schools, the Staying in School program is impacting more than 2,500 students, teachers and parents.
UNICEF is working with the Mexican government to guarantee the right to an education and helping strengthen intercultural and bilingual education for indigenous children.
Improving teaching materials and practices in rural schools is helping increase access to quality education and student retention. Mbarka and her sister Mariam do homework inside their tent-home in the Sahara Desert near the southern village of Mhamid. The girls are nomads and walk approximately 5 km each way to attend a newly built primary school.
Awarding scholarships to 300 young women like Maryam, who want to become rural primary school teachers, is helping improve teaching quality and access to education for more than 236,000 girls. Maryam is studying to become a teacher and is grateful for the opportunity. “With the coming of this program, the wind of change has blown and will have a positive impact on the life of marginalized girls and young women, especially in rural areas. And that will definitely contribute to improving our lives,” she said.
Interventions at the school, family and community level, plus community mobilization activities and teacher training, is helping get vulnerable children to regularly attend school.
The UNICEF National Cash Transfer Program for Poor Families provided scholarships to 200 children to complete their primary education and successfully transition to secondary school.
An after-school life/learning skill program is generating excitement about education and helping prevent 720 high-risk, secondary level students from dropping out.
MEXICO MOTHER’S DAY 2013
50 Teachers: When consumers in the U.S. sent money to Mexico during Mother’s Day season, they also helped give the gift of education. That’s because for every qualifying transaction, Western Union made a US$0.10 donation to Enseña por México (up to US$1,000 each day for a maximum donation of US$50,000) to help train one new teacher a day for 50 days.
CHINESE NEW YEAR 2013
31,000 Books: Upholding the tradition of red envelope cash gifting, Western Union made a US$.025 donation to the China Youth Development Foundation for every qualifying transaction sent from select countries to China (up to a total of US$50,220) – enough to fund 31 libraries of 1,000 books each.
INDIA HOLIDAY SEASON 2012
121 Teachers trained: 4,500 books delivered to 50 schools: Training teachers and reinforcing that schools are safe spaces are helping increase rural secondary school attendance and improve the quality of education.
NIGERIA BACK TO SCHOOL 2014
US$10,000 in scholarships and US$24,000 in school supplies: Through advocacy, teacher training and special programs to increase attendance in rural schools, the Staying in School program is impacting more than 2,500 students, teachers and parents.
GLOBAL RAMADAN 2012
400,000 School meals: To raise awareness of the ways that school meal programs dramatically increase school attendance and improve the ability to learn, every qualifying international “send” transaction triggered a donation for a school meal to the United Nations World Food Programme for a total of US$100,000.