Employees advocating for refugees

Giving By Emily Larson June 16, 2019

The Western Union Foundation believes in fostering the relationships Western Union employees have in their local communities. We could not be as ambitious or effective on our mission of connecting underserved populations to the global economy, without the support of Western Union employees. The Foundation’s WU Gives program allows employees the opportunity to nominate nonprofits for a Western Union Foundation grant. Since the program began in 2017, the Foundation has given over $300,000 USD, to 19 nonprofits in over 14 countries.


Global Refuge is a nonprofit located in Colorado, United States and a WU Gives Winner. Western Union employee Alesya Casse became aware of Global Refuge through her own volunteer activities in the community. When she learned more about the organization’s energizing impact in Colorado, she nominated them for a WU Gives grant.


Global Refuge was created in 2005 as a response to witnessing first-hand the difficult plight of refugees in Burma. Millions of men, women and children were forced to flee their homes seeking safety from war. Understanding the will to survive, Global Refuge focuses on providing holistic health care, vocational training, and employment so refugees can thrive and provide for their families and communities.

Holda and her family have benefitted greatly from Global Refuge. She fled to Uganda as a refugee of the Democratic Republic of Congo. When Global Refuge met her, she had traveled many kilometers by foot, carrying hand woven baskets in the hope to sell them for a little profit. They were so impressed by her skill, they purchased the majority of her straw baskets that day. Holda expressed how this was able to help her pay for her husband’s medical bills and provide food for them and their 11 children. Holda continues to weave baskets and many sell in the United States. She feels valuable again now that she is contributing to her family.

Knowing I could make a difference through my work and impact this community, organization, and all these lives. It's incredible to know I am connected to that. It's what lifts you up during the day.