Western Union Foundation Reaffirms Commitment to ‘Opportunities Beyond Borders’ Initiative with USD $1M Investment
As the world continues to change, the Western Union Foundation remains focused on fulfilling its mission is to empower forcibly displaced and marginalized youth to gain global 21st-century economic opportunities. Though the mission remains the same, the unique challenges presented in the first half of 2020 have required deep and thoughtful consideration as marginalized communities face an ever-evolving reality impacted by a global pandemic, economic hardship, and increased xenophobia.
Year to date the Foundation has committed more than USD $2.3M to support its Opportunity Beyond Borders initiative – with a $1.3M first-quarter investment, and an additional $1M in the second quarter. To help drive fundraising to support COVID-19 relief efforts worldwide, Western Union and the Western Union Foundation launched a USD $1M global matching challenge in February to help fight COVID-19. With the support of Western Union, consumers, agents, and employees, the Western Union Foundation donated more than $1M to COVID-19 relief efforts around the world.
While the Foundation shifted focus to support the immediate needs caused by the pandemic, workforce training continues to be a priority. The world’s most vulnerable populations face setbacks in joining the global economy, which is compounded by natural disasters, humanitarian crises, and other geopolitical forces. These communities face even more obstacles as they rebuild their lives and seek to achieve economic viability. Funding nonprofits that support these communities in crisis is more important than ever before. The Western Union Foundation continues its commitment to these efforts through its Opportunity Beyond Borders initiative – a $15 million commitment to invest in NGO programs and research, equipping people on the move with the technology and entrepreneurship skills needed to thrive in the jobs of the future.
Below are two examples highlighting how Opportunities Beyond Borders grant dollars are being put into action today:
Save the Children
Save the Children with support from the Western Union Foundation, will implement life skills and financial literacy training, and conduct job linkage activities for youth on the move from Northern Central America (NCA) to Mexico. More than 430,000 people from NCA and Nicaragua have been uprooted from their homes, and the numbers continue to grow as people are forced to leave due to socioeconomic instability, escaping gang violence, extortion, and sexual and gender-based violence. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees estimates in 2019 alone, there were more than 31,300 asylum-seekers in Mexico, and the country lacks the capacity to cope. This program will build capacity among youth aged 14-24 to fortify their social, emotional, economic, and cultural skills, increasing their employability and access to the global economy.
Education for Employment
Education for Employment (EFE) is the leading youth employment nonprofit in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), linking unemployed youth to tangible job opportunities. Since its inception, EFE has helped more than 100,000 youth across MENA access work. They have placed more than 20,200 youth into jobs in partnership with over 3,000 companies. Through funding and continued support from the Western Union Foundation, EFE will scale corporate outreach efforts across the region, particularly for programming in the United Arab Emirates and Palestine, to further provide economic opportunities to youth and women.
Additionally, the Western Union Foundation’s most recent grant round is supporting the following projects and programs. Read about the Foundation’s first-quarter investment here and follow the Foundation on Twitter to stay up to date.
|Breaking Barriers||Breaking Barriers provides employment and skills training support for refugees in London.||United Kingdom|
|Junior Achievement – Worldwide||Junior Achievement has more than 100 years of experience working on work readiness and entrepreneurship programs with children and youth ages 5-24. This Latin American focused program prepares vulnerable youth to obtain a job.||Peru, Costa Rica, Mexico|
|Gold Crown Foundation||Gold Crown Clubhouse at Edgewater’s Enrichment Program provides a safe place for under-served teens to explore, engage, and develop self-efficacy through the mastery of 21st Century skills.||Edgewater, Colorado USA|
|Latin American Educational Foundation||In place of the annual in-person gala that gives recognition of LAEF’s scholarship recipients, this program meets the higher educational needs of Hispanic students in Colorado.||Greater Denver Area, Colorado, USA|
|Whitaker Peace & Development Initiative||The Whitaker Peace & Development Initiative’s ‘Youth Peacekeeper Network’ is based in conflict and violence-affected areas. Empowering young people can have a catalytic role in promoting peace and development in their communities by providing access to learning opportunities and economic capacity building.||Chiapas and Tijuana, Mexico|
|Denver Public Schools Foundation||Denver Public Schools Foundation accelerates progress through promising programs and initiatives that support teachers and fuel growth for all students.||Denver, Colorado, USA|