Complex Made Simple

Western Union and Western Union Foundation support educational initiatives in MENA

Special focus on women, youth, displaced children, and out-of-school refugees

The Western Union Company and the Western Union Foundation renewed their commitment to global education in September, and the company says the next phase of their world-wide programme will place a spotlight on the education sector in the Middle East and North Africa region (MENA) and around the world.

The Western Union Company and the Western Union Foundation help create economic opportunity and financial inclusion through their ‘Education for Better’ initiative – a combination of services, campaigns, cause marketing, employee engagement and philanthropic investments. The initiative advocates that education can reduce poverty – which in turn can lead to more stable, prosperous communities and a stronger business climate – and help build a future workforce.

Jean Claude Farah, Executive Vice President, and President of the Middle East, Africa, Asia Pacific, Eastern Europe and CIS, says that the Western Union community’s efforts in the region stems from recent and prevailing conditions. “The combination of neglect, conflict, poverty, hostility, discrimination and mass migration is seeing alarming drops in the provision, quality and regularity of education. As a result, one in every four children and adolescents in the MENA region is either out of school, or at risk of dropping out. Other children face multiple traumas of losing their homes and loved ones, or becoming refugees in their formative years. Consequently, the future of millions of young children is being compromised, and this will result in immeasurable harm to their societies,” said Farah, citing a recent UNESCO report on education in the region.

“After a successful three-year run of the initiative, the recently renewed global goals for ‘Education for Better’ encompass various activities, to be achieved over the next five years. The next phase of this initiative will aim to provide education and job skills training that foster economic opportunities for women and youth, and strengthen families and communities,” he said.