In a banner week for Zafen a Western Union Foundation grant , through its corporate signature program Our World, Our Family(R), will be designated to support one-to-one matching of consumer donations to Mercy Corps, through Zafen.org, for a total fund-raising goal of $1 million. Zafen.org is a non-profit organization affiliated with Mercy Corps and Haitian Hometown Association Resource Groups in the United States.
The Western Union Foundation match is available for contributions made online through MercyCorps.org and qualifying projects on Zafen.org, or at participating Western Union Agent locations in the United States. The fundraising component of the program will be active from October 18 through December 31, 2010.
Ed. note: This seems to be a classic case of the kind of collaboration that is so necessary.
Western Union Grant to Help Support Up to 1,000 Small Businesses in Haiti
According to the press release…
The Western Union Foundation grant will be designated to support one-to-one matching of consumer donations to Mercy Corps, through Zafen.org, for a total fund-raising goal of $1 million. Zafen.org is a non-profit organization affiliated with Mercy Corps and Haitian Hometown Association Resource Groups in the United States. The Western Union Foundation match is available for contributions made online through MercyCorps.org and qualifying projects on Zafen.org, or at participating Western Union Agent locations in the United States. The fundraising component of the program will be active from October 18 through December 31, 2010.
According to Mercy Corps, 70 percent of Haitians are age 30 or younger, and the need for job creation is especially critical for youth in Haiti. In this context, Mercy Corps will foster apprenticeships and skills transfer as part of their work with selected micro, small and medium enterprises.
Stewart A. Stockdale, President, The Americas and EVP, Global Cards and Global Key Accounts, Western Union said, “We believe supporting small businesses is one of the best ways to make a sustainable impact in Haiti, and it is one of the areas we know best – it taps into our unique expertise as a financial services company.”
Phil Oldham, Mercy Corps’s Regional Program Director, added, “The people of Haiti are remarkably entrepreneurial and are hungry for new job opportunities. Western Union’s grant supports Mercy Corps’s strategy to help Haitians develop their entrepreneurial talents into the successful enterprises that will drive their country’s long-term economic recovery.”
Western Union’s Haiti Disaster Relief Response to Date:
Immediately following the devastating January 13, 2010 earthquake, a number of disaster relief efforts in support of Haiti were activated including: Western Union Foundation grants; the Western Union Agent and Employee Giving Circles; and a “No Transfer Fee” initiative for money transfers sent to Haiti from the United States, Canada, France, the Dominican Republic and Jamaica, in cooperation with Western Union Agents.
To date, Western Union has contributed approximately $1.9 million in direct grants in support of Haiti through Western Union partner NGOs:
- American Red Cross: $1,170,813
- Save the Children: $158,208
- Mercy Corps: $50,000
- Belize Red Cross: $22,722
- Mercy Corps: $500,000 (announced today)
The Western Union Foundation has earmarked another $500,000 for programs yet to be announced, for a grand total of approximately $2.4 million.
“Our goal, through this grant, is to create a climate for economic empowerment,” said Luella Chavez D’Angelo, President, The Western Union Foundation. “For instance, in Carradeux, one of the camp sites supported by Mercy Corps, commerce is starting to flourish, with cash-for-work programs, and residents starting small businesses selling food and every day necessities.”
The Western Union Company and its services play a critical role in the lives of consumers affected by the disaster. Remittances are an integral part of the Haitian economy and will continue to help Haitians as the country rebuilds. Part of the Western Union network was operational within 48 hours after the January earthquake and continues to be a market leader with more than 400 Agent locations. The company remains committed to working with its Agents and consumers in Haiti.
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 Custom House branded payment services. Western Union provides consumers and businesses with fast, reliable and convenient ways to send and receive money around the world, as well as send payments and purchase money orders. The Western Union, Vigo and Orlandi Valuta branded services are offered through a combined network of approximately 430,000 Agent locations in 200 countries and territories. In 2009, The Western Union Company completed 196 million consumer-to-consumer transactions worldwide, moving $71 billion of principal between consumers, and 415 million business payments. For more information, visit www.westernunion.com.
About The Western Union Foundation
Through Western Union’s Our World, Our Family(R) signature program, the Western Union Foundation supports initiatives to empower individuals, families and communities through access to better education and economic opportunity. Recognized by the Committee Encouraging Corporate Philanthropy in 2009, the program is a five year, $50 million commitment announced in 2007 reflecting the efforts made by Western Union employees, Agents, and partners around the world. Since its inception in 2001, the Western Union Foundation has awarded more than $67 million in grants and disaster relief to more than 1,900 nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) in 100 countries.
For more information, visit http://foundation.westernunion.com.
About Mercy Corps
Mercy Corps helps people in the world’s toughest places turn crises of natural disaster, poverty and conflict into opportunities for progress. Driven by local needs and market conditions, our programs provide communities with the tools and support they need to transform their own lives. Our worldwide team of 3,700 professionals is improving the lives of 16.7 million people in more than 40 countries.
For more information, visit http://www.mercycorps.org.
Tags: Western Union, Zafen