On September 13, 2007 Western Union introduced Our World, Our Family, a $50 million, five-year commitment to facilitate global economic opportunity by helping families stay connected, overcome barriers, and realize their dreams.
The Western Union Company and the Western Union Foundation also announced that Mercy Corps, a global humanitarian agency, has been selected as the first Our World, Our Family partner. Western Union has been working with Cone over the past year to develop this signature program and pioneer innovative new ways to use Western Union’s business scale for social good.
As Western Union approaches its first anniversary as an independent, publicly held company, Western Union has worked to build on its history of giving. With this commitment, Western Union is realigning its corporate and charitable investments and resources to focus on education and economic opportunity issues important to the company's consumers, in an effort to amplify the company's positive impact in communities around the world.
Our World, Our Family will help leverage the impact of remittances, one of the world's most powerful forces for economic development.
"Education and economic opportunity means providing people around the world with the tools to succeed," said Christina Gold, president and CEO, Western Union. "We take great pride in our commitment to helping families stay connected, and we strongly believe in making migration an option, not a necessity. With Our World, Our Family, we will help open doors to new opportunities supporting global citizens on their journey to a better life."
Western Union is developing Our World, Our Family, which will feature four focus areas targeted at empowering the individuals and families who choose Western Union.
- Our World Gives fosters innovative, collective grant-making. Major components will be: Global Giving Circles that will allow community members, employees, and others to pool their funds to amplify the effects of their gifts on the social issues they care about most. Community Investment Fund in which the company will match contributions garnered via its fundraising efforts, benefiting marginalized communities in the developing world.
- Our World Learns addresses overlooked migrant educational needs. Components include: Family Scholarships that will be awarded simultaneously to at-least two members of the same family regardless of geographic location for basic, trade school, or college education. Learning Packs containing tools for language acquisition, financial literacy and other critical needs; the resource will be customized by geography and available through agents.
- Our World Strives spurs entrepreneurship and self-sufficiency. Components include: Volunteer Mentor Corps to be made up of employees and agents who will deliver small business and personal finance guidance at community centers and agent locations. e-Mentor Online Portal will be a new resource that features small business support and enables customers to track their remittance, money management, and savings goals.
- Our World Speaks creates forums for dialogue and action. Major components will be: Corporate Coalition will seek to engage global leaders in advocating for global economic opportunity for those in need, and discussing the societal implications of global migration. Community Voice will work with Western Union's broad agent network to expand its role as a resource by offering village phones and economic and humanitarian information at participating Western Union agent locations.
With Mercy Corps, Western Union is piloting Our World, Our Family in four markets spanning two major money transfer corridors – one between the United Arab Emirates and the Philippines, and another between the United States and Guatemala.
“Western Union plays a central role in the financial lives of millions of people around the world, and their reach creates an opportunity to enhance economic opportunity on a massive scale,” noted Mercy Corps CEO Neal Keny-Guyer. “For every dollar spent to increase economic equality, seven dollars are saved by avoiding the terrible consequences of poverty. We look forward to working with Western Union to foster greater opportunities through new learning and financial tools.”
Our World, Our Family will be led jointly by the Western Union Foundation and the Western Union corporation. Since its inception in 2000, the Western Union Foundation has granted nearly $40 million to more than 1,500 charitable organizations in 189 countries, supporting humanitarian projects, disaster relief, education, and human services. To learn more about Western Union and the Western Union Foundation, please visit www.westernunion.com.
About Western Union
The Western Union Company (NYSE: WU) is a leading provider of global money transfer services. Together with its affiliates, Orlandi Valuta and Vigo, Western Union provides consumers with fast, reliable and convenient ways to send and receive money around the world, as well as send payments and purchase money orders. It operates through a network of approximately 310,000 Agent locations in over 200 countries and territories. For more information, visit www.westernunion.com.
About Mercy Corps
Mercy Corps works amid disasters, conflicts, chronic poverty and instability to unleash the potential of people who can win against nearly impossible odds. Since 1979, Mercy Corps has provided $1.3 billion in assistance to people in 100 nations.