ING and UNICEF extend 10-year partnership

21 April 2015 ... min read Listen

ING and UNICEF have extended their partnership for another 3 years. Here’s how we’ve reached one million children with improved education.

2015 marks the 10th anniversary of the partnership between UNICEF and ING. Since the start in 2005, ING employees and customers worldwide have raised funds for UNICEF. As a result, over one million children have received better quality education and are growing up in safer and healthier living conditions in Ethiopia, Brazil, Madagascar, Nepal, South Africa and Zambia.

One of them is Mohamed. He has been able to attend school thanks to the ING-UNICEF partnership. His story is a perfect illustration of how UNICEF and ING have reached children by providing high-quality primary education since the partnership was launched in 2005.

When I was young, herding goats was all I knew.

Mohamed grew up in the Afar region of Ethiopia – a hot and dry area with no infrastructure. At the age of 11, he had no idea schools even existed. “When I was young, herding goats was all I knew.” Thanks to the financial aid from ING, UNICEF was able to roll out a flexible school system, which allowed kids like Mohamed to fulfil their household responsibilities, such as herding goats, while still being able to go to school.

Mohamed: “I owe my future to ING. I am very thankful for that. I still face many <br />challenges ahead, so I will work hard!”

Mohamed: “I owe my future to ING. I am very thankful for that. I still face many
challenges ahead, so I will work hard!”

In this way, ING and UNICEF have reached more than one million ‘Mohameds’ in the past 10 years.

Skills and tools

ING’s partnership with UNICEF is consistent with our support for community investment programmes that help young people get a step ahead in life. We have therefore renewed our partnership with UNICEF for another three years. The focus of our partnership will shift from primary school children to adolescents (10-19 years olds).

In line with ING’s Think Forward strategy, we are empowering a new generation through what is called the Power for Youth partnership. Together with UNICEF, we provide these youngsters with the skills and tools they need to help them become socially and financially independent. And they can build on that by improving not only their own future, but also the future of those around them.

New goal

Our goal is to empower more than 335,000 youngsters in six countries – Indonesia, Kosovo, Montenegro, Nepal, the Philippines and Zambia – by the end of 2017. We, and UNICEF, believe that through this partnership, we can turn the adolescence years of marginalised youth from an age of vulnerability to an age of opportunity.

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And what happened to Mohamed?

For Mohamed, it has worked well. At 19, he is studying hard and his goal is to become a doctor. “I owe my future to ING. I am very thankful for that. I still face many challenges ahead, so I will work hard!”

Who are adolescents?

Adolescence is the crucial time when children develop from being largely dependent on family and society into adults, who are empowered to take on new roles and are able to make important contributions to their own well-being and to the well-being of those around them.

Evidence shows that when adolescent girls and boys are supported and encouraged by caring adults, along with policies and services that focus on their needs and capabilities, they have the potential to break long-standing cycles of poverty, discrimination, and violence.

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