Home Page Banner

Western Union Foundation 2018 Impact Report


Letter from Executive Director, Western Union Foundation

For millions of children and young adults around the world, 2018 was a year of upheaval created by forced migration and natural disasters.

Today, many young people around the world are not learning the skills they need to succeed in the global economy, indicating a growing learning crisis. The challenge is heightened by the increase of people on the move, including 26 million youth, who are without access to education and workforce skills training.

2018 also saw natural disasters continue an upward trend in frequency and severity, devastating vulnerable communities.

The Western Union Foundation responds to these changes by connecting underserved communities to the global economy through education and disaster relief. Thank you to our not-for-profit partners and donors for your collaboration to make meaningful change in 2018.

Letter from Executive Director, Western Union Foundation

Our Mission

We believe that education is the surest pathway to economic opportunity – leading to improved job placements and increased earning potential. That’s why we collaborate with NGOs around the world to provide demand-driven skills training and workforce enablement programs for the people who need it most. We also offer a global scholarship program that helps put a post-secondary undergraduate education within reach for in-need students studying in the STEM fields and business. Separately, we support communities in crisis through disaster relief and humanitarian aid.

2018 Impact

Workforce Training

According to the United Nations’ 2030 Sustainable Development Goals, there is a growing gap between the skills that job-seekers possess and the skills that are required by employers.

Using an invitation-based process, the Foundation works with a wide range of not-for-profits to teach tools that help people thrive in the jobs of the future.

Our 2020 goal is to provide 50,000 migrants, refugees, women and youth with the right skills for the jobs of the future.

Workforce Training in Action

In 2016, Western Union pledged to join the White House Call-to-Action on the global refugee crisis.

The Foundation collaborated with the Whitaker Peace & Development Initiative (WPDI), to demonstrate the value of a multi-year collaboration in scaling a successful grassroots model to create transformative change.

Mary Valentino, a talented WPDI youth peacemaker in Uganda’s Kiryandongo Refugee Settlement, fled South Sudan as a child due to conflict. Today, she is a leader in the WPDI program, through trainings like conflict resolution, entrepreneurship and life skills.

Scholarship Program

For many young people, a post-secondary education is out of reach.

In collaboration with Western Union Agents, the WU Scholars program helps fund post-secondary studies in the STEM and Business / Entrepreneurship fields for in-need students with a first-year scholarship.

Meet WU Scholar Oliver

Through the WUScholars program, we are helping first-generation college students like Oliver achieve the dreams he aspires to. Oliver’s connection to the Foundation provided him opportunities beyond the scholarship he received in 2017, including a 2018 summer internship with Western Union’s Internal Audit department.

Disaster Relief

Natural and economic crises are one of the main causes of forced migration.

Our collaboration with the Western Union Company expands our reach. Western Union is uniquely positioned as a global cash provider to respond in times of crisis.

Western Union and the Western Union Foundation were at the forefront of 13 major natural disaster relief efforts in 2018, including California wildfires and flooding in Kerala.

Hurricane Florence

In 2018, Western Union and the Western Union Foundation partnered with the American Red Cross to provide support to communities devastated by Hurricane Florence that helped to provide evacuation centers, meals, sanitation equipment, recovery supplies, and mental health services.

Thank you to our partners, including Western Union Agents and employees, for providing funds and support for communities and families affected.

Content Image

We Advocate for Change

The Foundation seeks to create opportunities to inform the public through campaigns like the global #IAmMore Challenge.

#IAmMore demonstrated that refugees have rich, meaningful lives beyond their current circumstance. They are doctors, artists, teachers, entrepreneurs…they are more than just a refugee. Visit the campaign.

Over 10 million people reached.

We Engage Employees

Western Union employees share our passion for strengthening local communities around the world.

Make a Difference in India recently received a grant from an employee nomination. Youth participating in Make a Difference’s programming have a university attendance rate of 80% compared to the standard 20% expected for youth in these homes.

Thank You to Our Donors

Content Image

Thank You to the Team

WU Foundation Board | WU Foundation Team |
Jacqueline Molnar, Board Chair Elizabeth Roscoe, Executive Director WU Foundation
Amintore Schenkel, Treasurer Sarah Davis, Employee Engagement and Fundraising
Anne-Marie Fortier, Head Grant Making Committee Lauren Bell, Partnerships and Development
Ernesto Boada Emily Larson, Marketing and Communications
Ignacio Videla Sarah Gomach, Grants Management & Operations
Jean-Claude Farah Asialee Drews, Program & Administration
Richard Williams Dolores Medina, Accounting & Finance
Sobia Rahman