Western Union Executive Director Elizabeth Roscoe discusses impact

Western Union Foundation is impacting lives of people in crisis

The Western Union Foundation aims to help create a better world, where the ability to realize dreams through economic opportunity is not just a privilege for a few, but a right for all.  Through its signature program, Education for Better, and with the support of The Western Union Company, its employees, Agents, and business partners - the Western Union Foundation works to realize this vision by supporting education and disaster relief efforts as pathways toward a better future.

Western Union Executive Director, Elizabeth Roscoe, discusses impact

Executive Director, Elizabeth Roscoe, explains how Western Union Foundation is making a positive impact on the lives of women and disadvantaged young people, refugees and migrants from around the world.

With education, collaboration and enablement at its core, the Western Union Foundation offers a global scholarship programme that supports people from around the world to further their post-secondary studies in STEM and business sectors.

More than $113 million has been invested to fund projects that have affected the lives of over 800,000 people in 137 countries.

Empowering disadvantaged women for career success

“The Foundation began with the idea of supporting the people in the communities that Western Union serves,” Elizabeth comments, “and we did that in two ways: one is through providing economic opportunity through the power of education - specifically, workforce training to help people better compete in the global economy; the second is by supporting communities in crisis through emergency relief.”

A five-year strategic goal was established in 2015 to provide skills and tools to more than 50,000 women, refugees and migrants, to empower their earning potential and increase success in the global job market.

Driven by building healthy and fruitful relationships with international NGOs, the Western Union Foundation is dedicated to ensuring a positive impact and making a genuine difference to people’s lives.

“We have a dedicated team member who works on impact reporting to understand more deeply the impact our funding has made in preparing individuals for employment, and how employment has increased their earning potential,” states Elizabeth.

Servicing millions of people in disaster areas

As a separate entity working in close collaboration with the Western Union global enterprise, the Foundation parachutes in to provide emergency financial services and philanthropic support to areas that require emergency aid.

Supported by the strength and size of the Western Union global powerhouse, the Western Union Foundation can ensure that people in disaster areas can access finances to pay for necessities.

“For example, Hurricane Maria’s devastation to Puerto Rico’s infrastructure resulted in bare minimum availability of financial services,” says Elizabeth. “Western Union took the unusual step of arranging a charter plane to transport physical currency from the U.S. mainland to Puerto Rico and then held it securely until Western Union’s agent network was ready to serve the millions of residents impacted.”

Social impact with global reach

The Western Union Foundation is not the only approach to social impact that Western Union offers. With the constant innovative development of products and services to support NGOs around the world, Western Union’s social impact is truly global. For example, since 2013, NGOs have sent $2.3 billion with Western Union services, including NGO Global Pay which allows NGOs to send money in minutes to people in areas without basic banking facilities.

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Disclosure: Where Women Work researches and publishes insightful evidence about how its paid member organizations support women's equality.

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