Tennis star launches a campaign with Join My Village to provide expanded education opportunities for young women in Africa; challenges her fans around the world to help
ATLANTA – Tennis champion Venus Williams is partnering with CARE, one of the world’s largest humanitarian organizations, to raise awareness of and encourage support for girls’ education in the developing world by supporting programs in Kenya and Malawi.
Starting on July 21, Ms. Williams will contribute $25,000 for a two-week campaign to support a CARE-led vocational training program for young women in Malawi, where 74% of the population lives in poverty, and where the education of girls – particularly those from rural communities – often ends with primary school, according to UNESCO.
Ms. Williams’ commitment will be unveiled through Join My Village (JMV), a charitable partnership between CARE, Merck and General Mills that uses social media to enable people anywhere to learn about and help advance programs that expand girls’ access to education in Africa and India.
Accompanying the contribution from Venus Williams is a challenge to her fans, who she is calling on to help unlock the $25,000. To participate, fans and other members of the public simply view Join My Village program updates on social media. When they “Like” JMV content on Facebook, or “re-tweet” JMV content on Twitter, $1 is unlocked – up to the full $25,000 from Ms. Williams, during the two-week campaign. Furthermore, any individual donations made during the campaign will be matched dollar-for-dollar by Join My Village’s corporate sponsors, General Mills and Merck, up to $25,000.
“I’m thrilled to be partnering with CARE to help these remarkable young women reach their life goals,” Ms. Williams said. “While visiting CARE’s work in Africa, I saw firsthand how education can transform not just the girls themselves but benefit their families and communities. Graduating secondary school in Malawi is a huge accomplishment and being able to continue their studies for careers means that they will help themselves while helping others too.”
The total campaign has potential to provide up to $75,000 which will bring vocational training to as many as 50 young women in Malawi who have already completed secondary school with support from Join My Village and who were selected for this opportunity based on their academic performance.
In Kenya, Ms. Williams will support educational initiatives for students in the Kibera slum in Nairobi as well as rural Siaya County, which she visited in 2012 with CARE.
About Join My Village:
Founded in 2009, Join My Village is a growing global community of more than 500,000 people who are taking action to create and sustain a better life for women and girls in India and Malawi. Join My Village pairs CARE’s expertise in fighting global poverty with the financial support, engagement and reach of Merck and General Mills. Leveraging social media, Join My Village informs and inspires people around the world, serving as a positive proof point that real change is possible and that together we can create opportunity for others. Donations to Join My Village from corporate partners and from individuals help support CARE programs that provide education, economic development and health opportunities for girls and women, with support of their families and communities in India and Malawi. More information can be found online at www.joinmyvillage.com or Facebook.com/joinmyvillage.
Founded in 1945 with the creation of the CARE Package®, CARE is a leading humanitarian organization fighting global poverty. CARE places special focus on working alongside poor girls and women because, equipped with the proper resources, they have the power to lift whole families and entire communities out of poverty. Last year CARE worked in 87 countries and reached more than 97 million people around the world. To learn more, visit www.care.org.