BrandArena: Western Union campaign reaches 250,000 pass milestone

Monday 16 December 2013

Western Union campaign reaches 250,000 pass milestone

The Western Union Company, a Global Partner of the UEFA Europa League, has revealed over 250,000 successful passes have been completed since the launch of its three-season PASS initiative in September 2012, which turns every completed pass in the European competition into funding for better education around the world.

With the PASS initiative, Western Union and the Western Union Foundation, in collaboration with UNICEF, are harnessing the power of football to support vulnerable children around the world.

At the end of last season, the PASS fund totaled 178,231, a figure which has now reached 282,568 since the 2013/14 season started on September 19, 2013.

The top 5 clubs/players for passing in the UEFA Europa League 2013/14 season to date are as follows:

Leading Passing Teams

1. Tottenham Hotspur FC (3,673)
2. Swansea City AFC (3,269)
3. AZ Alkmaar (2,663)
4. Valencia CF (2,651)
5. PSV Eindhoven (2,532)

Leading Passing Players

1. Mousa Dembélé, Tottenham Hotspur FC (451)
2. Jeffrey Gouweleeuw, AZ Alkmaar (352)
3. Thanos Petsos, SK Rapid Wien (346)
4. Alexandros Tziolis, PAOK FC (340)
5. Jan Wuytens, AZ Alkmaar (337)

In September, Western Union announced that Jamaica, Nigeria and Turkey were the first countries to receive funding raised by the PASS initiative.

In Jamaica, PASS is supporting UNICEF programs aiming to achieve high levels of attendance, retention, numeracy and literacy among secondary school children with a focus on adolescent boys. In Nigeria, Western Union is helping increase the number of qualified female teachers and, in turn, the enrollment of female students, contributing to UNICEF’s efforts to meet the country’s need for 1.3 million more[1] qualified teachers in the country. In Turkey, funding raised by the PASS initiative is being used to ensure disadvantaged children and ethnic minorities have access to a quality secondary education, with a focus on rural and low income areas where only 30 percent of children attend secondary school.

As part of Western Union’s three-year partnership with UNICEF, Brazil will be a future recipient of funding from the PASS initiative.

Brazilian International and Tottenham Hotspur FC midfielder, Sandro Raniere said: “The Western Union PASS scheme means a lot to me because we can help children go to school, and children in Brazil need this help as some children are very poor”.

“It means a lot to me also because I am from Brazil so I can help children from my home country and around the world. I’m so happy on the pitch doing my job and helping people around the world. Tottenham are the highest passing team this season and that is amazing – I feel great, helping people, it’s amazing”.

Patrick Gaston, president of The Western Union Foundation, commented: “Since the PASS initiative commenced in September 2012, we have experienced an outstanding level of support from players, fans and customers, which has been instrumental in allowing us to not only use the power and reach of football to build awareness of the global education challenge, but to also start to make a real difference to young people and their communities. PASS is a key part of Western Union’s Education for Better campaign for secondary and vocational education, and it is fantastic to see the positive impact funding from this initiative is making in the countries that need it most.”

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