LUSAKA, Zambia, 26 June, 2013 – Today is a special day for the children of Zambia as over 1,000 men and women across the world get together for a common and meaningful purpose: running for children. These runners are employees of one of UNICEF’s global corporate partners, the ING Bank. For the past eight years ING employees have been the cornerstone of the continued success of the partnership with UNICEF, enthusiastically giving their valuable time and money.
From Sydney to Bangalore, Budapest to Madrid all the way to Los Angeles, 15 different cities around the world will participate in the ING Run for UNICEF, passing the relay and sharing the spirit. The results of this remarkable initiative will support UNICEF’s education programme in Zambia, to which ING has been an important donor for the past seven years. ING Head Office has generously offered to match every employee donation which will double the overall contribution to UNICEF estimated at over € 100,000 in only one day. Funds will also support UNICEF’s education work in Ethiopia and Nepal.
In Zambia, ING invests in UNICEF’s work to reach the most disadvantaged children in Luapula, Zambia’s poorest province. Development indicators have shown that children in this region face many challenges. Many families are affected by HIV/AIDS, very often, schools are far away or in poor condition and many children — especially girls — are the victims of abuse.
In 2012 UNICEF continued to advance pre-school education in Zambia at policy and community level thanks to support from ING. Advocacy and policy work is important to ensure no child is left behind. Results achieved include the development of standards to improve the quality of education and to make schools “child friendly” as well as the development of a national preschool policy.
At community level, funds from ING facilitated the construction of 30 pre-schools with playgrounds as well as equipping them with teaching materials. By the end of 2012 more than 1,500 preschool children were registered in school including 858 girls.
Dr. Iyorlumun J. Uhaa, UNICEF Zambia Representative said: "The sustained and strategic partnership with ING has been a huge boost to the results UNICEF is achieving for Zambia's children and women. It has allowed UNICEF to plan and set ambitious goals with Government counterparts to build schools in rural and poor parts of the country thus allowing more children to go to school; dig new bore holes and latrines at schools and clinics; and empower thousands of children with new life skills as climate ambassadors”.
ING also supports the Children Advocate for Climate Change and HIV Prevention programme in Zambia, which trains child peer educators so that they can be effective advocates for change – for both climate change reduction and HIV prevention. ING has supported the training of more than 750 Climate Ambassadors across Zambia since 2010, resulting in increased knowledge levels on climate change issues as well as establishment of Unite4Climate clubs in their schools.
Thanks to ING’s support, children have been given opportunities to break the cycle of poverty through education in a protective and safe environment.
For more information on the partnership, click here
UNICEF works in more than 190 countries and territories to help children survive and thrive, from early childhood through adolescence. The world’s largest provider of vaccines for developing countries, UNICEF supports child health and nutrition, good water and sanitation, quality basic education for all boys and girls, and the protection of children from violence, exploitation, and AIDS. UNICEF is funded entirely by the voluntary contributions of individuals, businesses, foundations and governments. For more information about UNICEF and its work visit: www.unicef.org
For more information, please contact:
Larissa Schlotterbeck, UNICEF Geneva
Tel: +41 22 909 5477
Mobile: +41 7969 73348