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UN Foundation’s Girl Up Campaign Partners with White House to Launch New Global Initiative to Advance Girls’ Education

Washington, DC —   March 3, 2015

Today, the United Nations Foundation’s Girl Up campaign announced a new partnership with the White House and Peace Corps to improve girls’ education and empowerment globally. Girl Up will work with its more than 750 clubs of teenage girls in 44 countries to fundraise for at least three Peace Corps community empowerment projects that are working with the United Nations to support girls in marginalized communities.

“Girl Up has provided me the platform to empower girls in my community to be leaders, activists and philanthropists,” said 18-year-old Girl Up Teen Advisor Kennede Reese, who attended the Let Girls Learn initiative announcement at the White House. “Together, we have courageously used our voices to help support the education of girls globally. Through Girl Up’s partnership with Let Girls Learn, I will have yet another opportunity to continue my fight for every girl’s right to go to school.”

“A girl with a book is one of the most powerful agents of change on the planet,” said Kathy Calvin, President and CEO of the United Nations Foundation. “Twenty years after the historic UN conference in Beijing put girls and women on the agenda, we’ve made a lot of progress on their equality and education for girls and women, but we’re not there yet. 2015 is a pivotal year for girls and women and we must take action now alongside the UN to ensure that every girl and woman can be safe, healthy, educated, and empowered.”

Let Girls Learn is designed to tackle the barriers keeping 62 million girls out of school. Research has found that educating girls can increase their earnings later in life, improve the health of families, and help grow economies. Since its launch in 2010, Girl Up has funded UN programs that support the education of adolescent girls in developing countries.

“Girl Up is honored to support the First Lady’s initiative and continue to support adolescent girls through the United Nations,” said Melissa Hillebrenner, Director of Girl Up. “When girls are educated and empowered, we all benefit. Communities and countries are healthier, wealthier, and more secure.”

“Promoting girls’ education is at the heart of what we do at Girl Up,” said Melissa Hillebrenner. “This partnership with the White House and Peace Corps is just the next step in ensuring we have the greatest impact possible so girls everywhere have the opportunity to succeed. We’re excited that we were asked to help scale this initiative.”

More information on the initiative announced today can be found at http://www.whitehouse.gov/LetGirlsLearn.

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For more information, please contact Eric Porterfield, Sr. Communications Director at the UN Foundation (eporterfield@unfoundation.org or 202-352-6087).


About the United Nations Foundation

The United Nations Foundation builds public/private partnerships to address the world’s most pressing problems, and broadens support for the United Nations through advocacy and public outreach. Through innovative campaigns and initiatives, the Foundation connects people, ideas, and resources to help the UN solve global problems. The Foundation was created in 1998 as a U.S. public charity by entrepreneur and philanthropist Ted Turner and now is supported by global corporations, foundations, governments, and individuals. For more information, visit www.unfoundation.org .

About Girl Up
Girl Up, the United Nations Foundation’s adolescent girl campaign, supports the empowerment of girls everywhere. Since its launch in 2010, the campaign has funded UN programs that promote the health, safety, education, and leadership of girls in developing countries and built a community of nearly half a million passionate advocates – including Girl Up Global Advocates Her Majesty Queen Rania Al Abdullah of Jordan and Latin American business leader Angélica Fuentes. Our youth leaders, representing more than 850 Girl Up Clubs in 55 countries, stand up, speak up, and rise up to support the hardest to reach girls living in places where it is hardest to be a girl. Learn more at GirlUp.org.