More than 130 million girls around the world cannot go to school because of poverty, war or discrimination according to a July 2016 report by the UNESCO Institute. Building on its commitment to creating opportunities for all, Starbucks is working with Malala Fund to help change this by supporting efforts that advocate for girls’ education.
On March 8, Starbucks announced a $100,000 contribution to Malala Fund’s Gulmakai Network, an initiative that will support the work of education champions in developing countries and speed up progress toward secondary education for girls around the world. The network was created specifically to support local educators who understand the challenges in their communities and are best placed to identify, innovate and advocate for policy and programmatic solutions.
“We understand the importance of education and work to support our U.S. partners in their academic pursuits through the Starbucks College Achievement Plan,” says Jackie Liao, director for The Starbucks Foundation.
“Supporting Malala Fund gives us another avenue to advocate for education and create opportunities for those who don’t have the same advantages that we do in America, but are so deserving and passionate about learning.”
Malala Fund was co-founded by 2014 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, Malala Yousafzai, to build a global movement of support for girls’ secondary education. Under the pen name Gulmakai, she began blogging about life under the Taliban at the young age of 11. Most egregious to Malala was a ban on girls’ education. Four years later, Malala was shot in the head by the Taliban for speaking out for the rights of girls and after a miraculous recovery, she helped to create Malala Fund.
“With this gift on Women’s Day, Starbucks is investing in girls around the world and a new generation of leaders,” says Philippa Lei, interim CEO of Malala Fund. “We are grateful for partners who believe that all girls deserve the opportunity to learn and lead without fear.”
Malala Fund plans to grow the Gulmakai Network, investing up to $10 million dollars per year to support, train and scale the work of education champions in 10 developing countries starting with Afghanistan, Lebanon, Nigeria, Pakistan, and Turkey.