• Two employees present UNICEF with £162,681.83 in support of education projects.

    Two employees from UNICEF’s Corporate Partner Barclays have visited UNICEF education projects in Rwanda to witness the lasting impact of ‘Step into the Night’, Barclays annual fundraising night walk, which has raised £162,681.83 since 2009 for UNICEF’s work to improve children’s education in Rwanda.

    Visiting Rwanda, the country selected by Barclays employees worldwide to benefit, UK employees Nick Salisbury and Jennifer Ollerenshaw took time to visit two schools in the capital Kigali, where they witnessed how funds raised by the Manchester and London night walks have helped to provide some of the most disadvantaged Rwandan children with the chance of a quality education.

    Although Rwanda has one of the highest primary school enrolment rates in Africa, the number of children, especially girls, who graduate to secondary school remains low. Many schools are desperately under resourced lacking basics such as teaching material, suffering from crowded classrooms and lacking basic sanitation which especially affects girl’s opportunities to go to school.  These factors all reduce their suitability as learning environments.

    But through initiatives such as UNICEF’s Child Friendly Schools programme supported by Barclays, UNICEF is building and improving schools across Rwanda, making them ‘child friendly’ safe environments that foster learning and help to reduce the drop out and repetition rates.

    Presenting a cheque for £162,681.83 to the UNICEF’s Rwanda Representative, Barclays’ employees Nick and Jennifer commented “In 2009, Barclays employees chose Rwanda as their country of choice to raise funds for, so we are very happy to be here in Rwanda, not only to present this cheque, but to see for ourselves how UNICEF is strengthening the quality of education for the children of Rwanda.”

    “We are very thankful for what our friends in Barclays have done for the children of Rwanda,” said UNICEF Representative to Rwanda, Dr Joseph Foumbi, adding “this is a great model for public-private partnerships and we hope that Barclays will come back again next year to see how far things have progressed”.

    Step into the Night, the sponsored walk for Barclays employees, friends, families and customers forms a key part of Barclays groundbreaking three year, £5 million partnership with UNICEF called Building Young Futures.  Through this partnership, Barclays and UNICEF work together to help vulnerable young people in 13 countries to improve their lives through access to education, employment and opportunities for entrepreneurship.  The partnership focuses on helping children and young adults acquire the skills and opportunities they need to realise their full potential.

    Commenting on the success of the Building Brighter Futures partnership, UNICEF UK Chief Executive David Bull added: “Not only does Building Brighter Futures represent UNICEF UK’s single largest corporate partnership, it is also groundbreaking in the depth of the involvement of Barclays’ global employees, who apply their skills to improve the lives of many of the worlds most vulnerable children, as well as mobilising to raise funds to support our work in Rwanda. Thanks to the commitment of Barclays staff as volunteers and through ‘Step into the Night’, many children in Rwanda now have a considerably brighter future.”

    **Ends**

    Media Contact

    For more information contact Jeremy Sprigge, UNICEF UK on 0207 375 6120 or jeremys@unicef.org.uk

    About Barclays

    Barclays is a major global financial services provider engaged in retail and commercial banking, credit cards, investment banking, wealth management and investment management services, with an extensive international presence in Europe, the USA, Africa and Asia. With over 300 years of history and expertise in banking, Barclays operates in over 50 countries and employs over 150,000 people. Barclays moves, lends, invests and protects money for over 42 million customers and clients worldwide. For further information about Barclays, please visit our website www.barclays.com.

    About UNICEF

    UNICEF is the world’s leading organisation working for children and their rights in more than 190 countries. As champion of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, UNICEF works to help every child realise their full potential. Together with our partners, UNICEF delivers health care, nutrition, education and protection to children in urgent need, while working with governments to ensure they deliver on their promise to protect and promote the rights of every child. UNICEF relies entirely on voluntary donations from individuals, governments, institutions and corporations, and is not funded by the UN. For more information, please visit www.unicef.org.uk.

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