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This category includes articles about Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), typically including donations to or other support for nonprofit organizations.

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Ball Corporation, Employees Give More Than $4 Million to Local Communities in 2016

Press Release – BROOMFIELD, Colo., March 21, 2017 — The Ball Foundation, Ball Corporation and its employees donated more than $4 million to charitable organizations in the communities where the company operates in 2016.

Through the Ball Community Ambassadors program, which encourages North American employees to support causes that matter to them by matching giving and volunteer hours, employees also logged more than 34,000 hours of volunteer service – 2,000 hours more than in 2015. In total, The Ball Foundation and Ball employees donated funds to about 1,900 non-profits.

The Ball Foundation also invested nearly $1.5 million in community programs that create a positive, measurable impact on recycling, food security, disaster relief, and science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education in the U.S.

Globally, Ball’s plants donated $750,000 and organized events, such as recycling, food and school supply drives, to benefit causes and charitable organizations in their local communities.

“Ball is committed to being a good neighbor, corporate citizen and employer of choice in all of our communities around the world,” said Chris Chavez, director of global corporate citizenship. “As demonstrated by their generous donations and volunteer efforts, our employees are very passionate about making a difference in our communities and helping those in need of help.”

About The Ball Foundation

The Ball Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, private foundation. Founded in December 2010, the Ball Foundation’s mission is to provide financial support to nonprofit organizations that sustain the communities in which we live and operate by improving and promoting education, recycling and community engagement. For more information about the Ball Foundation, please visit www.ball.com/ball-foundation.

About Ball Corporation

Ball Corporation supplies innovative, sustainable packaging solutions for beverage, food and household products customers, as well as aerospace and other technologies and services primarily for the U.S. government. Ball Corporation and its subsidiaries employ 18,450 people worldwide and 2016 net sales were $9.1 billion. For more information, visit www.ball.com, or connect with us on Facebook or Twitter.

Forward-Looking Statements

This release contains “forward-looking” statements concerning future events and financial performance. Words such as “expects,” “anticipates,” “estimates,” “believes,” “targets,” “likely” and similar expressions typically identify forward-looking statements, which are generally any statements other than statements of historical fact. Such statements are based on current expectations or views of the future and are subject to risks and uncertainties, which could cause actual results or events to differ materially from those expressed or implied. You should therefore not place undue reliance upon any forward-looking statements and any of such statements should be read in conjunction with, and, qualified in their entirety by, the cautionary statements referenced below. The company undertakes no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise. Key factors, risks and uncertainties that could cause actual outcomes and results to be different are summarized in filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including Exhibit 99 in our Form 10-K, which are available on our website and at www.sec.gov. Additional factors that might affect: a) our packaging segments include product demand fluctuations; availability/cost of raw materials; competitive packaging, pricing and substitution; changes in climate and weather; competitive activity; failure to achieve synergies, productivity improvements or cost reductions; mandatory deposit or other restrictive packaging laws; customer and supplier consolidation, power and supply chain influence; changes in major customer or supplier contracts or a loss of a major customer or supplier; political instability and sanctions; currency controls; and changes in foreign exchange or tax rates; b) our aerospace segment include funding, authorization, availability and returns of government and commercial contracts; and delays, extensions and technical uncertainties affecting segment contracts; c) the company as a whole include those listed plus: changes in senior management; regulatory action or issues including tax, environmental, health and workplace safety, including U.S. FDA and other actions or public concerns affecting products filled in our containers, or chemicals or substances used in raw materials or in the manufacturing process; technological developments and innovations; litigation; strikes; labor cost changes; rates of return on assets of the company’s defined benefit retirement plans; pension changes; uncertainties surrounding geopolitical events and governmental policies both in the U.S. and in other countries, including the U.S. government elections, budget, sequestration and debt limit; reduced cash flow; ability to achieve cost-out initiatives and synergies; interest rates affecting our debt; and successful or unsuccessful acquisitions and divestitures, including with respect to the Rexam PLC acquisition and its integration, or the associated divestiture; the effect of the acquisition or the divestiture on our business relationships, operating results and business generally.

Learning Equality One of First Nine Organizations Funded As Part of Google.org’s $50M Global Education Commitment

Press Release – SAN DIEGO, Calif. – March 21, 2017: Learning Equality announced today that it will receive $5 million from Google.org to further develop Kolibri, a platform that provides access to a diverse set of learning resources to teachers and students in low connectivity environments. Kolibri overcomes infrastructural barriers that prevent equitable access, increases the availability of relevant, aligned learning materials, and fosters innovative pedagogy and effective learning outcomes.

Jamie Alexandre, Co-Founder and Executive Director of Learning Equality, states: “We believe that by enabling offline access to quality, openly licensed educational content, combined with supportive pedagogical tools, in low-resource contexts around the globe, we can help to level the playing field and close achievement gaps.”

Learning Equality will use its grant from Google.org to build a bigger, better content library; develop a set of products that will help offline users access, organize and use digital content; and enable access to the library of content at scale. With this support from Google.org, Learning Equality will increase its capacity to provide direct implementation guidance to partners, and develop a “do-it-yourself” implementation toolkit to enable grassroots adoption by non-governmental organizations and other educational institutions.

“We’re thrilled that Google.org and our fellow grantees are so aligned in this shared effort to close the learning gaps in global education by enabling universal access to tools, content, and pedagogy that support the success of both students and teachers”, says Mr. Alexandre.

Learning Equality is one of nine nonprofits chosen in 2016 by Google.org to help close the world’s education gap by developing technological innovations to improve learning opportunities and outcomes for children and youth around the globe. Other grantees include Khan Academy, Pratham Books, RTI International, Million Sparks Foundation, Nova Escola, Pratham, War Child Holland and the Clooney Foundation for Justice.

Brigitte Hoyer Gosselink, Education Lead at Google.org, states: “We’re excited to announce our $50M commitment to help scale groundbreaking education nonprofits working to make a quality education a reality for everyone.”

Learning Equality will officially be launching Kolibri this summer. This new application builds on lessons from Learning Equality’s first generation product, KA Lite — a software application that allows users without Internet access to engage with Khan Academy videos and exercises in completely offline settings — which has reached more than 4 million learners in over 175 countries and territories in the past 4 years, in rural schools, orphanages, refugee camps, prisons, and community centers.

About Learning Equality:

Learning Equality is dedicated to bridging the digital divide, through creating and supporting tools that enable access to high quality educational opportunities for the disconnected world. Learning Equality builds open-source software that allows communities with limited, expensive, or no Internet to engage with high-quality digital learning resources on low-cost hardware.

Learn more: https://learningequality.org

To learn more about Google.org’s 2016 grantees: blog.google

Martina McBride and Team Music Is Love Celebrate Young Mothers at Covenant House Shelter in New York City

Press Release – New York, NY — Country superstar Martina McBride – along with her fan driven charity initiative, Team Music Is Love – turned her 2017 Love Unleashed Tour into a philanthropic crusade. The tour, consisting of an all-female cast of artists, has served as a platform to spread positivity and empower others. On March 9th Martina and her team celebrated the young mothers who live at Covenant House, a homeless youth shelter in New York City, by hosting a baby shower for the group.

Martina partnered with Huggies Diapers, First Quality, and Cuties Diapers to stock the shelter with several essentials all new mothers need but may not have access to. Each mother received a gift bag full of bath supplies, books, and educational toys. Huggies also gave a one-month supply of Huggies Little Snugglers Diapers to each mom as a part of their “No Baby Unhugged” program. In all, over 18,000 diapers were donated to the Covenant House and the mothers.

After a lunch provided by Olive Garden and a memorable afternoon of meeting with the women and children, Martina surprised the mothers and Covenant House staff by inviting the entire shelter to her show that night at PlayStation Theater.

Through Team Music Is Love, Martina partners with non-profit causes to help many of the communities she’s performing in and invites fans to join her team in making the world a better place through the power of music. Since 2011, Team Music Is Love has been responsible for many successful fundraising and volunteer projects helping causes such as hunger relief, cancer research, combating domestic violence and helping children in need. For more information and to become a part of Martina’s team visit TeamMusicIsLove.com.

ABOUT MARTINA McBRIDE:

Multiple Grammy® nominee Martina McBride has sold over 18 million albums to date, which includes 20 Top 10 singles and six #1 hits. 2017 marks a milestone in Martina’s illustrious career – it is her 25th year of touring. She can currently be found touring North America on the LOVE UNLEASHED TOUR with special guest, Lauren Alaina. April 2016 Martina released RECKLESS, her thirteenth studio album. McBride has earned more than 15 major music awards, including four wins for Female Vocalist of the Year from the Country Music Association and won three Academy of Country Music for Top Female Vocalist. Martina has been awarded 14 Gold Records. Nine Platinum honors, three Double Platinum Records, and two Triple Platinum Awards. Martina was awarded the Covenant House Beacon of Hope Award and Music Business Association’s prestigious 2015 Harry Chapin Memorial Humanitarian Award for her philanthropic efforts on behalf of domestic violence. Martina released her first book, Around the Table, a full-color illustrated collection of her favorite recipes, hosting tips, practical menu planning advice, and themed décor inspiration.

ABOUT TEAM MUSIC IS LOVE:

Since 2011, Martina and her fans have partnered together on several successful fundraising and volunteer projects for various causes ranging from hunger relief to cancer research, combating domestic violence, and helping children in need. Team Music Is Love has attracted thousands of people from around the nation and the world to join Martina’s global charity movement. Some of the projects started by Martina and her team have included the initiation of a breast cancer research grant at Vanderbilt Ingram Cancer Center in Nashville, TN, the construction of a new playground for children of all abilities in Atlanta, GA, and a therapeutic music program providing musical instruments to orphaned children at Covenant House shelter in Guatemala City, Guatemala. For more information, please visit: TeamMusicIsLove.com.

ABOUT THE COVENANT HOUSE:

Covenant House was founded in 1972 with the simple, profound mission to help homeless kids escape the streets. Covenant House is the largest privately funded charity in the Americas providing loving care and vital services to homeless, abandoned, abused, trafficked, and exploited youth. They have locations 21 cities in the United States, Canada, and Central America.

Help INFINITI Raise Up To $700,000 In The Fight Against Cancer By Entering CBS Sports Round By Round Brackets

Press Release – FRANKLIN, Tenn. (March 10, 2017) – INFINITI will once again have a large presence throughout the ever-exciting NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship. For the seventh year in a row, INFINITI will sponsor the CBS Sports Round by Round Bracket Challenge.

Beginning March 12, participants can enter each of the six brackets and for every correct pick, INFINITI will make a donation to Coaches vs. Cancer®. All participants will also be entered to win a trip to the 2018 Final Four®.

“As we cheer on our respective teams during March Madness®, we are also recruiting fans to join in the fight against cancer,” said Allyson Witherspoon, director of marketing communications and media, INFINITI USA. “We are continuously grateful that we can drive attention to the inspiring work of Coaches vs. Cancer as they unite coaches, players and fans in their mission to end cancer.”

Fans’ correct picks in the Bracket Challenge will drive INFINITI’s donation of up to $700,000 to Coaches vs. Cancer®, a collaboration between the American Cancer Society and the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) that empowers coaches, their teams and communities to join the fight against cancer.

Fans are encouraged to return to the bracket and select their picks throughout the total of six competition rounds.

Participants can build their brackets beginning March 12 by visiting http://www.cbssports.com/INFINITI.

About INFINITI

INFINITI Motor Company Ltd. is headquartered in Hong Kong with sales operations in over 50 countries. The INFINITI brand was launched in 1989. Its range of premium automobiles is currently built in manufacturing facilities in Japan, the United States, United Kingdom and China. INFINITI plans to also expand manufacturing into Mexico by 2017. INFINITI design studios are located in Atsugi-Shi near Yokohama, London, San Diego and Beijing.

INFINITI is in the middle of a major product offensive. The brand has been widely acclaimed for its daring design and innovative driver-assistance technologies. From the 2016 season, INFINITI is a technical partner of the Renault Sport Formula 1® team, contributing its expertise in hybrid performance.

More information about INFINITI and its industry leading technologies can be found at http://www.INFINITI.com/. You can also follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and see all our latest videos on YouTube.

About NCAA

The NCAA is a membership-led nonprofit association of colleges and universities committed to supporting academic and athletic opportunities for more than 450,000 student-athletes at more than 1,000 member colleges and universities. Each year, more than 54,000 student-athletes compete in NCAA championships in Divisions I, II and III sports. Visit www.NCAA.org and www.NCAA.com for more details about the Association, its goals, members and corporate partnerships that help support programs for student-athletes. [NCAA is a trademark of the National Collegiate Athletic Association.]

About the National Association of Basketball Coaches

Located in Kansas City, Missouri, the NABC was founded in 1927 by Forrest “Phog” Allen, the legendary basketball coach at the University of Kansas. Allen, a student of James Naismith, the inventor of basketball, organized coaches into this collective group to serve as Guardians of the Game. The NABC currently has nearly 5,000 members consisting primarily of university and college men’s basketball coaches. All members of the NABC are expected to uphold the core values of being a Guardian of the Game by bringing attention to the positive aspects of the sport of basketball and the role coaches play in the academic and athletic lives of today’s student-athletes. The four core values of being a Guardian of the Game are advocacy, leadership, service and education. Additional information about the NABC, its programs and membership, can be found at www.nabc.org.

Evite and Common Sense Media Partner to Promote Device-Free Gatherings

Press Release – LOS ANGELES and SAN FRANCISCO (March 15, 2017) – Evite, the leading digital service for bringing people together, and Common Sense Media, the leading nonprofit organization helping kids thrive in a world of media and technology, today announced a partnership to promote the importance and benefits of device-free gatherings with family and friends.

Evite and Common Sense Media have launched a joint landing page at www.evite.com/c/commonsensemedia which provides site users with practical ideas, advice and tools for implementing device-free events. Evite has designed and added to its service a series of digital invitations with a device-free theme, including dinner parties, potlucks, kids sleepovers and more. In addition, Evite has developed original video content for users of the joint landing page with tips for hosting device-free gatherings.

As part of the partnership, Evite is also helping to promote Common Sense Medias national #DeviceFreeDinner campaign launched last fall.

“Research confirms the importance of family dinner for kids, including better vocabularies, fewer behavior problems, less substance abuse, and more,” said Amy Guggenheim Shenkan, President and Chief Operating Officer of Common Sense. “Beyond that, families can benefit from the quality time and face-to-face conversation that a device-free dinner offers, and the feedback we have received from parents and kids echoes that sentiment. We are excited to team up with the event experts at Evite to share the benefits of device-free gatherings with an even larger audience.”

“Evite exists to bring people together face to face, and this partnership with Common Sense Media reinforces the value of meaningful connections with loved ones,” said Victor Cho, Chief Executive Officer of Evite. “Technology plays an important role in our lives, but it can also be isolating. Were encouraging our users to explore device-free events in their own lives, and maybe even make it the new normal for dinner and beyond.”

About Evite

Evite (www.evite.com) is the leading digital service for bringing people together. With a wide array of free, easy-to-use invitation designs and inspirational party-planning tools, the company has sent over 2 billion event invitations in its history, enabling approximately 3 billion unique face-to-face connections. Evite makes getting together effortless and more memorable for its 100+ million annual users, sending 20,000 invitations every hour and handling hundreds of millions of RSVPs every year. Launched in 1998, Evite is headquartered in Los Angeles and is a subsidiary of Liberty Interactive Corporation, attributed to the Liberty Ventures Group (NASDAQ: LVNTA, LVNTB).

About Common Sense

Common Sense is the nation’s leading independent nonprofit organization dedicated to creating a powerful voice for kids and families in the 21st century. Millions of families, educators, and policymakers turn to Common Sense every day to access our independent rating systems, unbiased research, and trusted tools and advice that help them navigate a rapidly changing digital landscape at home and at school. Learn more at commonsense.org.

The Sufferfest Named Key Sponsor of Africa’s First International Cycling Union Mountain Bike Team

Creator of Acclaimed Indoor Cycling Training App Gives African Athletes Opportunity to Race the World’s Most Prestigious MTB Stages

Press Release – SINGAPORE – Mar. 2, 2017The Sufferfest, creator of the world’s most comprehensive indoor cycling app and training videos for individual and group use, announced today its premiere title sponsorship of The Sufferfest African Dream Team, an International Cycling Union (UCI) team based in the small African country of Lesotho. Formally known as the ACE Lesotho MTB Team, The Sufferfest African Dream Team is the first indigenous African team to be licensed as a UCI MTB team and is the first to compete at the World Cup and World Championship level.

With almost half of Lesotho’s two million people living in poverty and the team riding shared or borrowed bikes, David McQuillen, founder and CEO of The Sufferfest, knew he had to help. Working hand in hand with Mark West, team manager of The Sufferfest African Dream Team, The Sufferfest is now in its fourth year of sponsorship, proving that a little help goes a long way. This dedicated group of African athletes have shown that they excel not just at their sport, but at shattering expectations.

“These men and women are the very definition of what it means to overcome adversity,” said McQuillen. “This is exactly what The Sufferfest embodies – suffering to become the best possible versions of ourselves.”

As a testament to the team’s hard work, they are the only African team to meet the requirements necessary to receive UCI mountain bike team status. Recently, the team received their highest ranking yet: first in Africa and thirty-third in the world.

“What these women and men have to go through on a day-to-day basis would stop most people,” said West. “Despite it all, they ride. They ride to break the devastating poverty cycle, they ride for their families and their future. We appreciate all the help we get, in particular The Sufferfest, who were one of the first companies to provide sponsorship for our riders.”

While the team continues to dominate both at home and on the global stage, The Sufferfest African Dream Team is always looking to aim higher, with its sights set on the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.

Through hard work, dedication and the support of sponsors like The Sufferfest, the team will continue to take their dreams and turn them into reality.

To learn more about The Sufferfest and its sponsorship of The Sufferfest African Dream Team, please visit http://thesufferfest.com. For more information on The Sufferfest African Dream Team, please visit http://africandreamteam.net.

About The Sufferfest

The Sufferfest creates the world’s most comprehensive training platform for endurance athletes and fitness enthusiasts, whether at home or in one of the 150 licensed Sufferlandrian Embassies located worldwide. The Sufferfest Training Centre app provides access to 42 Sufferfest workouts featuring exclusively-licensed footage from the world’s biggest races, as well as yoga videos, structured training plans and the ability to connect to a range of fitness devices. For further information please visit http://www.thesufferfest.com

About The Sufferfest African Dream Team

The Sufferfest African Dream Team is an officially-licensed UCI MTB Team and the first indigenous African team to be licensed by the UCI to compete in World Cup and World Championship level competition. The purpose of The Sufferfest African Dream Team is to identify cycling talent from the developing nations of Africa, particularly Lesotho, and give those riders an opportunity to race on the world’s biggest MTB stages. More than just a team, The Sufferfest African Dream Team serves as a training ground for future champions developing self-confidence and rising above the poverty and hopelessness that many riders were born into. For more information, visit http://africandreamteam.net/.

LIFT23 and Pedigree Ski Shop Donate Thousands of Socks to NYC Homeless Shelters

Press Release – NEW YORK, NY: March 13, 2017LIFT23 Corp. is pleased to announce their latest donation of 3000 pairs of LIFT23-designed socks to children in NYC homeless shelters. In conjunction with its retail partner Pedigree Ski Shop, Ed Del Guercio, LIFT23’s Founder and CEO, personally delivered 1200 pairs of socks to the WINNNYC Shelter in Queens, and 350 pairs to one of Phipps Neighborhoods’ shelters in the Bronx. He will deliver an additional 450 pairs to another shelter this week.

“We are grateful for companies like LIFT23 that help us fill the void of much needed items for our children,” said Maria Brisita, Head Teacher at WINNYC (Queens).

Lift23 is a premium performance sock company that donates a pair of socks – one of the most requested and least donated items to homeless shelters – to children in need for every pair of ski/snow socks it sells.

Originally conceived to provide socks to the over 23,000 homeless children in New York City shelters (hence the name LIFT23), Lift23 has partnered with key retailers nationwide to expand sock donations to more cities where Lift 23 socks are sold

“We are thankful to have Pedigree Ski Shop as a retail partner,” said Del Guercio. “They believe in our product and are “all in” when it comes to our mission of serving kids in need. Our strong partnership has allowed us to make a big impact upon deserving kids.”

“We are thrilled to be working with Lift23,” said Tom Fuerst, President of Pedigree Ski Shop. “They stand behind their product and give retailers like us, as well as our customers, a way to give back. It’s a true win-win.”

To learn more about LIFT23 visit www.LIFT23.com

Flix Brewhouse Teams Up with Stomp Out Bullying™ to Empower Kids and Change the Behavior of Bullies

America’s Cinema Brewery® will donate a portion of sales to combat cyber and in-school bullying

Press Release – Round Rock, TX – February 2017 – Flix Brewhouse, based in Round Rock, TX, furthers their community involvement by pledging a dollar from every sale of their Hero Beer Series to the STOMP Out Bullying™ organization. The group has been recognized as the most influential anti-bullying/ cyberbullying organization in America. The STOMP Out Bullying program addresses modern day bullying between school-goers and educates parents and teachers about ways to help students better understand each other.

Based on a recent study by StopBullying.gov, between 25 and 33 percent of students have experienced some form of bullying. The site explains that children can be targeted for many different reasons, but the most common is being different from what is considered the norm by others. This can include seemingly trivial differences such as being underweight, new to a school, or for wearing glasses. These staggering numbers reinforce the need for anti-bullying coalitions such as STOMP Out Bullying who provide children, parents and school administrators with the tools they need to decrease bullying in schools.

One of Flix Brewhouse’s greatest attributes, along with being America’s only cinema brewery, is its dedication to promoting a family-friendly environment. As part of its Flix Junior program, on select Saturday’s each month the theater brings back old favorites like ‘The Land Before Time’ and “Shrek” to give families a reason to go out together and enjoy a movie free from electronics and video games. “Flix makes a commitment to enhance family relationships at all of our locations across the country”, said Greg Johnson, Director of Sales and Marketing for Flix Brewhouse. “The STOMP Out Bullying organization allows us an opportunity to take that commitment one step further and support children in our ‘Flix cities’, and across the Nation.”

OneSqin is World’s First Health And Beauty Brand To Give 100 Percent of Its Profits To Empower Girls In Need

Press Release – LONDON – OneSqin CIC (http://www.onesqin.org/) is a new social enterprise, and the world’s first business to donate 100 percent of its profits to charities helping girls at risk into life-changing education.

Founded by luxury asset manager Neil Richmond FRSA and former superyacht captain Sinisa Jovic, OneSqin manufactures and sells premium-quality, 100 percent natural skin cream and certified organic cotton tampons.

“The odds are always stacked against girls who grow up in poverty,” said Richmond. “Every three seconds a girl somewhere in the world becomes a child bride. The number one cause of death for girls aged 15 to 19 is childbirth. And four out of five victims of human trafficking are girls.”

OneSqin supports projects that give girls the chance to stay in school, access health services and delay marriage and childbirth, helping them escape the cycle of poverty and shape a brighter future.

“Neil and I both worked in the luxury sector,” Jovic said. “We did well, and now we want to put something back. We wanted to make change an easy choice, so we chose products that most women use regularly. They’re very high quality, with pure, natural ingredients and no harmful chemicals.”

Richmond added: “As consumers, we hold great collective power. We asked ourselves, what if that power was directed toward fighting inequality – what if the purchase of premium-quality products could help correct the balance? What if women could help other women just by buying the things they need?”

OneSqin is a Community Interest Company registered in the UK. All of the work done to get the brand up and running has been provided by volunteers. It is a certified member of Social Enterprise UK and is supported by the Thomson Reuters Foundation and the Royal Society of Arts (RSA).

OneSqin products will be launching via a Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign in April. Its certified organic cotton tampons will be sold online, on subscription as well as on demand in the UK and the USA. Its natural, all-purpose skin cream will be sold online worldwide. Early adopters can register online now at www.onesqin.org and win free products as a thank you for helping the social enterprise to launch.

The brand currently supports pupils at the SEGA Girls School in Tanzania through the charity Nurturing Minds Africa http://nurturingmindsinafrica.org/

Pearson Extends Partnership With Camfed To Improve Girls’ Education In Africa

New Pearson BTEC recognizes key vocational skills of young women once marginalized

Press Release – London, UK, 20 February 2017 – Pearson, the world’s leading learning company, is scaling up its partnership with NGO Camfed to help improve learning access and outcomes for girls from low-income communities in countries in rural Africa, including Zimbabwe and Tanzania.

The Camfed ‘Learner Guide’ program, developed in partnership with Pearson, is being extended in Tanzania to support an extra 6,400 children in 80 schools. Through the program, trained young women graduates return to their local schools to deliver vital life skills lessons to marginalized children. To complement this, Pearson is now awarding BTEC qualifications for Camfed’s Learner Guide alumnae. Pearson is also launching an employee fundraising campaign, which it will match, to help send girls to secondary school.

Speaking ahead of a special launch event at Pearson’s London headquarters, Kate James, Chief Corporate Affairs and Global Marketing Officer at Pearson said: “In large parts of Africa, upwards of 40% of children are living in poverty and not receiving an education or gaining the crucial skills needed to get a job. Together with Camfed we’re determined to play a role in helping improve the life prospects and career opportunities for young people in Africa – with a particular focus on empowering young girls.”

Camfed CEO, Lucy Lake said: “Our partnership with Pearson has opened up opportunities among some of the most marginalized young people around the world. The BTEC qualification for Learner Guides is opening up new pathways to enhance young women’s employability and access to further education, and provides an important example of what’s possible in the drive to achieve the ambitions of the Sustainable Development Goals.”

4,332 young women have already been trained as Camfed Learner Guides in Zimbabwe, Tanzania and Ghana. They volunteer in 1,009 government schools, reaching 250,000 students. Learner Guides, who are important female role models and mentors to vulnerable children, deliver the uniquely tailored “My Better World” life skills curriculum, developed by Camfed in partnership with Pearson and young people in rural Africa. It complements the academic curriculum, ensuring that young people build the self-knowledge, confidence, and problem-solving skills they need for a life of independence and entrepreneurship in a context of soaring youth unemployment.

The first 567 Learner Guides have just earned a tailored Pearson BTEC Level 3 Advanced Diploma for their work in Zimbabwe. Pearson has committed to certifying thousands more. Sinikiwe Makove, who joins Kate James and Lucy Lake at the event, has worked with many of them, and brings to the event the stories of these activists and entrepreneurs. In return for volunteering, Learner Guides gain access to interest-free micro loans to start local businesses, and are using their profits and experience to assist the younger generation to go to school.

Ahead of the launch event, Sinikiwe Makove said: “I see the change in the young women and the girls they support. They grow in confidence, they have new tools to shape their lives. Learner Guides are becoming leaders and philanthropists. Lindiwe, for example, now runs an innovative drinks business – the first Camfed alumna whose business is registered with the Zimbabwean government. Through her profits she supports more children to go to school. And as one of the first BTEC recipients, she is now able to pursue her dream of becoming a fully qualified teacher. Imagine thousands more trained female teachers, who understand all the barriers to education imposed by poverty – they will make all the difference for children in rural Zimbabwe.”

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