Nike Foundation Secures Footing in Helping to Reach Millennium Development Goals
Submitted by Nike Inc.
BEAVERTON, Oregon - Today, coinciding with the Millennium Development Goals UN World Summit, the Nike Foundation announced 11 global and in-country projects with key partners.
The Nike Foundation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, has been working closely with its partners to identify its countries of focus (Bangladesh, Brazil, China, Ethiopia and Zambia), and to further develop its overall giving principles announced in March 2005. Contributing to global efforts to reach the United Nations Millennium Development Goals, The Nike Foundation will place particular emphasis on reaching the goals of poverty alleviation and gender equality. Initially, the Foundation is supporting primarily non-governmental organizations and programs that provide direct services and capacity building to improve the lives and well-being of adolescent girls in the developing world.
"Through partnerships with extraordinary international organizations, we have continued to evolve our strategies and deepen our knowledge of what is needed to improve the lives of girls in the developing world as well as where the Foundation can have the greatest impact," said Maria Eitel, President of the Nike Foundation. She added that the Foundation is in a learning phase, making initial strides to achieve two long-term goals:
Invest in solutions that are creative, high-impact, result in poverty alleviation, and empower impoverished girls by expanding their opportunities, capabilities and choices; and
Contribute to positive change in the development field through an innovative model of corporate philanthropy - that inspires heightened, highly effective corporate engagement in global problems.
Addressing Major Challenges The Nike Foundation has awarded over $5.2 million to organizations globally in the past fiscal year. Each of the latest Nike Foundation projects seeks to tackle one of the major challenges facing girls and women in the developing world, including inadequate health services, education access and economic opportunities.
The research is clear that improvements in education and increased opportunities for girls and women serve as a bedrock for economic growth, development and societal progress. Research conducted by the World Bank and others convincingly shows that programs directed to girls and women yield a higher rate of return than virtually any other community investment available in the developing world. Investing in girls and women's development projects results in better maternal and children's health, increased school enrollments, improved economic growth and productivity, and leads to a ripple effect that also benefits boys, families and communities.
"There are many ways to tackle the challenges of poverty. The Nike Foundation's focus on adolescent girls is sorely needed and is a point of maximum leverage in creating momentum," said Sylvia Mathews, COO and Executive Director of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. "Healthy, safe, empowered girls transform families, communities and countries."
Foundation Projects Through this series of grants, the Nike Foundation, in partnership with others, contributes to efforts around the world to:
Empower girls - build their capabilities and provide opportunities;
Engage communities - improve the influence and well-being of disadvantaged groups;
Foster advocacy - broaden awareness and shift attitudes and policies to benefit girls; and
Leverage partners - expand others capacities to empower girls.
Specific projects include:
International Business Leaders Forum (IBLF) - sponsoring partners to participate in trainings and capacity building forums.
Center for Global Development (CGD) - supporting advocacy efforts bolstering policies that support adolescent girls.
International Center for Research on Women (ICRW) - developing and sharing a measurement framework for girls' empowerment and conducting monitoring and evaluation of Nike Foundation supported programs.
Charities Aid Foundation of America (CAFAmerica) - supporting the Bangladesh Rural Advancement Committee (BRAC), one of the world's largest and most respected non-governmental organizations, by expanding programs offering educational, social and economic opportunities for girls in Bangladesh.
The World Bank - Designing and implementing a social communications campaign as part of a large-scale program by the Government of Bangladesh to mobilize communities to request community learning centers to increase access to education for out-of-school girls and boys.
Instituto Promundo - offering innovative education activities for young girls and boys in Rio de Janeiro to address sexual health and education.
International Planned Parenthood Federation/Western Hemisphere Region - promoting the involvement of young women in Brazil in advocacy activities supporting the inclusion of sexual and reproductive health and rights in the Millennium Development Goals.
PATH - developing a pilot project to decrease the vulnerability of rural Chinese girls through community empowerment as part of a traditional education program and long-term advocacy.
Population Council - documenting a successful holistic program for vulnerable adolescent girls in Egypt.
United Nations Foundation/Population Council - addressing the prevalent issue of child marriage and its devastating impact on young girls in Ethiopia.
Campaign for Female Education (CAMFED) - scaling up an innovative model that provides material and financial assistance to stay in school, as well as training and small loans to enable girls to start their own businesses upon completion of their education.
About the Nike Foundation The Nike Foundation is a non-profit organization supported by Nike, Inc. dedicated to giving the world's neediest girls the opportunities to lead full and active lives. The Foundation is committed to extending Nike's passion, voice and resources to inspire support for girls in some of the world's least developed countries. The Foundation gives money to programs and partnerships that help address two of the world's most pressing challenges - eliminating poverty and improving the lives of girls. To achieve its vision, the Nike Foundation supports the experience of local, national and global partners working together to create innovative, compelling solutions that can achieve broader impact than those delivered by individual efforts. The Foundation is infused with funds on an annual basis out of Nike, Inc.'s three percent commitment of the preceding year's pre-tax profits to community investments around the world.
The Nike Foundation is governed by a Board of Directors comprised of Nike, Inc. senior executives and guided by an Advisory Group of leading experts in the fields of international development and gender equality. The Nike Foundation does not accept unsolicited proposals, but instead works with its partners to identify and co-design innovative projects in target countries.
For more information about the Nike Foundation, its partners and projects, please visit www.nikefoundation.org.
NIKE, Inc. based near Beaverton, Oregon, is the world's leading designer, marketer and distributor of authentic athletic footwear, apparel, equipment and accessories for a wide variety of sports and fitness activities. Wholly-owned NIKE subsidiaries include Converse Inc., which designs, markets and distributes athletic lifestyle footwear, apparel and accessories and Hurley International LLC, which designs, markets and distributes surf and youth lifestyle footwear, apparel and accessories. For more information, visit www.nikeinc.com.