Submitted by Nike Inc.
BEAVERTON, OR- June 20, 2007 - World Refugee Day) - As part of World Refugee Day events today, Nike is joining the UN refugee agency (UNHCR) in honoring the courage of refugee youth and marking the first anniversary of ninemillion.org, an innovative global campaign designed to raise awareness and resources to provide refugee youth access to education and sports programming.
Ninemillion.org has raised more than $2 million in its first year and increased global awareness about the issues facing the world’s estimated nine million refugee youth. Nike is one of the founding corporate partners of ninemillion.org, which is led by UNHCR.
"We believe sport can be a vehicle for social change, and that every young person should have access to play," said Hannah Jones, Nike’s vice president of Corporate Responsibility. "We also believe sport has a vital role to play in refugee camps--healing trauma, bringing communities together, providing an outlet for young people, and building leadership and life-skills."
To kick-off fundraising efforts when the campaign launched on World Refugee Day 2006, the Nike Foundation announced a $1 million challenge grant for the first $1 million raised. The total grant amount has been matched, and today funds are being used to implement education, play and sports programs that engage refugee youth, particularly girls, in positive activities that provide them with life skills and tools. One example is at the Tham Hin refugee camp in Thailand, where ninemillion.org funded a Computer Technology Center with 24 personal computers, providing access to technology and skills training for more than 2,000 refugees. The campaign also has been instrumental in empowering individuals by training local youth to be coaches and leaders.
Nike is a founding member of the UNHCR Council of Business Leaders, which includes representatives from Manpower, Microsoft, PWC and Merck, and whose goal is to leverage their business skills to support the UNHCR in its efforts to become more effective and better resourced in addressing the needs of refugees.
"Nike, other Council of Business Leaders' companies and UNHCR are seeking innovative ways to help deliver education and training to refugees to equip them for a better future," said Antonio Guterres, High Commissioner of the UN refugee agency. "The involvement of the corporate world in our work is making a big difference to the lives of refugees."
Nike representatives will join UNHCR officials today to celebrate the contribution that refugees make to communities around the world, and to show support for the estimated 33 million people UNHCR cares for today. Nike will continue to play an advocacy role and support UNHCR around the communications for the campaign as ninemillion.org continues to gain momentum in its second year.
Nike's contributions to ninemillion.org as a founding partner include:
Let Me Play
Ninemillion.org is a key example of Nike's belief in the power of sport to unleash potential in youth who have been excluded and is core to the company’s "Let Me Play" global community investment strategy. Let Me Play focuses community investments on using sport as a tool for youth inclusion. In the last two years, Nike invested $100 million worldwide in community-based sport initiatives. The company will invest an additional $315 million through 2011 to give youth greater access to sport. For more information about Nike, visit www.nikeresponsibility.com.
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 footwear, apparel and accessories; NIKE Bauer Hockey Inc., a leading designer and distributor of hockey equipment; Cole Haan, a leading designer and marketer of luxury shoes, handbags, accessories and coats; Hurley International LLC, which designs, markets and distributes action sports and youth lifestyle footwear, apparel and accessories and Exeter Brands Group LLC, which designs and markets athletic footwear and apparel for the value retail channel.
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.
More from Nike Inc.