AWF Charity Program
Athletes Without Frontiers will run a charity program that supports selected not-for-profit organizations who enable social empowerment in the communities they serve along three key pillars:
- Economic Empowerment
“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”
Education is the cornerstone for social empowerment, and has the power to transform children’s futures and the long term economic prospects of disadvantaged communities. If you are reading this, you most probably come from a country where education is available to all and taken for granted. Every child deserves the right to go to school, but unfortunately many children don’t get the chance to learn because they’re a girl, or come from a poor community or live in a rural area.
Here are a few facts and figures that highlight the challenges:
- More than half of children that have not enrolled in school live in sub-Saharan Africa
- An estimated 50 percent of out-of-school children of primary school age live in conflict-affected areas
- 103 million youth worldwide lack basic literacy skills, and more than 60 percent of them are women
Athletes Without Frontiers partners with organizations who empower individuals through education and transform their communities. AWF’s not-for-profit partners support The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals for education, which specify that nations “Ensure inclusive and quality education for all and promote lifelong learning.”
Basic healthcare and promoting the well-being for all at all ages is essential to sustainable development and is a prerequisite for children to attend school and flourish. Increasing access to clean water and sanitation, providing sanitary products for girls and women, reducing malaria, tuberculosis, polio and the spread of HIV/AIDS is critical to allowing children to maintain their health, attend school, and ultimately increase their life expectancy.
In addition to providing basic healthcare for one’s well-being, AWF also supports an active lifestyle as a way to empower individuals to thrive. Through sport, individuals can further develop themselves physically and emotionally, thereby further supporting their academic and personal growth.
AWF’s community of athletes respects the value of health and developing the physical ability to endure and persevere. Our not-for-profit program will partner with organizations that support health initiatives -- from basic services to sport and exercise – to allow individuals to endure and thrive.
“Saving our planet, lifting people out of poverty, advancing economic growth... these are one and the same fight. We must connect the dots between climate change, water scarcity, energy shortages, global health, food security and women's empowerment. Solutions to one problem must be solutions for all.Ban Ki-moon
Economic empowerment is the capacity of women and men to participate in and benefit from growth processes in ways that recognize the value of their contributions, respect their dignity and make it possible to negotiate a fairer distribution of the benefits of growth. Economic empowerment is essential for the sustainable development of communities, and is a fundamental human right regardless of income and gender.
AWF’s not-for-profit partnerships support economic empowerment in the communities they serve through education and health, as well as ensuring financial assets are provided to individuals so they may build their businesses, invest back into the communities they serve, and increase development.
Athletes Without Frontiers’ inaugural not-for-profit partner: WISER International
The organizations that AWF supports take a holistic approach to improving health, education and economic empowerment for the communities they serve. In identifying our inaugural partner, AWF sought an organization that supported social empowerment through all three pillars, and we are delighted to select the organization WISER as our inaugural charitable organization. WISER’s mission is to empower underprivileged girls in Muhuru Bay, Kenya and turn them into academic and economic leaders through enabling a safe learning environment, providing top-level education and ensuring access to basic health services.
In Kenya, girls often don't complete secondary school due to early pregnancy, arranged marriages, and physical and psychological abuse. Girls who do complete secondary school often do so with low grades and cannot go to college. Half of sexually active girls have sex for money to stay in school, elevating their HIV risk. Girls need a safe and healthy environment to succeed and become the new female leaders in Kenya.
In 2010, WISER opened its doors to 30 girls and three years later WISER graduated its first class with 85% attending college or university and was at full capacity with 120 girls in residence. WISER also became ranked in the top 5% of private secondary schools in Kenya. In 2014, WISER joined the GIRLS CHARGE program, a joint program of the Brookings Institute and the Clinton Global Initiative, committing to quality STEM education for girls.
As educated women, WISER alumni will have healthier children and better reproductive health. 85% of WISER alumni go to college or university, when before only one girl had gone in 30 years. WISER girls become community leaders and change makers.
Currently, there is construction under way at the WISER boarding school to double WISER’s enrolment from 120 girls to 240 girls and provide a new science laboratory, dormitory, teachers’ housing and a 1000-person dining hall to host community events and even regional drama, sports, and music competitions. Together with AWF’s historic partnership, WISER has the capacity to change a generation of girls, forever.
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has”.
- Margaret Mead
AWF Charity Program Leadership
The AWF Charity Program will be designed and implemented by Andrew Cunningham. Over the last 10 years, Andy has emerged as a global leader in advancing access to quality education through innovation for the most marginalized children. He has worked for UNICEF, the World Bank, Washington DC Public Schools, The International Education Funders Group, World Learning, Qatar’s Education Above All Foundation and is currently the Education Officer for the Aga Khan Foundation.