Marks & Spencer (M&S) will launch a brand new international partnership to help UNICEF transform the lives of vulnerable children across the world by providing life changing education. Employees and customers at M&S’s 420 international stores can take part in the retailer’s dedicated 100 days of fundraising, raising money for UNICEF, the world’s leading children’s organization.
The fundraising will take place in over 50 international markets, from Paris to Shanghai, with the aim of raising a total of $1million in the first year of the partnership. It is the first time M&S has embarked on a global fundraising challenge and will help M&S to engage with its international employees and customers on Plan A, M&S’s eco and ethical programme which aims to make M&S the world’s most sustainable major retailer by 2015.
The new international partnership builds on an already successful collaboration with the UK National Committee for UNICEF (UNICEF UK), where M&S makes a donation of 50p for every £1 saved from hanger recycling in the UK. In 2012, M&S recycled 161m UK hangers and to date the partnership has raised more than £1.5million. M&S aims to raise at least £1.9million for UNICEF UK by 2014, in addition to the $1million sum through its global initiative.
Jan Heere, M&S’s Director International, said: “Being the world’s leading children’s organization, UNICEF already has a special place in the hearts of our employees and customers internationally and we believe our global fundraising challenge will take their engagement to another level. We’re very proud of our new international partnership which will support UNICEF in transforming the lives of the world’s poorest children through education.
“Our international business is growing rapidly and we want our partnership with UNICEF to grow in the same way.”
David Bull, UNICEF UK Executive Director, added: “We are extremely excited about M&S staff and customers across the world collaborating with UNICEF to help us to change the lives of children. The money raised by this global fundraising initiative will help us provide education to children, helping them to develop their talents and abilities to the full.”
More than 57 million children, the majority of them girls, are still denied their right to go to school. Poor teaching facilities, or poverty, deny many other children the opportunity to fulfill their potential. Money raised through the international partnership will help UNICEF to change this. The 100 days of fundraising will culminate on the UN’s Universal Children’s Day on 20th November 2013.