GUCCI AND CHIME FOR CHANGE PARTNER WITH UNICEF AND BEYONCÉ TO BRING CLEAN, SAFE WATER TO WOMEN AND CHILDREN IN BURUNDI
PublicationMar 22, 2018
On the occasion of World Water Day, Gucci and CHIME FOR CHANGE announced today a new partnership with Beyoncé and UNICEF USA to bring clean, safe water to the children of Burundi, known as the “Heart of Africa.”
Through her BeyGOOD philanthropic arm, Beyoncé launched the multi-year BEYGOOD4BURUNDI initiative with UNICEF USA in 2017 to support programs to improve water, sanitation and basic hygiene practices in the hardest-to-reach areas of the landlocked East African nation, where nearly half the population had no access to safe water.
The first 35 wells have now been completed, and Gucci’s $1M commitment to the project as a founding partner will help support the building of 80 additional wells, providing access to clean, safe water to more than 120,000 women, girls and their families. The program touches upon the three pillars of Gucci’s CHIME FOR CHANGE campaign – Education, Health and Justice – to create positive change for girls and women around the world.
Access to clean, safe water means fewer children will die from water-borne diseases, and girls won’t be forced to walk long, often dangerous, distances where they are often at risk of attack. When girls don’t have to walk for hours every day to collect safe water, they can go to school. When that school has clean toilets, they don’t have to skip class when they have their period. In some parts of Burundi, women give birth to children in hospitals with no running water. Midwives deliver children with no soap to wash their hands. For many girls and women, access to clean, safe water is the foundation for equality.
“Gucci and CHIME FOR CHANGE are proud to stand with Beyoncé and UNICEF to help change the lives of hundreds of thousands of girls and women in Burundi,” said Marco Bizzarri, President and CEO of Gucci. “Through our commitment to BeyGood4Burundi, we continue the mission of CHIME FOR CHANGE to provide education, health and justice to girls and women globally.”
“This is a testament to the power of one woman’s passion and the power of partnership,” said Ivy McGregor, Director of Philanthropy and Corporate Relations at Parkwood Entertainment, which houses Beyoncé’s BeyGOOD initiative. “On World Water Day I’m delighted that our friends and partners GUCCI and CHIME FOR CHANGE also believe that ‘Water Is Life’ and are moved to action by joining forces with us. Now we will be able to help nearly a half million people have access to safe, clean water.”
Globally, girls and women spend around 200 million hours every day gathering water. In Burundi, lack of access to clean, safe water, high rates of chronic malnutrition, and limited access to energy are preventing millions of children from surviving and thriving to meet their full potential. The country is home to one of the world’s youngest populations: 52 percent of the population is under 18. Similarly, women make up 52 percent of the total population. Empowering adolescent girls and supporting them to reach their full potential is not only the right thing to do, it is critical to sustainable, peaceful
Gucci’s partnership with UNICEF was launched in 2005, and has since raised more than $21M and reached more than 7.5 million children in Sub-Saharan Africa and Asia through UNICEF programs that focus on helping the most vulnerable children have a brighter future. Since Gucci founded CHIME FOR CHANGE, its global campaign for gender equality, in 2013, the organizations have worked closely on multiple projects to help change the lives of girls and women around the world, including UNICEF’s Girls’ Empowerment Initiative. CHIME FOR CHANGE co-Founders Salma Hayek Pinault and Beyoncé have led the charge through UNICEF initiatives such as Hayek’s appeals to support Syrian refugees in 2015 and those affected by the 7.1 magnitude earthquake that struck Mexico in 2017, as well as Beyoncé’s BEYGOOD4BURUNDI program.
“Tackling the global water crisis is part of creating a path to a brighter future for children, and UNICEF can’t do it alone,” said Caryl M. Stern, President and CEO of UNICEF USA. “We are incredibly grateful to our long-standing partner Gucci for joining UNICEF and Beyoncé through BeyGOOD to help change lives of children in Burundi forever. Through this partnership, we can provide them with a chance to learn, play, thrive and inspire a better life for themselves and their families.”
To support Gucci and CHIME FOR CHANGE, Beyoncé and UNICEF in empowering women, girls and families in Burundi through access to clean, safe water, visit Beyonce.com/beygood4burundi.