PricewaterhouseCoopers donates $4 million to educate Darfur's refugees

News Stories, 12 August 2008

© PwC/B.Link
PwC CEO Sam Di Piazza, Jr (right) presents a $4 million cheque to UNHCR officials in New York to support the education of Darfur's refugee children in eastern Chad.

NEW YORK, August 12 (UNHCR) PricewaterhouseCoopers has donated US$4 million towards the education of refugee children in eastern Chad's camps, in the single largest corporate donation ever received by the UN refugee agency.

The firm, also known as PwC, presented UNHCR with a cheque for US$4 million in New York on Monday. The funds will be used to build and operate schools for refugee children who have fled the conflict in Darfur, western Sudan. Specifically, more than 20,000 children aged between six and 14 years in the refugee camps of Iridimi, Touloum and Am Nabak in eastern Chad will have access to education in a safe learning environment. The children and their teachers will receive a daily meal. Teacher training and school supplies will also be provided.

"The donation from PwC employees is the largest single company donation UNHCR has ever received. Their generosity will provide direct assistance to refugee children from Darfur who currently have limited options for education," explained António Guterres, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees. "Working together, UNHCR and PwC are committed to providing these children with hope for a better future."

More than 6,000 PwC staff members in more than 100 countries contributed to the 10-day "Power of 10" campaign, which was created by professional services firm PricewaterhouseCoopers together with UNHCR to recognize the 10th anniversary of the company's creation.

"This programme will help the children of Darfur maintain hope for a better life through education. It represents the people of PricewaterhouseCoopers at their best," said Samuel A. DiPiazza, Jr, global Chief Executive Officer of PwC. "We have built a strong, successful organization over the past 10 years and demonstrated that we can accomplish great things when we work together. Our unique partnership with UNHCR is evidence of what can be accomplished when elements of the public and private sectors make a commitment to work together to get things done. The impact is profound."

UNHCR will soon begin working with local and international non-governmental organisations in eastern Chad to begin the construction of new schools and repairs on existing classrooms. The work is due to be completed within two years. The PwC contribution will provide sustainable education to refugee children for at least five years.

Some 250,000 refugees from Darfur are now living in 12 camps established and maintained by UNHCR in eastern Chad.

Roelf Kleon, a Power of 10 contributor from PwC Netherlands, said at Monday's event that the campaign had made him appreciate his good fortune in being able to grow up in a country where education is available for everyone. "When I saw the Power of 10 challenge, I, and many others, felt the responsibility to try to give the children of Darfur the same powerful tool for development that we have had," he said.

The Power of 10 campaign took place over 10 business days across PwC's global network of companies. Individual contributions were made by over 6,100 employees, with an average individual donation of $200. Some PwC firms also made institutional contributions on behalf of their employees.