MTN backs global education campaign

The MTN Group has again partnered with FIFA ahead of the 2010 FIFA World Cup™ in South Africa, this time for the world’s largest cause-related campaign.

Called 1GOAL: Education for All Mobile Campaign (1GOAL), the initiative will see MTN and its partners collect names and support from the public, footballers and celebrities to petition all governments to meet their “Education for All” target by 2015.

1GOAL will then deliver the millions of names collected through the campaign to the governments ahead of the next UN meeting on Millennium Development Goals in September 2010.

MTN, FIFA, the GSM Association, other mobile operators, global football stars, educational champions, charities and campaigners have joined forces to support 1GOAL – a legacy initiative of the 2010 FIFA World Cup™.

Operators serving more than 900 million mobile users, over 100 million of which are MTN subscribers, will deliver an international mobile communications campaign of unprecedented reach. The campaign combines the platform of the world’s biggest sporting occasion (the FIFA World Cup) with the world’s largest medium, to harness public support for 1GOAL.

Kicking off on April 20, 52 days before the 2010 FIFA World Cup™ opening game at Soccer City in Johannesburg, 1GOAL will enable millions of people to sign up, via a host of mobile response mechanisms, demonstrating to global leaders and the UN that universal education is a universal demand.

Says MTN Group Executive, Corporate Affairs, Ms Nozipho January-Bardill: “MTN regards the 1 GOAL: Education for All Mobile Campaign as a unique opportunity to make a meaningful contribution to social development in underdeveloped and emerging markets with a specific focus on education. Our involvement in this campaign is an extension of the developmental role we continue to play in our markets through the work of our foundations.

“One of the responsibilities that come with operating a business in highly indebted parts of the world, which are characterized by dysfunctional education systems and high levels of poverty, is responding to the nation’s social needs and to work with partners – including government, civil society organisations and the business sector to effect social change,” January-Bardill says.

Education for All is the international commitment that world leaders have signed up to, to provide good quality public education to all children and adults by 2015. The commitment includes prioritising those who are currently missing out on an education, getting them into school, and making sure when they’re in school they get the chance to learn, with qualified teachers.

After the 2010 FIFA World Cup™, the Global Campaign for Education and its member national coalitions will continue the campaign until the presentation of the petition to the world leaders in September.

Says the GSMA’s CEO, Mr Rob Conway: “Our Board has recognised the role, responsibility and reach of mobile in harnessing global support for universal education, a critical part of the UN’s mission to eliminate world poverty. As a result, today we announce a collaborative campaign that is unprecedented in our industry, utilising the scale of the world’s largest medium to make a real difference to the future for millions of children in the world.”

World leaders are meeting in September 2010 to discuss their ongoing commitments to Education for All and the 1GOAL Mobile Campaign will enable tens of millions of people to let those leaders know that education for all can help end world poverty.

The mobile campaign, coordinated by the GSMA, will comprise a host of mobile communications tools, including mobile advertising, applications and messaging plus innovative football related content. The GSMA and 1GOAL will provide the marketing tools to operators and others that support the campaign. It will enable millions of people to sign up, via a host of mobile response mechanisms, demonstrating global leaders and the UN that universal education is a universal demand.

By signing up, mobile users will join a hugely impressive list of players, celebrities and world leaders who have already pledged their support for 1GOAL. These include, among others, Michael Essien, Stephen Appiah, Aaron Mokoena, Matthew Booth and Nwankwo Kanu.

For more information, users can visit www.join1goal.org

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MTN backs global education campaign