WASHINGTON — J. Crew and Proctor & Gamble are throwing their support behind an initiative backed by the Peace Corps and First Lady Michelle Obama that helps adolescent girls around the globe get a quality education.
The two companies are among several revealed Tuesday that are donating to the Let Girls Learn initiative that was launched by President Obama and the First Lady a year ago. Obama recently requested more than $100 million in his fiscal year 2017 budget to fund the initiative, which would build on the $250 million in funding he requested in the previous budget.
Foreign governments including Japan, South Korea and the U.K. have collectively pledged $600 million toward global girls’ education programming, according to the White House.
An estimated 62 million girls around the world, half of whom are adolescent, are not in school and have “diminished economic opportunities” and are more vulnerable to HIV/AIDS, according to the White House. A World Bank study said “every year of secondary school education is correlated with an 18 percent increase in a girl’s future earning power.”
The Obama administration has said a key part of the initiative is to build support for community-led solutions to reduce barriers that prevent adolescent girls from completing their education.
Proctor & Gamble will make a $100,000 donation to the initiative “to enable adolescent girls’ education programming with a focus on Africa and Asia,” the White House said.
In addition, P&G brand Always will promote Let Girls Learn by launching girls’ education emojis on social media, including a Mrs. Obama Let Girls Learn emoji.
P&G and the Peace Corps will also explore expanding the “Always Confidence Teaching Curriculum” to help on confidence-building skills through education.
J. Crew will support the initiative through its Garments for Good program that supports a range of nonprofits and charities with original designs that are only sold in its stores or online. A portion of the profits from the collection go to the charity or nonprofit group. J. Crew will design specific items for the initiative and release them later this year.
The Peace Corps’ program has been phased in globally, starting in 11 countries — Albania, Benin, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, Georgia, Ghana, Moldova, Mongolia, Mozambique, Togo and Uganda — in the first year, expanding to other countries in the future.