The Western Union Foundation recently announced a $150,000 grant to the US-Mexico Foundation in support of its Aula sin Fronteras or the Classroom Without Borders program. This new US-Mexico cross-border exchange program works to improve education through collaboration. The program offers educators in both countries new teaching approaches to help improve the quality of education for nearly 10,000 students.
The Classroom Without Borders program is part of the larger public-private initiative Proyecta 100 Mil and includes the participation of over 120 young people involved in the Enseña por Mexico (Teach for Mexico) and 24 educators from Teach for America. The $150,000 grant will help defray the costs of the initiative’s launch this April in eight U.S. cities including Los Angeles, Dallas, Phoenix, and San Antonio. The program plans to launch its initiative across eight states in Mexico including Puebla, Monterrey, and Guanajuato.
The overall goal of the cross-border program is to develop long-term connections and bi-national peer-to-peer networks between Teach for Mexico and Teach for America educators. Through collaboration, the hope here is that participants will learn new teaching methods to improve the quality of education for nearly 10,000 students throughout rural Mexico.
The Western Union Foundation is big on funding education programs around the world. In fact, education is one of its two main areas of focus in its grantmaking (the other is disaster relief). Western Union isn’t on the same funding level of other big ed funders like Gates or Walmart, but it does find some pretty specialized, and maybe even relatively untouched areas of education to fund.
For example, last year, the foundation supported the White Land Foundation’s Training Program for Income Generation. The funds distributed through the program benefits 150 unemployed women living in rural areas of Lebanon. Additionally, Western Union gave a $175,000 grant to Interkulturelles Zentrum’s Proud to Belong program. The grant was used to help promote educator development, multilingualism, and equal opportunities for over 2,000 primary and secondary students in Austria.
The Western Union Foundation’s grantmaking focus on education stems from the philosophy that an education opens the door to increased economic opportunity.