Brighter future for girls through education
UNESCO and CJ Group launched the “Bright Girls, Brighter Future!” global education campaign in November 2014, as part of UNESCO’s Global Partnership for Girls’ and Women’s Education “Better Life, Better Future”. The campaign aims to address the lack of access to quality education faced by girls in developing regions by using CJ’s significant media outreach and influence. CJ group is also a major contributor to the UNESCO Malala Fund for Girls’ Right to Education, which expands girls’ access to quality education, especially in countries affected by conflict and disaster.
The objectives of the partnership are to:
- Widen girls’ access to education and learning opportunities
- Improve girls’ completion rates by enhancing quality of education
- Empower communities to meet girls’ specific needs
About CJ Group
CJ Group is a South Korean conglomerate with four core business areas: food and food services, biotechnology and pharmaceuticals, home-shopping and logistics, and entertainment and media (E&M). In line with its vision to ‘Create a New Culture for Healthy, Happy and Convenient Lifestyles’, CJ Group established two philanthropic organizations: CJ Welfare Foundation (2005) and CJ Cultural Foundation (2006). CJ Welfare Foundation aims to foster quality educational opportunities and help children build on their dreams, and CJ Cultural Foundation supports young talented artists and creators in the fields of music, screenplay, and performing arts.
Highlights from the “Bright Girls, Brighter Future!” campaign
- Addressing gender stereotypes
Rainbow Ruby is a 3D animated series featuring a six-year-old girl named Ruby who explores various professions. In doing so, she breaks down the traditional notions of what girls can do and what they can become. In 2016, UNESCO, CJ E&M and CJ Welfare Foundation signed a partnership agreement to promote girls' education through the series. Rainbow Ruby is currently broadcasted in more than 35 countries around the world including in Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America, the Middle East, and North America. It is soon to be broadcasted in Bangladesh, Colombia and Mexico, and a Spanish version is expected to launch in the United States.
- Raising awareness on the importance of girls’ education
UNESCO and CJ are promoting girls’ education through CJ’s major cultural platforms such as the KCON/MAMA (MNET Asia Music Awards) and Asia’s No.1 fashion festival Style Icon Asia (SIA). CJ engages celebrities in sharing messages that sensitize young audiences about the importance of girls’ education and the reality that millions of girls around the world still lack access to basic education. At KCON LA 2017, CJ together with UNESCO set up a Girls’ Education Campaign Booth and encouraged participants to take part in the “Hope Rally”, where they could write encouraging messages to girls who are often denied access to education. In March 2018, Wanna One, a popular K-POP idol group in South Korea, also joined the campaign by donating approximately $100,000 to support UNESCO’s work in promoting and improving girls’ education. The group also engaged in a high impact social media campaign with a video message, reaching over 1 million views as well as 3 million likes and comments just one month from the campaign’s launch. Other artists such as Demi Lovato and Forest Whitaker who is also the UNESCO Special Envoy for Peace and Reconciliation, have shared video messages at these events, reaching over 2.4 billion people in over 160 countries via media broadcast.
- Mobilising funds to support UNESCO projects on girls’ education
CJ and its affiliates are mobilising contributions to the UNESCO Malala Fund for Girls’ Right to Education through proceeds from Rainbow Ruby, TV shows with charity auctions such as the ‘GiveBoutique’ TV show and the purchase of promotional items at Olive Young, a health and beauty store. Olive Young’s viral video campaign, "Beautiful Mind, Beautiful Change", not only mobilise funds for the programme but also engaged more than 4 million donors and received 6 million views in only two months. CJ is supporting UNESCO’s projects on girl’s education in countries around the world, from empowering girls to become female champions to lead projects in their communities in Nepal, to expanding education opportunities for indigenous girls and women in local communities of Guatemala.
As part of its commitment to girls’ education, CJ Group was also a core funder of the UNESCO International Symposium and Policy Forum “Cracking the code – Girl’s education in STEM”, which took place from 28 to 30 August 2017 in Bangkok, Thailand.
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