ninemillion.org is being launched as part of World Refugee Day by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) with the support of founding campaign partners Nike, Inc. and Microsoft, both founding members of UNHCR’s Council of Business Leaders, and Right To Play, the Toronto-based international humanitarian organization dedicated to using sport and play to foster the healthy physical, social and emotional development of children in refugee camps worldwide.
In addition to raising awareness about refugee youth, ninemillion.org is the primary way individuals can donate money to the campaign. To kick off the fund-raising effort, the Nike Foundation announced a matching grant for the first US$1 million donated to ninemillion.org.
Nike, Inc. supported UNHCR by developing the overall concept and content for ninemillion.org and enlisted key support from other council members such as Microsoft. Nike developed the public service announcement with Ronaldo and other videos of refugee youth in Azerbaijan, Uganda and Thailand. T-shirts featuring the ninemillion.org logo will be available for purchase at select Nike retail outlets worldwide, with net proceeds supporting the campaign. Additionally, Nike has donated 40,000 balls, designed specifically for durability in harsh refugee camp conditions, to UNHCR for refugee kids. Nike also will broaden awareness of ninemillion.org by creating a digital presence on nike.com and nikefootball.com, and by launching a ninemillion.org community on joga.com.
Microsoft is supporting ninemillion.org through MSN, its online media network, by hosting and localizing the Web site content in nine languages and providing 2.8 billion impressions of primary advertising media worth an estimated US$1 million, plus editorial placement and promotional support for the campaign. MSN is featuring ninemillion.org on local portal, Hotmail and Messenger sites in the top ten markets in Europe and on MSN.com in the United States. In the European markets, MSN is also featuring ninemillion.org on MSN’s popular “Road to the World Cup” channel. In addition, Microsoft will support education projects through donations of software to non-governmental organization partners, as well as the provision of curriculum and basic training content.
Two-thirds of money raised through ninemillion.org will be distributed by UNHCR to support education in refugee communities, including fundamental education and life skills training; HIV/AIDS awareness and prevention; gender sensitivity; and peace education programs for war-torn communities. The remaining one-third will fund access to customized sport and play programs by Right To Play for refugee youth, with an emphasis on getting girls and young women onto the playing field.
Manpower Inc. will support ninemillion.org through broad internal and external outreach. The company’s CEO will invite the more than 27,000 Manpower employees across 4,400 offices in 72 countries to get involved and spread the word in their local communities. Information on ninemillion.org also will be available on the company’s Web site, and campaign information will be distributed to Manpower’s vast client and temporary employee/contractor networks.
Other private sector partners include Earth Water International, the Canada-based bottled water company, Merck & Co, Inc., The National Basketball Association and Women’s National Basketball Association, and Procter & Gamble.