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MoneyGram Foundation Equips Kosovar and Macedonian Schools with Books

June 13, 2017 | Press Release

MoneyGram Foundation Equips Kosovar and Macedonian Schools with Books 48,000 students from 800 primary schools to benefit from the program

Prisztina, Kosovo (June 13, 2017) – MoneyGram Foundation in cooperation with Kosova Education Center and Foundation for Education and Cultural Initiatives Step by Step, today announced the launch of a program aimed at improving reading skills of early grade children in Kosovo and Macedonia. Majlinda Kelmendi, the first Kosovar athlete who won a gold medal at the Olympic Games, joined the initiative to support creative storytelling and reading.

The recent results of Macedonian and Kosovar teenagers’ reading tests clearly showed the urgent need for improvement in both countries, as those deficiencies can also affect performance of students in other disciplines like science and mathematics. Because some studies have shown children’s reading and other educational skills improve more overtime when interventions start at an early age, the MoneyGram Foundation awarded Kosova Education Center with a $65,580 grant to equip first grade classes in Kosovo and Macedonia with sets of reading books.

“I’m excited that for the first time the MoneyGram Foundation awarded a grant to a NGO in our region. What is more, the project has a broad reach as it supports reading skills improvement in two countries. We estimate that 48,000 children and 800 schools in Kosovo and Macedonia will benefit from over 3,700 sets of culturally-relevant books that we are going to print and distribute,” said Radu Pojoga, MoneyGram’s head of key partnerships, Southern Europe.

The funding provided by the MoneyGram Foundation will enable the Kosova Education Center to select, translate and print sets of 15 books written by local and international authors. Books will be delivered to schools in September – October, 2017 packed in a card board, in shape of a toy-truck. The package will also contain a poster and a guidebook for teachers who will be encouraged to join special workshops with structured activities that can be used during classes. Part of the project is also to monitor the use of books to ensure the fidelity of the program and promote creative storytelling and reading.

“I believe that by providing books to first grade children from Kosovo and Macedonia we will inspire them to travel to the world of their imagination and realize that life is even better when accompanied by a book. After all, ‘a classroom without books is like a body without a soul’,” said Dukagjin Pupovci, KEC General Director.

The initiative is supported by Majlinda Kelmendi, MoneyGram brand ambassador, who will meet with school children to educate them about the importance of reading and give judo classes. “I’ve decided to engage in this initiative because I know how important it is to invest in children’s future to change their life for better. Improvement of reading skills will enable them to follow their dreams and give them courage to fulfill them,” said Majlinda Klemendi.

About MoneyGram
MoneyGram is a global provider of innovative money transfer and payment services and is recognized worldwide as a financial connection to friends and family. Whether online, or through a mobile device, at a kiosk or in a local store, we connect consumers any way that is convenient for them. We also provide bill payment services, issue money orders and process official checks in select markets. More information about MoneyGram International, Inc. is available at moneygram.com.

About MoneyGram Foundation
MoneyGram established the MoneyGram Foundation in 2012 to help children around the world gain access to educational facilities and learning resources. Its mission is firmly rooted in the belief that education is at the heart of better economic opportunities, healthier families and individual freedom and empowerment. The MoneyGram Foundation is focused on inspiring minds and improving lives and grants funds to deserving organizations with this mission in mind. To learn more, please visit moneygramfoundation.org or connect with us on Facebook.

About Kosova Education Center
Kosova Education Center (KEC) is a non-governmental and not-for- profit organization founded in 2000 by Kosovo Foundation for Open Society (KFOS), focused on offering training programs to teachers and school staff. This still remains an important aspect of its operations, but KEC has implemented dozens of other projects to improve the quality of education, human rights and education research. KEC has a wide range of local and international partners that consist of non-governmental organizations, consulting companies, development agencies and state institutions. Since 2004, the school "Mileniumi i Tretë" operates within KEC management, and carries out its activities in primary and secondary education. To learn more about Kosova Education Center please visit http://www.kec-ks.org/?lang=en.

More information about Foundation for Education and Cultural Initiatives Step by Step is available here http://www.stepbystep.org.mk/en/aktivnosti

Media Contact:
Maria Bankiet-KamiƄska
MoneyGram
Tel: + 48 22 377 2185
Mob: + 48 885 889 696
Mail: MBankietKaminska@moneygram.com

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