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High flying foundation

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Who: Western Union, in support of International Women’s Day

Objective: According to research, fewer than 5% of pilots across the globe are women. Although these figures are slowly changing, the aviation industry in 2016 is still heavily dominated by men. Through the Chain of Betters initiative developed by the Western Union Foundation, South Africa native Siba Gquirana, was nominated to receive funds on International Women’s Day to complete her training and qualify as a pilot.

Strategy: The Chain of Betters initiative was started on the basis of creating a continuous chain of good deeds as a means of allowing money circulation to promote good opportunities within communities around the world. The provision of $1,000 to fund projects that better the community will create improvements and make the world a better place. In the spirit of International Women’s Day, the Western Union Foundation also pledged $1m this year – in addition to the Chain of Betters – to change the lives of girls and women through education and training.

Rationale: Through the initiative, Kara Hatzai, a female commercial pilot, was able to nominate Siba Gquirana to be the next link in the chain after hearing about her determination to become one of South Africa’s first female commercial pilots. Despite the fact that Gquirana has already come a long way from her hometown and has the willpower to achieve her goal, she still lacked the funds to complete her training. Her family has made sacrifices to support her yet without the help from Western Union, she would be years away from success.