One year ago, in October 2013, H&M employees and customers were asked to use their voice to influence which three global issues the H&M Foundation should support in the upcoming years. During one week 120,000 votes were collected – and the focus areas that got the most votes were Education, Clean Water and Strengthening Women. As a result the H&M Foundation is now working with three global programs within these areas, designed to drive positive change in the world’s poorest communities.
During the festivities around the third annual Global Citizen Festival, the H&M Foundation Ambassador Alek Wek and Global Manager Helena Thybell entered the stage to make a commitment, and to state an example of organizations taking action against extreme poverty. The Foundation committed to giving 250,000 children in the world’s poorest countries access to clean water and toilets in school, through a partnership with WaterAid.
H&M Foundation has named Sudanese model Alek Wek as its official ambassador as the foundation initiates its work for its three prioritized global development issues; education, clean water, and strengthening women.
With the aim of achieving long-lasting improvements in the areas of education, clean water and strengthening women, the H&M Foundation initiated three Global Programs, one each with UNICEF, WaterAid and CARE. These three programs for change started in February 2014 and the organizations received a total of SEK 180 million over a three-year period.