In UEFA Europa League matches, every goal gives players and their fans jubilation. But at Western Union, even the simplest pass is cause for a celebration. As part of a three-year Global Partner sponsorship of the UEFA Europa League, every successful pass from every game translates to a better education for the world’s youth. Today, one of the sport’s legends has joined us and UNICEF in Turkey to help spread the word on the importance of education.

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Brazilian footballer Roberto Carlos was in Istanbul on Feb. 10, lending his support to the Western Union PASS initiative by meeting with Turkish children who are benefiting from the program.

“The Western Union PASS initiative is significant because it will help more children go to school,” said Roberto Carlos, who currently manages Sivasspor in Turkey’s Süper Lig. “Getting a proper education is very important. I’m very happy to see that PASS funding is supporting UNICEF education programs in Turkey, as well as the plans to use it in my home country of Brazil later in the year.”

Young people with a good education have a better chance of realizing their dreams, and the Western Union PASS initiative is helping the world’s youth have a chance to live up to their full potential, regardless of geographical location, ethnicity, gender or economic status. Western Union’s commitment to secondary schooling and vocational training is another example of how WU is moving money to create Education for Better.

“Our Education for Better program, of which our PASS initiative is a part, recognizes that one of the main reasons our consumers send money is for education”, said Nogay Kanpolat, Regional Director, Southeast Europe. “We are proud to support this program with UNICEF, using the power and contribution of football so that children here in Turkey and other countries around the world gain better access to a quality education.”

To date, 303,647 passes have been completed and funding is already being delivered on the ground by UNICEF in Jamaica and Nigeria, as well as Turkey, with education programs in Brazil, Senegal, China, and Morocco due to begin later in the year.

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