On the occasion of World Water Day, Gucci and CHIME FOR CHANGE announced yesterday a new partnership with Beyoncé and UNICEF USA to bring clean, safe water to the children of Burundi, known as the “Heart of Africa.
Through her BeyGOOD philanthropic arm, Beyoncé launched the multi-year BEYGOOD4BURUNDI initiative with UNICEF USA in 2017 to support programs to improve water, sanitation and basic hygiene practices in the hardest-to-reach areas of the landlocked East African nation, where nearly half the population had no access to safe water.
Access to clean and safe water means less children will die from water-borne diseases and young girls will be safer when they don’t have to walk long walks to gather water from cleaner sources. This also means they will be able to use that time to go to school. When that school has clean toilets, they don’t have to skip class when they have their period. In some parts of Burundi, women give birth to children in hospitals with no running water. Midwives deliver children with no soap to wash their hands. For many girls and women, access to clean, safe water is the foundation for equality.
The first 35 wells have now been completed, and Gucci’s $1M commitment to the project as a founding partner will help support the building of 80 additional wells, providing access to clean, safe water to more than 120,000 women, girls and their families.
“Gucci and CHIME FOR CHANGE are proud to stand with Beyoncé and UNICEF to help change the lives of hundreds of thousands of girls and women in Burundi,” said Marco Bizzarri, President and CEO of Gucci. “Through our commitment to BeyGood4Burundi, we continue the mission of CHIME FOR CHANGE to provide education, health and justice to girls and women globally.”
“This is a testament to the power of one woman’s passion and the power of partnership,” said Ivy McGregor, Director of Philanthropy and Corporate Relations at Parkwood Entertainment, which houses Beyoncé’s BeyGOOD initiative. “On World Water Day I’m delighted that our friends and partners GUCCI and CHIME FOR CHANGE also believe that ‘Water Is Life’ and are moved to action by joining forces with us. Now we will be able to help nearly a half million people have access to safe, clean water.”