The Nike and NoVo foundations have announced a combined $100 million investment in the Girl Effect initiative, which works to help adolescent girls in developing countries bring social and economic change to their families, communities, and countries.
The NoVo Foundation will commit $45 million over three years—the largest grant it has made since it received Berkshire Hathaway stock worth over $1 billion from co-chair Peter Buffett's father Warren Buffett—to mobilize resources from public and private sources in service of the empowerment of women and girls. For its part, NIKE, Inc. will make an additional $55 million investment in the Nike Foundation through fiscal year 2011 for programs supporting girls in countries such as Ethiopia, Kenya, Bangladesh, Liberia, and India. The funds committed by the two foundations will be managed by the Nike Foundation.
The initiative has already committed to support efforts by the Instituto Promundo, a Brazilian organization that works to shift attitudes held by men and boys that endanger the health and safety of adolescent girls, to expand its programs into India. In addition, Bangladesh-based BRAC will receive funding to expand its efforts in Bangladesh to provide adolescent girls with safe environments, informal education, and economic resources, while also piloting programs in Tanzania and Uganda.
"Investing in the girl effect offers the potential for tremendous economic impact, which leads to more stability, less poverty, and more opportunity for economic growth," said Peter Buffett. "Just one component of the girl effect—the increase in family income associated with an additional year of a girl's education—nets more than a forty-fold return according to conservative calculations. The intergenerational benefits, however, go far beyond this to impact a range of issues including declining fertility rates and improved health and nutrition for the next generation. That's a return on investment we can't ignore."