Rovio has collaborated with UNICEF Finland since 2019 to support education, adolescents, and gender equality. Rovio and UNICEF Finland have now agreed to continue the collaboration for a further three years until the end of 2024.
Starting from 2022, Rovio’s company donation will be directed to UNICEF’s country-wide education program in Sierra Leone. Sierra Leone is one of the poorest countries in the world with 80% of children living in poverty. The challenges are prevalent especially when it comes to education for girls – only 51% of girls can read, while 65% of boys are literate.
UNICEF’s education program in Sierra Leone aims to improve both the accessibility and the content of education to better meet the demands of future work life. The program invests also in the improvement of adolescents’ digital skills, as well as in the availability and accessibility of digital learning equipment and school connectivity. Special emphasis is placed on girls’ education and encouraging them to study STEM-related subjects. The government of Sierra Leone is strongly committed to support UNICEF’s work and the improvement of education.
“Supporting adolescents’ education in Sierra Leone continues our earlier work with UNICEF, where we supported girls’ social entrepreneurship, innovation and digital skills in Senegal. Collaborating with UNICEF is extremely important for us. Through the collaboration, we can also support the grassroots level work in a concrete way, and enable help for children and youth in the long term”, says Heini Kaihu, Rovio’s Chief Sustainability Officer.
“Equality doesn’t happen on its own, but requires collaboration and efforts on many fronts. Rovio is one of our pioneer partners, with whom we can drive long term change in education and gender equality”, comments Marja-Riitta Ketola, Executive Director of UNICEF Finland.
During 2019-2021, Rovio’s company donation supported the empowerment of adolescent girls in Senegal through UNICEF’s Salmaïtou project. The project aimed to transform and empower girls, overcoming gender barriers that limit aspirations and opportunities to fulfil their potential.
The project reinforced the social entrepreneurship, innovation and digital skills of 100 girls between the ages of 10 and 18, while improving their self-confidence to join the workforce of emergent sectors, innovate their own businesses and to be active in their own communities. This was done through training in bootcamps, mentorship and incubation of selected projects. The implementation of the activities was postponed to 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
As part of the collaboration, Rovio also continues the Staff for UNICEF program, in which Rovio employees can donate money to a select UNICEF program, with Rovio doubling that donation. Through these programs with UNICEF, Rovio hopes to continue it’s contribution to evening the balance of equality, if only a bit, and help to provide much needed high quality education to those who really need it.