It’s all in our name

Justin van Fleet with Ukraine’s Ambassador to the U.S. Oksana Markarova, and Amy Burke of HP  
We marked a milestone. From left to right: Justin van Fleet, Ukraine’s Ambassador to the U.S. Oksana Markarova, and Amy Burke of HP (Global Business Coalition for Education/Leigh Vogel)

Whenever I mention the name of our organization, C-suite executives often give a curious glance and ask me to explain what we do. A good way to answer that is to share a few thoughts about an event I left a few minutes ago.

We gathered in Washington D.C. at the Ukraine House alongside Ukraine’s ambassador to the U.S., Oksana Markarova, and more than 150 leaders of businesses and nonprofits to mark a milestone.

As we worked with HP and Microsoft, 70,000 laptops and devices have been distributed to Ukrainian children and teachers who have been displaced in their own country or forced to leave during the war.

This is part of a total investment reaching nearly $40 million and reaching 4 million Ukrainian students and teachers. We want to ensure that they can connect to their studies and their culture.

By the way, we hosted this reception with Economist Impact, exemplifying our work to bring the business community together to end the global education crisis and unleash the potential of the next generation.

We discussed the progress with Ukraine’s ambassador as well as Amy Burke, HP’s head of global policy and strategy, and Allyson Knox, Microsoft’s senior director of education and workforce policy. We recalled how we quickly brought together a coalition to work with the government and deliver results.

For me personally, this was the perfect time to reflect, to think about the children and families who are continuing with their education despite the circumstances, and the job ahead. We resolved to do even more through our Rapid Response fund to support education in emergencies.

At the Global Business Coalition for Education, we have spent more than 10 years building our credibility along with our expertise in bringing together diverse partners to deliver results for children. This is my first week back after paternity leave (more reflections about that soon). Seeing the momentum grow behind our efforts makes me even more energized for what is ahead.

Eleven months ago, we pledged to deliver these devices. The value of this project is nearly $40 million, making it the largest donation to Ukraine’s education since the war started.

In coming weeks, I’ll describe how this work shows the great potential of our Rapid Response Fund for Education in Emergencies. Also, as I balance the work I love and my new role as a father, I’ll post my reflections on social media.

For now, I can say that we brought businesses together to help education, so this project perfectly explains our name: the Global… Business… Coalition… for Education.

At Ukraine House in Washington, DC, from left to right: Harry Chapman of Economist Impact; Amy Burke of HP, Ambassador Oksana Markarova, Justin van Fleet, and Allyson Knox of Microsoft (Global Business Coalition for Education/Leigh Vogel)

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