Pelé concentrated on using his fame to work for causes he believed in, ranging from world peace to international children’s rights and poverty alleviation. In 1994 Pelé was appointed a UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador, a role that recognizes people that wield incredible influence to contribute to world peace and security by promoting international collaboration. For all his humanitarian work around the world, UNESCO awarded Pelé with the ‘Children in Need’ Award in 2012. The same year, he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate Degree from the University of Edinburgh in recognition of his lifetime achievements.
In 2018, Pelé launched his namesake global legacy foundation, The Pelé Foundation, a new charitable endeavor that will benefit organizations around the world and their dedicated efforts to impower children, specifically around poverty and education. In its first year, The Pelé Foundation is partnering with Pencils of Promise and charity: water to fulfill the Foundation’s mission.
Pencils of Promise (“PoP”) is a for-purpose organization founded in 2008 with the goal of increasing access to quality education for children in the developing world. PoP works with communities across the globe to build schools and create programs that provide educational opportunities for children, no matter where they were born or what resources they have. To date, PoP has built over 460 schools throughout Ghana, Guatemala, Laos and Nicaragua, and is providing education to more than 88,000 students, establishing itself as a leader amongst the innovative global nonprofits working toward sustainable social change.
250 million kids around the world can't read or write—the Pele Foundation and Pencils of Promise are determined to change that. $75 provides quality education to one Pencils of Promise student for a full year. Through this partnership, the Pele Foundation will be supporting PoP's expanding digital learning footprint in Guatemala to equip classrooms with culturally relevant and age-appropriate reading material, and improve reading fluency and comprehension.
Pelé Foundation and charity:water will be focusing on funding water projects at schools, given the foundation's dedication to education and children. Clean water means more kids in school. Access to clean water restores health for families and reduces the amount of time that children, who often help with chores at home, spend walking and waiting to collect water each day. Clean water gives kids a chance to attend school and build a better future.
31% of schools lack access to safe water and adequate sanitation globally. The goal would be to have at least 15% increase in female enrollment when provided with clean water. Additionally, $30 supports 1 child with access to clean water indefinitely. Therefore, the Foundation would look to provide at least 3,000 children with access to clean water as part of our 2018 support pledge.