At Clinton Global Initiative, Waggener Edstrom Worldwide Commits to Help Women and Girls in Ethiopia with Mercy Corps and the Batonga Foundation

Sep 22, 2010 5:30 PM ET
Press Release

(3BLMedia/theCSRfeed) Seattle, WA - Sept. 22, 2010 - New York City is abuzz this week with the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) Annual Meeting. Melissa Waggener Zorkin, CEO and president of Waggener Edstrom Worldwide (WE), is attending the meeting, where every member submits an annual commitment to action.

“Today I am proud to announce my commitment to action, called the Empowering Ethiopian Women and Girls for Peaceful Change project,”Waggener Zorkin said.”In partnership with Mercy Corps and the Batonga Foundation, Waggener Edstrom Worldwide will implement a program to empower approximately 450 underprivileged but entrepreneurial girls, women and their families in the Derashe and Konso districts of southern Ethiopia over the next four years.”
A commitment is a creative, actionable idea that provides an impactful solution to a societal issue, such as access to water, education or training. Every commitment has a concrete plan, assigned resources and measurable outcomes.
By providing vocational education and skills training, this commitment will help individuals and families become successful entrepreneurs, find jobs, establish themselves in their communities and lead sustainable lifestyles. This is particularly important in southern Ethiopia because education is a distant dream for most people. In the Derashe and Konso districts, less than half of children ages 5 to 18 attend school. Young women make up less than one-third of enrollments in secondary schools there.
“One major theme we’re hearing over and over at this year’s CGI Annual Meeting is that empowering women and girls with education and entrepreneurial opportunities is a powerful tool for change,” Waggener Zorkin said. “Whether by releasing our second annual Corporate Responsibility Report or by committing to actions like this one, I and all the leaders of Waggener Edstrom believe that making a difference in our communities and being socially responsible global citizens should be a cornerstone of our agency and its work.”
More information about this commitment is in the Mercy Corps blog and photo essay here.
Anyone can make a commitment to action through the CGI online portal. More information is at
About Waggener Edstrom Worldwide
Waggener Edstrom Worldwide (WE) is a global, integrated communications agency. For more than 25 years, the independently owned firm has developed strategic communications programs for innovative and world-changing clients, working to influence markets, inspire people and improve lives. PRWeek US named WE an agency to watch in its Editors’ Choice 2010: Who to Watch list and presented its PR Innovation of the Year 2010 award to WE for its twendz™ application. The Holmes Report also named WE its 2010 Technology Agency of the Decade. In 2009, WE was awarded Best PR Agency in North America by International Business Awards and Top Place to Work in PR by PR News. The agency has nearly 800 employees in 16 offices around the world, and its 23 Global Alliance partners expand the agency’s reach to 30 additional international markets. WE has seven global practices: Analyst Relations, Consumer Marketing, Corporate Communications, Healthcare, Public Affairs, Technology and WE Social Innovation, along with its WE Studio D™ digital strategies group. To learn more, visit
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For more information, press only:
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Brooke Preston
Waggener Edstrom Worldwide