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Beyoncé Knowles-Carter Donates $125,000 to Help At-Risk Newborns in the Millennium Villages

NEW YORK, JUNE 12, 2014 – On June 3, Chime for Change co-founder Beyoncé Knowles-Carter made a surprise appearance at this year’s anniversary celebration at the Gucci Fifth Avenue flagship store in New York City, and announced a $125,000 gift to Millennium Promise that will help nearly 2,000 at-risk newborns in the Millennium Villages.

The gift will scale up the recently launched campaign by Millennium Promise and Embrace Innovations to bring infant warmers to the Millennium Villages to help at-risk newborns survive. This new donation—which covers the warmers, shipping, training, and data collection—will fund the distribution of 320 Embrace infant warmers to 100 rural health facilities across 11 Millennium Villages in 10 sub-Saharan African countries.

The need is great. Nearly 10% of children in sub-Saharan Africa die before reaching their fifth birthday, with roughly 34% of these deaths occurring during the first 28 days of life. Preterm and underweight babies are especially vulnerable as they have difficulty regulating their body temperature. Few rural health facilities can afford traditional thermo-regulation devices like incubators. The Embrace infant warmer is an innovative new technology that provides critical temperature regulation for babies during their first 28 days of life.

At the event, Knowles-Carter committed a total of $500,000 to support four Chime for Change projects focused on Education, Health, and Justice, with Millennium Promise in partnership with Embrace Innovations among them. To raise additional support for the Chime for Change Projects, Gucci pledged to donate 10% of sales from its Fifth Avenue flagship store from June 2-5.

“We are deeply grateful to Beyoncé Knowles-Carter, Chime for Change, and Gucci for this extraordinary support. We are also thrilled to be partnering with Embrace Innovations to bring Embrace infant warmers to health centers across the Millennium Villages. We expect that this gift and partnership will reduce neonatal deaths and improve the lives of newborns and their families across sub-Saharan Africa.”

Founded by Gucci, Chime for Change is a global campaign dedicated to raising funds and awareness for girls’ and women’s empowerment. The June 3rd event commemorated the one-year anniversary of the campaign’s launch at The Sound of Change Live global concert in London. Millennium Promise in partnership with Embrace Innovations was selected as one of four campaigns featured at the celebration and to work with Catapult, the crowd-funding platform dedicated to advancing the lives of girls and women around the world.