New York, NY, September 14, 2010
Social corporate responsibility is nothing new these days, but if you pair it with a culturally relevant brand with direct channels of communication to the worldwide youth, and extremely innovative and unorthodox marketing, something yet unseen might see the light — and maybe it's something that could contribute to making this world a better place.
Renzo Rosso, founder of the Diesel brand and president of OTB, a holding company regrouping iconic fashion labels like Maison Martin Margiela, Viktor&Rolf, and of course Diesel, announces today the public launch of his latest and most engaging project: the Only The Brave Foundation, with the mission to mobilize youth to contribute to the eradication of poverty around the world, with a specific focus on Africa.
Today’s announcement is coupled with news that the Only the Brave Foundation is partnering with Millennium Promise, the leading international organization dedicated to the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) to halve extreme poverty by 2015. And because of his commitment to helping end extreme poverty, Renzo Rosso has been named a Millennium Promise MDG Global Leader. In this role, he will engage and encourage corporate leaders and the general public to join him in the movement through a series of public announcements coinciding with next week's MDG Summit, one of the largest-ever gatherings of world leaders.
In 2009, the Only The Brave Foundation first partnered with Millennium Promise, which oversees the Millennium Villages Project in partnership with the Earth Institute at Columbia University and UNDP, for the development of an Only The Brave Millennium village — a 20,000 inhabitants village in Mali called Dioro. The Only the Brave Foundation has now officially selected the Millennium Villages Project as its flagship initiative, with support directed to benefit the work in Dioro. Because of the Millennium Villages Project's innovative model to help communities lift themselves out of extreme poverty, the community has seen tangible improvements in daily life. As of today, seeds and fertilizers have been distributed to boost agriculture, bed nets have been provided to every household to decrease malaria, and the following village structures have already been built or renovated: a new health clinic, a primary school with new classrooms, latrines for boys and girls, a community centre, solar panels, and the school kitchen. Next steps include the installation of new water sources, the building of a women’s garden, bringing internet to the village, and incubating new business opportunities to generate income opportunities.
But the people who will be able to make the biggest difference in the world of the future are young people all over the world. A generation that will not necessarily react to being addressed in the traditional way: they need to learn, become curious, have something to share socially, invest and believe in something real, tangible, concrete. For this reason, the Only The Brave Foundation has decided to communicate its identity, initiatives and primarily its support of the Millennium Village in a way that resonates with today’s worldwide youth: digitally. The Only The Brave Foundation’s website (www.otbfoundation.org) is interactive, visually catching, uses a simple language, highlights its initiatives across the globe, educates viewers on daily life in Africa, encourages participation, engagement and contributions (not only monetary but also of ideas, free time, advocacy work, etc). The real village itself has been recreated digitally (a revolutionary platform synchronized with Facebook) and browsers can navigate (literally, walk around) it, visit and view the real places (every corner has been photographed, and every character on the website recreate a real person of the village who has been interviewed and taped telling what happens in the village daily and on special occasions. The virtual village is not a game, it is a reflection of the real village. The animation is inspired by life in Dioro and the videos were all shot on location in Mali.
“I don't think young kids today will be moved to action by yet another touching clip shot in Africa. They need to see with their eyes and interact to see that it's all real and that they can do something, however small, about the situation, going straight to the field, and not having to go through huge organizations which they might not feel comfortable with”, says Renzo Rosso. “I visited Dioro last spring and I was touched not only by the progress of the village itself but also by the incredible richness of traditions, history, know-how and hope for the future. People in Africa have the capacity, they only need the opportunity. I am looking forward to more and more of these initiatives and I sincerely thank Millennium Promise for having helped us make it happen”.
“We salute Renzo Rosso and the Only the Brave Foundation for their leadership in helping to achieve the Millennium Development Goals and in their support for the Millennium Villages Project,” said John McArthur, CEO of Millennium Promise. “Renzo and the Only the Brave Foundation bring an extraordinary spirit of creativity and entrepreneurship to this collaboration, all driven by passion to end extreme poverty.”
“Achieving the Millennium Development Goals is within our grasp, but the time is very short. The support and involvement of international business leaders such as Renzo Rosso and the Only the Brave Foundation are critical to the success of the MDGs, to our common quest to build a world in which extreme poverty is ended and prosperity is broadly shared,” said Professor Jeffrey D. Sachs, Director of the Earth Institute and Co- Founder and President of Millennium Promise.
Visitors to www.otbfoundation.org will be able to see all the projects the Foundation supports, the actual progress of these projects and give their contribution (in case of monetary donations they will do through mobile or PayPal). The website is online starting September 15 and contributions of any sort (including volunteering) can be made from any corner of the world.
Leave your mark for a better world. Be Proud. Be Brave. End Poverty.
For further information, please contact:
Only The Brave Foundation Press Office Tel. +39 0424 477555 firstname.lastname@example.org
Millennium Promise Bill Rigler, Director of Communications Tel: +1-646-884-7420 Bill.email@example.com
About Millennium Promise
Millennium Promise is the leading international non-profit organization solely committed to supporting the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals to halve extreme poverty by 2015. In partnership with the Earth Institute at Columbia University and UNDP, Millennium Promise oversees the Millennium Villages Project, which supports integrated social and business development services for more than 500,000 people in rural communities across 10 countries in Africa. By engaging donor nations, corporations and the general public in this effort, our work is premised on the belief that, for the first time in history, our generation has the opportunity to end extreme poverty, hunger and disease disparities. For more information, visit www.millenniumpromise.org