Beyonce’s BeyGOOD organization is looking to bring clean water to the African nation of Burundi – and now she has another big-time ally. Essence reports that European-based luxury brand Gucci has donated a cool $1 million to the efforts of UNICEF, Chime for Change, and Beyonce’s BeyGOOD charity, which should do a great deal of good in helping the initiative to “bring safe water to the most vulnerable women and children in the “Heart of Africa,” as Beyonce’s official website states. Beyonce unveiled the initiative in July of last year along with UNICEF and Chime For Change.
In honor of both Women’s History Month and World Water Day, Gucci pledged the $1 million to the project which aims to reach over 366,000 people by 2020. As of now, the initiative has created 35 wells for Burundi’s citizenship. Gucci’s contribution will help install an additional 85 water wells throughout the nation. Only 60% of Burundi residents have access to safe drinking water, but BeyGOOD and the other components of the clean water initiative are aiming to put a stop to that.
Ivy McGregor, Director of Philanthropy and Corporate Relations for Parkwood Entertainment (Beyonce’s management company), told Essence that, “there are hospitals today in Burundi where women have babies and there’s no running water. Let’s just pause and think about that for a second. Can you imagine? So, through this million-dollar commitment that Gucci has made, we will not only be digging more waterholes for the wells, but we will be ensuring that hospitals have water and that schools have water.”
McGregor also noted how the initiative will specifically help young women in Burundi:
Girls are disproportionately affected by this water crisis because, as we all know, girls have menstrual cycles. So, because the schools don’t have water, girls are out of school for a week out of every month. Their education is at risk because of a lack of something so basic. So, another part of this second phase is to ensure that some of the schools and health centers in the hardest hit areas have water.