UNICEF Korea, SM Entertainment sign agreement to support music education for marginalized and underprivileged children in Asia
The third agreement, a development from the first one signed in 2015, expands support of program to children in the Philippines
Korean Committee for UNICEF Korea Executive Director Key-cheol Lee announced on June 23 that it had signed a contribution agreement with SM Entertainment (represented by CEO Sung-su Lee and Young-jun Tak) to support music education for children from underprivileged in Asia.
The ‘Growing with Music’ project was developed under the agreement signed by SM Entertainment and the Korean Committee for UNICEF in 2015 for the ‘Smile for U’ program. After the second agreement was signed in 2019, the scope of support was expanded to Dien Bien and Gia Lai provinces in Vietnam. The project provides marginalized and underprivileged children with musical instruments, renovates music rooms, develops educational music materials, and trains music teachers.
Over seven years, 19,979 underprivileged children and 1,000 music teachers in Vietnam have benefited from the “Growing with Music Project”. The educational manual of the project was recognized for excellence by the Vietnamese Ministry of Education in 2021 and is distributed nationwide.
SM Entertainment, which has provided USD 900,000 (about KRW 1.2billion) to UNICEF since 2015 to support Vietnamese children’s music education without discrimination, plans to expand the scope of support from this third agreement to children in the Philippines.
Through this agreement, SM Entertainment will donate USD 550,000 (about KRW 700 million) to the Korean Committee for UNICEF by 2025, USD 450,000 of which will be used for the music education for minorities and children with disabilities in Vietnam, such as Gia Lai, Dien Bien, Kon Thum, and Song Trang. Meanwhile, USD 100,000 will be provided for music education for disabled children and teacher training in Samar, located in the Eastern Visayas Region of the Philippines.
Sung-soo Lee, CEO of SM Entertainment, said, “UNICEF and SM have worked together for 7 years. As the 'SMile for U' campaign plans to expand further through this agreement, we expect to be able to deliver dreams and hopes to more children through music.”
Key-cheol Lee, Executive Director of the Korean Committee for UNICEF, said, “I would like to express my deepest gratitude to SM Entertainment, UNICEF Regional Ambassador for East Asia and Pacific Si-won Choi, Irene, and Jae-min for their unwavering support over the past 7 years.”
UNICEF Regional Ambassador for East Asia and Pacific Si-won Choi, who attended the signing ceremony, said, "I look forward to the beautiful collaboration between UNICEF and SM in the future, and I will support and help more children to dream of a bright future through music.” Irene said, " Through the 'SMile for U' campaign, we will work together to make a world a happy place for more children." Jaemin said, "I hope more children can be happier through music."
UNICEF (United Nations Children's Fund) is the only organization whose role in the promotion of children's rights is explicitly mentioned in the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. It is a United Nations-affiliated organization that conducts business. The Korean Committee for UNICEF, as the representative organization of UNICEF in Korea, raises funds for children around the world and promotes the rights of children in Korea through the UNICEF child-friendly society project. #
UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere.
For more information about UNICEF and its work for children in the Philippines, visit www.unicef.ph.
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