Nashville, Tennessee, July 19, 2007 — Gibson Guitar, the world’s premier musical instrument manufacturer and leader in music technology, announced the Gibson Foundation’s support of “Free The Children,” the world’s largest network of children helping children. Gibson Foundation has pledged a five-year commitment, during which it will build five, eight-room school houses in five different provinces of China. These schools will aid thousands of children in China and bring a much needed opportunity for primary education with qualified teachers. Each school will be equipped with textbooks, school furnishings and a playground.
The Gibson Foundation is the philanthropic arm of musical giant Gibson Guitar and focuses on making the world a better place for children through its own initiatives. The support pledged to Free The Children brings together two organizations whose continued mission and goals impact millions each year.
Currently, 160-200 million people in China, mostly children and women in the remote and resource-poor provinces of the country still subsist on less than $1 (US) a day. They are often without access to education services, potable water, arable land and adequate health care services. Free The Children has targeted five provinces for Gibson Foundation aid.
“The Gibson Foundation is committed to making the world a better place for children,” said Henry Juszkiewicz, Chairman and CEO of Gibson Guitar. “We will continue to support Free The Children in their efforts in providing education and supplies to the thousands of children in China in such great need. We are very proud to support such an incredible organization.”
The first school supported by the Gibson Foundation broke ground in Hebei province in May 2007 and will be completed in December, with the anticipated school opening in Spring 2008. Located in Northern China, the province is extremely poor, with an average annual household income of roughly $90(US), compared with a national per capita income of approximately $1100 (US). Due to extreme poverty in the area, the people of the Hebei province are forced to live in dwellings made from earth and mud as opposed to bricks or concrete.
Gibson Foundation will support other schools over the course of the next five years which will include the Gansu, Liaoning, Guangdong and Yunan provinces. The facilities will provide clean drinking water and sanitation systems. The plan includes building the schools with sustainable and environmentally friendly products and technologies. They will directly impact over 200 children and more than 10,000 family and community members. In addition to providing the opportunity for education, schools also remove children from dangerous working conditions and assist in the decline of child labor.
About Free The Children
Free The Children (FTC) was founded in 1995 by a group of 12-year-old Canadians and has grown into the world’s largest network of children-helping-children through education. FTC has built over 450 primary schools in developing countries, providing daily education to more than 40,000 children. FTC has been nominated four times for the Nobel Peace Prize and has received the World’s Children Prize for the Rights of the Child, the Roosevelt Freedom Medal and the State of the World Forum Award. For more information about Free The Children, go to www.freethechildren.org.
About Gibson Foundation
The Gibson Foundation was founded in 2002 and is the philanthropic division of Gibson Guitar, the world’s premier musical instrument manufacturer. The Foundation is committed to making the world a better place for children through its own initiatives and by its support of other non-profit organizations that advance music and the arts, health and welfare, education and environmental causes.