Western Union Announces First “Chain of Betters” Winners and Expands Worldwide Program to 128 Countries

Press Release By Western Union Published OnFebruary 11, 2016

ENGLEWOOD, Colo.–(BUSINESS WIRE)– Western Union announced today that its Chain of Betters Competition, which funds projects that make lasting positive change for individuals and communities around the world, has selected the first 10 winners, and has expanded the program from 20 countries to a total of 128 countries worldwide (listed here under the T&Cs section).

More than 1,400 nominations from the first wave of 20 countries have been received to date.

The Western Union® Chain of Betters Competition was designed to kick start a chain of selfless good deeds by awarding US$1,000 (or local currency equivalent) for project ideas nominated by individuals who are entrusted with making the better happen. In the first phase of the program, which was rolled out in 20 countries, 10 winners from across the Philippines, U.S., U.K. and Nigeria were selected to receive this support for a wide range of community-building projects from purchasing a power generator to providing clean drinking water.

“Since the Chain of Betters Competition generated such a lot of excitement and opportunity, we are confident that our significant expansion of the initiative will effectively change the lives of people from more parts of the world and make the world a better place through these simple and effective ideas” said Western Union Vice President Global Brand & Marketing, Simonetta Rigo. “Western Union helps people move the money that creates an economic ripple effect. When money moves, we know that lives are improved. This program underscores the truth of this notion and our deep appreciation for our customers and the people they help every day through remittances.”

The first 10 winners (nominator’s home country after each name) of Western Union’s Chain of Betters Competition are listed here by the beneficiary country of their respective project ideas.


Sarah K. (U.S): The “Water for Life” project will provide clean water to the remote village of Veal Veng. Currently, villagers in this area do not have access to clean water beyond what they can collect in clay pots during the rainy season and dirty stagnant pools in the dry season.


Patrick J. (U.K.): The “Free Children from Malaria” project will provide the simple solution of mosquito nets to protect thousands of lives in a country where most of its residents cannot afford them.


Livingstone O. (Nigeria): “Laboratory Alive” will equip the science laboratory in Ikotun Grammar School in Alimosho LCA, Lagos. Basic tools, including Bunsen burners, conical flasks, test tubes, etc., will help these students keep up with those around the world in their studies in this important area.


Ana C., a Western Union employee (U.S): “Tech Lab for School” will assist the organization Learning Goal to build classrooms and schools in the poorest areas of the country. This would also include giving students access to the world of knowledge available on the Internet.


Jeremiah D. (Philippines): The “Disaster Workshop and Equipment” project will provide the indigent people of Tiwi, Albay, with communications equipment, rescue materials and disaster preparedness seminars in this area that is effected by 10-15 typhoons each year.

Venus P. (Philippines): “Water for Vegetable Farm” will create a Microcontroller-Based Water Management System (a R & D project by students in MSU-IIT) that will help women farmers augment their income and give them more time with their children.

Karlo M. (Philippines): “Help the Aeta Kids Get a Chance at a Better Education” will build a library for the Aeta Children of Sitio Bagong Silang in San Pablo, Castillejos, Zambales, and support ALS (Alternative Learning System) teachers to provide mobile chalkboards and other materials in their outreach to Aeta Kids in the mountain region.

Aquileta T. (Philippines): “Saludo GenSet – Portable Solar Generator Set” will provide electricity and its many benefits to 16 million people in the Philippines. This gas-free source of renewable energy will keep lights, phones, handheld radios for disaster response, medical equipment and laptops powered on through any situation.


Nirvikalpini N. (U.K.): “Don’t Let Starlight School Go Down the Toilet” will provide a toilet facility for the boys and girls of Starlight Family school just outside of Kiboga. They are a donation-funded school providing free education for up to 200 poverty stricken children that is in danger of being shut down for lack of these facilities.


Sue de L. (U.S): “Somos Humanos SATX” will assist the influx of unaccompanied and undocumented children entering the U.S. seeking refuge. Based in San Antonio, TX, this organization has partnered with one of the largest holding facilities of undocumented minors in the U.S. where volunteers offer support and companionship through engaging and interactive activities.

Each winner will have three months from the date they receive an award from Western Union to implement the programs they nominated. More detail on each of these winning projects can be found here.

Those who were awarded US$1,000 shared their enthusiasm as they were informed of their projects having been selected:

  • “Thank you so much for choosing me! I am so happy and this is the best Christmas gift ever for me and my poor community members,” said Jeremiah D. (Philippines).
  • “This is fantastic news!!!! Thank you so much and I can’t wait to let the organization know!! This is going to be a special year for them thanks to Western Union’s generosity!” said Sue de L. (U.S.)

Chain of Betters nominations can be made by legal residents over the age of 18 in qualifying countries. The beneficiaries can be located anywhere, worldwide.



Nominations require a maximum 150-word description of how the project would make the world a better place for others with US$1000. Submissions will be judged based on the extent they express a selfless good deed, bring positive and lasting change for a number of people, have the potential to do something of value in their community, inspire more people, serve others and make the world a better place

Each entrant will also need to submit at least one photo of himself or herself and a photo that illustrates their project idea, and they can also add one additional photo or a short video of the current situation or idea that will make the world better.

The winning entrants and their “betters” will be published on the contest website, www.chainofbetters.com.

No purchase necessary. Enter at www.chainofbetters.com and tell us how you would make the world a better place for others with US$1,000 (or local currency equivalent) maximum of 150 words, English only, plus a minimum of two images, one should illustrate the idea behind your Better, the other should be of you. Prizes: 5 x US$1,000 for nominated project. Open to legal residents aged over 18 in participating countries. For a list of participating country please go to www.chainofbetters.com/join and check the drop down menu. Void where prohibited by law. Full terms and conditions can be found at www.chainofbetters.com. Promoter: Western Union Financial Services Inc. 12500 E. Belford Avenue, Englewood, CO USA. Contact: Chain of Betters Promotion WURS UK Limited Level 1, 200 Hammersmith Road Hammersmith London, UK W6 7DL

About Western Union

The Western Union Company (NYSE: WU) is a leader in global payment services. Together with its Vigo, Orlandi Valuta, Pago Facil and Western Union Business Solutions branded payment services, Western Union provides consumers and businesses with fast, reliable and convenient ways to send and receive money around the world, to send payments and to purchase money orders. As of September 30, 2015, the Western Union, Vigo and Orlandi Valuta branded services were offered through a combined network of over 500,000 agent locations in 200 countries and territories and over 100,000 ATMs and kiosks, and included the capability to send money to millions of bank accounts. In 2014, The Western Union Company completed 255 million consumer-to-consumer transactions worldwide, moving $85 billion of principal between consumers, and 484 million business payments. For more information, visit www.westernunion.com.


Source: Western Union

Western Union Media Contact

Americas and European Union:

Pia De Lima, 1 954-260-5732

pia.delima@westernunion.com (US)


Middle East, Africa, Asia-Pacific, Eastern Europe & CIS:

Ingrid Sahu, 971-52-9225021

ingrid.sahu@westernunion.com (Dubai)