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Coca-Cola to provide $300,000 grant for women empowerment initiative in Lagos

In a bid to improve the lives of women across Lagos State, The Coca-Cola Foundation in partnership with Karis and Eleos Hand of Hope Foundation has announced the launch of the second edition of its women empowerment programme themed ‘Catalyst for Change 2.0’ with a $300,000 grant to empower about 5,000 women across five communities of the state.

The program, aimed at reducing the harsh economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, seeks to reduce rural-urban migration of women by empowering them with business and life skills to elevate their livelihood from extreme poverty, to encourage migration back to their local communities.

Catalyst for Change 2.0 plan will adopt two training models which include hands-on training and business classes which will provide training for women and youth in Surulere, Alausa/Agidingbi, Ijora, Agege and Onigbongbo communities for a 10 month period starting October, 2021.

Saadia Madsbjerg, president, The Coca-Cola Foundation, said empowering women to thrive is a global commitment for the foundation. “Our ultimate goal is to lift women out of poverty and into lives of self-sufficiency by focusing on those community programmes offering education, skills training, financial literacy and mentoring, such as the Catalyst for Change 2.0 programme”.

Bukola Bamiduro, Founder/Programme Director, Karis and Eleos Hand of Hope Foundation, emphasized the importance of the ‘Catalyst For Change 2.0’ project, stating its role in ensuring the empowerment of underserved women and youth in Nigeria.#

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According to her, Karis and Eleos is a non-profit organisation with focus on empowering women and girls, especially those living in rural communities with limited access to opportunities.

“We are proud to continue this impactful programme and make a meaningful contribution to the lives of more women and girls in the country. We extend our gratitude to The Coca-Cola Foundation who has remained steadfast in its commitment to this project,” said Bamiduro.

She posits that Catalyst for Change 2.0 will leverage education through skills acquisition as an agent of change in the lives of women in Nigeria. “Education is recognised as the most effective tool to tackle large-scale poverty entrenched in various parts of the world and this project seeks to leverage education to help eliminate poverty and inequality, reduce unemployment, raise incomes, and improve standards of living,” stated Bamiduro.

Ekuma Eze, Director, Public Affairs and Communications, Nigerian Bottling Company, said that poverty alleviation, women and youth empowerment remain key priorities for the Coca-Cola System in Nigeria.

According to Eze, who was represented by Jerome Oyebanji, Public Affairs and Communications Manager, Nigerian Bottling Company, the Catalyst for Change initiative was developed to ensure that key areas are addressed in the communities. “We are delighted to continue what has been a fruitful partnership with Karis and Eleos Hand of Hope Foundation. We are truly proud of the results achieved so far”.

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