• Saturday, July 13, 2024
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Project Equip launches in Kano, targeting 20, 000 youths, women

Project Equip launches in Kano, targeting 20, 000 youths, women

Irked by low rates of financial autonomy and inclusion due to lack of opportunities, The Coca-Cola Foundation, in partnership with the registered non-profit enterprise, Whitefield Foundation, recently launched Project EQUIP in Kano State.

The initiative is being championed by the philanthropic arm of the beverage company in partnership with the Kano State Ministry of Youth and Sports Development, the Office of the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Sustainable Development Goals, Medshare International Inc. and Engineering World Health.

Following the initial launch in Lagos in November the project seeks to ensure the economic empowerment of 20,000 women and youth in Kano, as well as thousands across Lagos, Abuja, Benin, and Owerri, totalling 60,000 beneficiaries.

Saadia Madsbjerg, president, The Coca-Cola Foundation, the project’s official launch in Kano signals a commitment to remedying socio-economic problems identified within the region, especially around skill acquisition and financial inclusion. According to her, the initiative seeks to drive women empowerment and youth development in vulnerable communities in Nigeria.

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“We are particularly proud to finally launch Project EQUIP in Kano State,” she said. “It is no secret that we believe the Kano community will benefit greatly from this initiative, considering the recent developments and trends with regards to the lack of opportunities for women and youth to break the cycle of poverty through transformative skills,” Madsbjerg said.

The initiative will adopt an integrative and hybrid approach towards youth and women empowerment to teach transformative skills and knowledge; improve the standard of living across target communities, show and lead participants into new ways of economic growth and set the lives of the participants on a sustainable growth trajectory.

Kabiru Ado Lakwaya, the commissioner of Youth and Sports Development, Kano State, lauded the potential impact of the initiative, adding that it will help progress the State’s development and ensure sustained economic growth.

Nwamaka Onyemelukwe, director, Public Affairs, Communications and Sustainability, Coca-Cola Nigeria, said the initiative aim to tackle another stress area, particularly employability and skill acquisition in the state.

“Northern Nigeria is dear to us for many reasons. Just last year, we donated medical equipment worth billions of naira to the Aminu Kano Medical Centre through the Safe Birth Initiative, which ensures the reduction in child and maternal deaths in the North. Our interest in the North extends beyond the bottom-line benefit, which is why we continue to invest heavily in Kano State, the Northern Nigeria region, and its people,” Onyemelukwe said.

The launch of Project EQUIP sees Coca-Cola press on with its quest to engineer positive change across underserved communities in Nigeria. With partnerships, grants and investments worth millions of dollars, the company has recorded significant feats across its key sustainability pillars including Women Empowerment and Youth Development, Water Stewardship, Waste, and Wellbeing.