Coca-cola partners Karis & Eleos to empower 5000 women in Lagos communities
In an effort to increase women’s economic equality and reduce poverty, Coca-cola company, through its philanthropic arm, The Coca-Cola Foundation has partnered with Karis and Eleos Hand of Hope Foundation, to help provide 5000 women with relevant vocational skills, business training and funds.
Karis and Eleos Foundation is a non-governmental organisation, established in 2017, with a vision to empower women and girls across the rural demographic.
The women, selected from across five communities of Iwaya, Oworonshoki, Sangotedo, Magboro, and Ogijo communities in Lagos State, will receive funding and support to set up their small-scale enterprises.
Speaking at the flag-off of the program tagged “Catalyst for Change”, Mrs. Nwamaka Onyemelukwe, Public Affairs, Communications, and Sustainability Manager, Coca-Cola Nigeria Limited, stated enjoined the women to make use the opportunity, to uplift themselves, and by extension Nigeria.
Coca-cola, she noted is passionate in contributing to the recovery of the Nations’ economy following this devastating pandemic.
“This is yet another way through which our Company is passionately contributing to the recovery of our economy following this devastating pandemic. Our desire is to continue to economically uplift as many women as possible in Nigeria as we recognise their critical roles in society. We are confident that this new partnership will go a long way in supporting women and providing them a means of livelihood through the recovery phase.” She said.
Mrs. Onyemelukwe revealed that through its goal of empowering 5 million women across the world by 2020 under its 5by20 initiative, The Coca-Cola Company has so far empowered 4.6 million women with over 420,000 Nigerian women directly impacted. The Company through its philanthropic arm, The Coca-Cola Foundation, has also contributed more than $1 billion over the past 36 years to help protect the environment, promote recycling, empower women and enhance communities around the world.
Mrs. Chidi Koldsweat, Founder, Donors for Africa stated that more women than men live in poverty, while women and girls account for six out of 10 of the world’s poorest.
She identified women being undervalued with many being paid low wages, and gender inequality at work as some of the contributing factors.
She commended the Foundations for coming up with the program adding that it will increase women’s economic equality and reduce poverty for everyone.
“More women than men live in poverty, women, and girls account for six out of 10 of the world’s poorest.
“We are either lower-paid, unpaid, undervalued, and are plagued with gender inequality in work. Across the world, women are in the lowest-paid work- it will take 170 years to close the gap. The value of the work women do and don’t get paid for is over $10.8 trillion.
“Gender inequality in the economy costs women in developing countries $9 trillion a year – a sum which would not only give new spending power to women and benefit their families and communities but would also provide a massive boost to the economy as a whole.”
Also speaking at the event, representative of the First lady of Lagos State, Her Excellency Ibijoke Sanwo-Olu, Wife of the Attorney-General of Lagos State, Mrs. Olabisi Onigbanjo, commended the organisations for coming up with an initiative that the world is contending with the severe effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. With the programme, women will be impacted with skills that will enable them and their families to escape extreme poverty.
“It is particularly reassuring that this empowerment initiative is coming at a time the country is contending with the severe effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Through this initiative, 5,000 women across five communities will be empowered with business and life skills needed to escape from extreme poverty. When you empower women, you empower the whole family and by extension the nation.” She said.
Earlier, Mrs. Bukola Bamiduro, Founder of Karis and Eleos Hand of Hope Foundation, thanked Coca-cola for the partnership adding that the execution of the program will enable the women will become catalysts in their communities, pulling their families out of poverty.
Mrs. Bamiduro also opined that poverty is the greatest threat to our existence as it fuels crime, despair and vices. Adding that the impact of COVID-19 has further escalated poverty in Nigeria and so her foundation is delighted with the partnership and the execution of the program.
Karis and Eleos Hand of Hope Foundation is a non-profit established in 2017, with a vision to empower women and girls across the rural demographic. The award of this grant will help in achieving the shared objective of The Coca-Cola Foundation to grow a sustainable pipeline of female talent and empower women, ultimately creating a sustainable society.