NIGERIA – The Coca-Cola Company through its philanthropic arm, The Coca-Cola Foundation, has partnered with Nigeria-based NGO, Karis and Eleos Hand of Hope Foundation, equip 5000 women with relevant vocational and business skills for economic recovery from the effects of the coronavirus pandemic.

The capacity building program tagged “Catalyst for Change” will be undertaken across five communities in Lagos state, with 1000 of the targeted women receiving funding and support to set up their small-scale enterprises, reports Nigeria Communications Week.

Business training modules will be delivered by experienced facilitators will focus on personal & product branding, business foundations and basic accounting.

Also, artisanry trainings will cover courses in wig making, make-up, fashion and designing, household essentials, shoe making, amongst others, over the course of a five-month period with the program kicking off this August.

Other partners providing support to the programme include the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria.

Bukola Bamiduro, founder of Karis and Eleos Hand of Hope Foundation, said, “Poverty is the greatest threat to our existence as it fuels crime, despair and vices.

“The impact of COVID-19 has further escalated poverty in Nigeria and so we are delighted with this partnership and the execution of the program as these women will become catalysts in their communities, pulling their families out of poverty”.

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.

Also commenting on the program, Nwamaka Onyemelukwe, manager, public affairs, Communications and Sustainability, Coca-Cola Nigeria Limited, remarked, “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.”

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.

Through its ambitious 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 has contributed more than US$1 billion over the past 36 years to help protect the environment, promote recycling, empower women and enhance communities around the world.

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