Wednesday, January 19, 2022

Coca-Cola to empower 20,000 women, youths in Kano

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The Coca-Cola Foundation, in collaboration with Whitefield Foundation, has allocated 20,000 empowerment slots for women and youths in Kano State.

Speaking at the launch of the empowerment program, tagged ‘Equip Kano’, on Thursday, the Chief Executive Officer of WhiteField Foundation, Fummi Johnson, said there is a plan to empower 60,000 Nigerian youths, out of which 20,000 slots had been allocated to the state.

According to her, the two non-governmental organisations had so far empowered 87,260 women and youths across the country.

She added that the two foundations are now planning to empower one million women and youths by 2024.

Mrs Johnson called on interested persons to go online and register on its website, saying that already no fewer than 10,600 persons had registered so far.

The WhiteField CEO disclosed that the initiative is being championed by the philanthropic arm of the Coca Cola 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.

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“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, has officially launched Project EQUIP in Kano State.

“Following the initial launch in Lagos in November 2021, 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,” she disclosed.

According to Mrs Johnson, the initiative will open doors of opportunities for women and youths in the state.

She 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.”

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Also speaking, the Director, Public Affairs, Communications and Sustainability, Coca-Cola Nigeria, Nwamaka Onyemelukwe, said since establishment in 1984, the Coca-Cola Foundation had invested more than $1.2 billion around the world.

According to her, the the investment was around environment protection, women empowerment and the overall well-being of people and communities.

“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.

“This year, we plan to tackle another stress area, particularly employability and skill acquisition in the State.

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“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,” she said.

She also stated that the Coca-Cola Foundation had done so much to people in Kano, promising to do more in the state.

Earlier in his remark, the state Commissioner for Youth and Sports Development, Kabiru Ado Lakwaya, lauded the initiative, saying that it would help the state government in its bid to bring about development and ensure sustained economic growth.

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