On a quest to improve the lives of underserved women across diverse communities, The Coca‑Cola Foundation funded women empowerment initiative, Catalyst for Change, implemented by a local NGO partner, Karis and Eleos Hand of Hope Foundation, has successfully empowered another batch of 1,000 women in Alimosho, Lagos State.
This makes it a total of 10 communities reached under the scheme with over 10,000 women impacted. The initiative focused on providing business and vocational skills to help lift them out of poverty and marginalization, and finally over 2000 women provided with start-up kits to help kickstart their small-scale enterprises – 200 of which received start-up kits at the Alimosho closing ceremony.
The Catalyst for Change Scheme is one of Coca‑Cola's several women empowerment and youth development initiatives where women are trained in some essential vocational skills such as pastry making, shoemaking, fashion designing, makeup artistry, wig making, tie and dye, household essentials, and bag making, with some participants also provided with financial literacy and business management classes around bookkeeping, personal and product branding, social media management, and customer relationship management.
According to the Director, Public Affairs, Communications, and Sustainability, Coca‑Cola Nigeria, Nwamaka Onyemelukwe, the beneficiaries of the programme are expected to use the skills garnered from the programme to, not only better their personal economic status but to contribute their quota to the economic development of the country.
She highlighted that the company remains focused on women empowerment because of its belief that women are pillars of society and community as reflected in the company’s new Africa sustainability platform, JAMII, which focuses on waste management, water stewardship and wealth creation for women and youths.
She said, "The goal of the just concluded Catalyst for Change 2.0 programme was to integrate underserved women into a growth trajectory that generates value for their families and society and The Coca‑Cola System is thrilled about the outcomes and impact stories so far. I am confident that this batch of beneficiaries will attain an even better degree of achievement as they launch out with the skills and support received through the programme".
Founder, Karis and Eleos Hand of Hope Foundation, Bukola Bamiduro, advised the beneficiaries to continuously create value in their communities through the application and transmission of knowledge while uplifting themselves and others, thereby leading to the formation of a cycle of transgenerational businesses.
Bamiduro said, “The last 10 months have been exciting for us. This is a mini-closing ceremony for Alimosho but this also marks the end of Catalyst for Change 2.0. We have seen the income of our beneficiaries move from $1 per day to $10 per day”.
She thanked The Coca‑Cola Foundation for financially supporting the project, saying she hopes to continue to hear inspiring stories from the various beneficiaries across the ten communities reached during the Catalyst for Change programme.
A beneficiary from the Alausa community, Nofisat Adenike, explained that the Catalyst for Change 2.0 programme has changed the way she sees life and business as she has moved on to establish her baking business. This and more, remains the success stories of the women who have gone through the programme, taking great learnings and inspiration from their facilitators and coaches.
For Coca‑Cola, women empowerment and bridging the gap of opportunities are essential for achieving an inclusive and sustainable society positioned for economic growth. Since 1984, The Coca‑Cola Company has contributed more than $1.2 billion to help empower women, protect the environment, and enhance communities, socially and economically, around the world.