Coca-Cola, SMEDAN empower 5,000 women with vocational skills

The Coca-Cola Foundation has partnered two Nigerian-based NGO, Karis and Eleos Hand of Hope Foundation, to equip 5,000 women with relevant vocational skills and business training.

A statement by the company entitled ‘COVID-19: Coca-Cola empowers 5,000 women for economic recovery’ said the training aimed to help the women recover from the effects of the coronavirus pandemic in Nigeria.

The grant, awarded by The Coca-Cola Foundation, would enhance the business acumen of the women and scale up micro enterprises to guarantee sustenance for themselves and their families.

The capacity building programme tagged ‘Catalyst for Change’ will be implemented across five communities in Lagos State and would directly impact the lives of 5,000 women across Iwaya, Oworonshoki, Sangotedo, Magboro and Ogijo communities.

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It said 1,000 of the women would receive funding and support to set up their small-scale enterprises.

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

It added that artisan trainings would cover courses in wig making, make-up, fashion and designing, household essentials, shoe making, amongst others, for a  five-month period.

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

Speaking on the programme, Founder of Karis and Eleos Hand of Hope Foundation, Bukola Bamiduro, expressed her gratitude for the grant.

She 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 programme as these women will become catalysts in their communities, pulling their families out of poverty.”

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Also commenting on the programme, the Public Affairs, Communications and Sustainability Manager, Coca-Cola Nigeria Limited, Nwamaka Onyemelukwe, said the initiative was another way through which the company was contributing to the recovery of the economy following the devastating pandemic.

“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.

According to her, the company is committed to economically uplift as many women as possible in Nigeria in recognition of their critical roles in society.

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