Coca-Cola’s “5 By 20” Makes Headway

Coca-Cola’s global vision to empower 5 million women economically is robustly gaining unprecedented momentum in Liberia as young and determined women in   Liberia are making their way to the Liberia Coca-Cola Bottling Company (LCCBC) to be part of the Company’s global initiative.

The LCCBC, under the Management of its Country Manager, Seth Adu-Baah, is said to be on par with the Company’s global “5 by 20” women empowerment campaign which ends in 2020. “5 by 20” is Coca-Cola’s global plan to empower 5 million women economically across the world by 2020 through training, provision of cash and products of Coca-Cola to beneficiaries.

Perhaps, in an effort to boost the Government   Liberia’s Poverty Reduction Strategy (PRS), the LCCBC has intensified its women empowerment campaign across the country through the latest “5by 20” program.

The LCCBC in the last few months has successfully trained young women, providing them with intensive economic management skill training as a means of contributing to the global call for the economic empowerment of women while at the same time providing them cash and products of the   Factory to start and manage small businesses on their own.

Determined to pursue such objective, the LCCBC in partnership with Mercy Crops has trained and empowerment additional 100 young women.

At the formal ceremony which marked the closing of the three day intensive exercise over the weekend, the beneficiaries who appeared extremely excited lavished praises on the two entities, particularly Coca-Cola for the opportunity provided them to come out of the dungeon of poverty to be owners of business.

At the end of the three day training, each participant was given US$100.00 and four crates of soft drinks, a mini table, umbrella and other items to start her own business.

Speaking to reporters at LCCBC Compound following the end of the training, the Executive Assistant /Administrative Manager of Coca-Cola Liberia, Madam Xaviera K. Coleman, disclosed that the program was in line with Coca-Cola’s global vision to empower 5 million women around the world by 2020 under the code named “5by 20”.

Madam Coleman said, Liberia is amongst countries that are committed to such global vision, adding that LCCBC was determined to train and empower women from various communities across Liberia.

According to her, beneficiaries of the program were vetted after applying. She however, urged them to utilize the skills and materials given them to be able to manage their businesses and support their families.

For his part, Mercy Corps’ Apprenticeship, Wah Ajavon, Sr, added that his organization was implementing program of livelihood development and as such, it was partnering with Coca-Cola Liberia to train and provide starter grant to women who are being vetted for the economic empowerment program.

Mr. Ajavon urged the beneficiaries to see the training and all of the items given them as an opportunity, adding that there was a monitoring strategy being developed by the LCCBC and Mercy Corps to encourage the women fulfill the aims and objective of the program.

Meanwhile, three of the beneficiaries, Mrs. Mima Stewart, Hermia Summerville and Rose Chea in separate statements expressed gratitude on behalf of their colleagues to the two entities       for the opportunity provided them and promised to utilize the skills and items provided them for the intended purpose.

Although they signed Memorandum Of Understanding (MOU) at the end of the training,  each of the beneficiary has set goals for the growth of her business and envisaged uninterrupted progress in the business journey.

Besides full compliance and adherence to its corporate social responsibilities, the Management of the LCCBC recently extended its latest ‘5by 20’ women empowerment program in Lofa County, where it successfully launched the program in the provincial City of Voinjama, Lofa County.

The launching of the women empowerment program in the county, according to the LCCBC Management was prompted by a partnership initiative between the Office of Vice President, Ambassador Joseph N. Boakai and the Company.

The ‘5by 20’ women empowerment program is being held in partnership with the Ministry of Gender and Development.