The Coca-Cola Foundation, in collaboration with Whitefield Foundation have allocated 20,000 slots for Women and Youths in Kano state, under its empowerment program, tagged; “Equip Kano”.
Speaking at the launch of the program, held in Kano on Thursday, the Chief Executive Officer of Whitefield Foundation, Ms Fummi Johnson said the two Non Governmental Organizations, had so far empowered 87,260 women and youths across the country.
According to her, in a bid to empower Nigerian youths to enable them become self-reliant; the two foundations are now planning to empower one million women and youths by 2024.
She announced the empowerment program, of 60,000 Nigerian youths, out of which 20,000 slots had been allocated to Kano state.
Mrs Johnson called on interested persons to go and register on its website, www.whitefieldfoundation.ng.
She said already about 10,600 persons have registered online , urging others who are yet to register to do so before the next five days deadline so as not to lose the opportunity to other states.
She said the initiative is being championed by the philanthropic arm of the leading beverage 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.
“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.’’
According to Mrs. Johnson, the initiative will open a door of opportunities for the women and youth of Kano, while preventing them from venturing into detrimental means of gaining financial autonomy.
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”, she said.
Speaking at the event, Nwamaka Onyemelukwe, Director, Public Affairs, Communications and Sustainability, Coca-Cola Nigeria, said since establishment in 1984, the Coca-Cola Foundation had invested more than $1.2 billion around the world.
She said the investment was to protect environments, empower women to thrive and to enhance 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. 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 states that the Coca-Cola Foundation had done so much to people in Kano, promising to do more in the stats.
In his remark, Kabiru Ado Lakwaya, Kano State Commissioner for Youth and Sports Development, lauded the potential impact of the initiative, adding that it will help progress the State’s development and ensure sustained economic growth.