Working women have a considerable ability to positively contribute to economic growth and poverty reduction. Turkey, where 69 percent of men are in paid work compared to 29 percent of women according to the OECD Better Life Index, is one of many countries that could greatly benefit from raising the employment rate of women.
Championing women in the workforce in Turkey,
Coca-Cola and the United Nations Development Programme’s (UNDP) New World Program is the force behind the founding of a women cooperative of apiculture. “Queen Bee” project is helping women become business owners and income earners in a community where before they were unable to have a presence. Beehives were provided to 20 women, along with trainings on apiculture techniques and diversification of products. Now they are asset owners and entrepreneurs running their own businesses. This project is one example of the many projects under New World.
The meaning of a New World
Coca-Cola and UNDP have made women empowerment one of the key pillars of their new partnership, New World: Inclusive Sustainable Human Development Initiatives.
Having implemented more than 130 community-based projects together in 25 countries between 2007 and 2013, UNDP and
Coca-Cola recognized that their Every Drop Matters (EDM) program had the potential for even greater results. Expanding on the success of EDM, in 2014 the partners launched New World. Since 2015, the program reached more than 1 million people across 19 countries.
New World supports projects working to achieve the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, particularly those focused on clean water and sanitation, gender equality, good jobs and economic growth and climate action. Program objectives are
A. Increasing access to safe drinking water and sanitation services and to improve water resources management through community based approaches,
B. Empowering women and youth, improve education and generate job opportunities to build resilient communities.
“Together with UNDP, we were able to develop a participatory and impactful partnership model. EDM improved lives of more than 1 million people in Eurasia, including 350,000 who now enjoy better access to water. EDM’s success encouraged us to expand the focus beyond water, to implement projects that will empower women and youth, and promote healthier and more active lifestyles,” explained Susan Mboya, President,
Coca-Cola Africa Foundation, Coca-Cola Eurasia and Africa Director for 5by20. “We initiated EDM to contribute to the achievement of Millennium Development Goals. New World partnership aligns with all aspects of Coca-Cola’s sustainability strategy and the new global development agenda, the Sustainable Development Goals.”
Environmental sustainability, particularly water, women and youth empowerment form the three main components of the projects being enacted under New World. In the first generation of projects nearly 3,200,000 m3 of water have been replenished.
New World project participation is encouraged by civil society in support of innovative, inclusive and sustainable solutions to key developmental challenges. The program aims to benefit 19 countries across Europe, Asia and Africa, supported by a US$4.75 million grant from The
Coca-Cola Foundation and an additional US$875,000 from Coca-Cola Eurasia and Africa Group since 2015.
“With the New World Project, we want to help improve opportunities and lives, and hope for an increasing number of communities in an evolving development arena." said Rastislav Vrbensky, UNDP Istanbul Regional Hub Manager. New World efforts underway include rainwater harvesting systems, development of water access points, graywater household treatment systems, irrigation demonstration sites, improved water storage and wastewater treatment systems, modern farming technique training, improved water access, women empowerment programs, youth leadership skills advancement, and the creation and distribution of awareness raising toolkits.
Noting that 94 percent of the water used by the
Coca-Cola system in its finished beverages is replenished back to communities and nature, Mboya says, “EDM played a significant role in preserving water resources and improving access to water and sanitation. We are confident that the New World partnership will allow us to implement new innovative projects, helping us reach the 100 percent water replenishment target, ahead of our original plans.”
With a continued partnership focused on safe water access, New World has worked in Lahore, Pakistan on installing the water treatment plant for continuous supply of treated water for irrigation in Bhama village. The main goals of the project are to enable access to clean water for the villages and decrease water-related health problems for hundreds of children and infants.
Haji Khalil, a 48-year-old farmer living in Bhama village, cultivates cabbage, spinach, garlic, potato, wheat and rice in this region. Before the project, he used sewer water coming from the village through an open drain as the main source of irrigation. Khalil explains, ”Whenever I used untreated sewage water for the irrigation of my fields, I felt guilty as I always considered this land to be our mother that feeds us when we are hungry, it gives shelter in the form of a house, it provides space to my elders when they die, and in response, what I am giving back is untreated sewage full of human pathogens.”
With funds from New World, Society for Empowerment and Environmental Protection installed a water treatment plant for continuous supply of treated water for irrigation in Bhama village.
“The first day when I opened the inlet of main watercourse to start irrigation of my 4-acre fields with treated water there was dramatic change. There was no odor and I felt like my whole world has changed,” said Khalil.
To date, New World has 37 projects in 19 countries under implementation, having provided access to improved water and/or sanitation to more than 97,000 people directly while influencing the lives of 112,800 people, and introduced women and youth empowerment activities directly to 5,748 people, reaching a total of1 million people.
Because of New World, Haji Khalil, a farmer living in Bhama village in Lahore, Pakistan, now uses treated water for crop irrigation.
25 women were trained in apiculture and provided beehives and are now successfully running their own businesses.
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