Coca-Cola Empowers PWDs

Coca-Cola Empowers PWDs

Coca Cola Beverages Africa (CCBA) will be launching its initiative to employ women with disabilities as retailers within its retailing value chain under the USAID-funded Global Labor Program – Inclusive Futures in Kisumu. The first cohort of 110 women from Kisumu and Nairobi who will be given equipment, training, business support and access to loans under the initiative.

During the event at Acacia Premier Hotel, Kisumu, it was intimated that the flagship will help women with disabilities and gives them a platform to open up and express themselves. Sightsavers’ Kenya Country Director, Moses Chege said that “women, people with disabilities and young people often face unequal treatment in work, despite global improvements in labour rights legislation and policy.”

“What we achieve will be used to demonstrate to other industries and governments how to improve employment of people with disabilities and demonstrate how labour rights can be strengthened for everyone.”

The program is anticipated to empower over 675 women living with disabilities in Kenya by year 2026 and targets to increase inclusion of persons living with disabilities particularly women. Beneficiaries, women with disabilities, through the initiative will become retailers within its distribution chain in Kisumu.

 

“Labour is not a privilege. It’s a right that we avail to people. As CCBA, we’re here to refresh Africa and leave Africa a better place for everybody.” John Mwendwa, Public affairs, communication and sustainability Director – CCBA Kenya.

According to Kisumu Chief of Staff Abdallah Kassim, “achieving equality and empowerment for women has broad ripple effects that are good for society.” Social determinants of health can magnify or diminish health disparities and challenges with accessing care for women with disabilities.

In attendance was the first cohort of 30 women from Kisumu and more than 80 women living with disabilities from Nairobi. They will be given equipment, training, business support and access to loans under the initiative. This aims to address employment gaps, unequal treatment in work, despite global improvements in labor rights legislation and policy.

A new cohort will be onboarded every year between 2022 and 2026 with the aim that by the end of the 5-year programme, over 675 women with disabilities will be empowered as retailers within CCBA’s distribution chain.

Inclusive Futures programme is funded by the US Agency for International Development (USAID) and is a collaboration of eight Kenyan and global organizations, including NGOs, trade unions and Organizations of People with Disabilities (OPDs). In attendance was Farida Salim, County Executive Member for Roads, Transport and Public Works and Susan Maingi, Country Lead; Regulatory and Stakeholder Engagement.