The Coca-Cola Foundation (TCCF), the global philanthropic arm of The Coca-Cola Company, has awarded Shining Hope for Communities (SHOFCO), a grant of Kshs 28,300,000 to implement a 12-month training project among marginalized urban slum communities in Mombasa, Kenya. The grant helps to create sustainable livelihoods for urban poor women and youth through the development of employability and entrepreneurship skills.
Speaking on the initiative, Saadia Madsbjerg, President, The Coca-Cola Foundation said, “We recognize the challenges faced by the women in Mombasa and in so many communities across Africa; and we are proud to be part of the solution that will help them not just survive but thrive. We are excited about building economic resilience for these women, and we look forward to the testimonials of changed lives and renewed hope that will follow from this program.”
Most residents of Kenya’s slums are deprived of access to basic services like education, healthcare, and sanitation, and become more susceptible to economic hardship and domestic and community violence, particularly for women and youth. At the forefront of the challenges lies the high unemployment rate, which is estimated to be double the national level of unemployment. Furthermore, these economic deficiencies are further perpetuated in informal settlements where opportunities are scarce and, oftentimes, low paying and inconsistent.
“One of the enormous challenges faced by urban slum dwellers in Kenya is lack of consistent and/or dignified work. SHOFCO has been working with women and youth in the slums for more than a decade. We seek to combat the systemic challenges that perpetuate urban poverty. With additional resources from TCCF, we will be able to scale our work across additional slums and support more women and youth,” said Kennedy Odede, CEO SHOFCO
SHOFCO aims to improve economic opportunities and dignified work for slum dwellers. The “Economic Empowerment for Youth and Women Living in the Urban Informal Settlements of Mombasa” program offers a range of opportunities focused on entrepreneurship and employability, based on the different educational and professional backgrounds of individuals in the slums. SHOFCO’s holistic approach to improving livelihoods is key to achieving their vision of a world where slum dwellers, particularly women and youth, have access to finance and the opportunities to tap into their full potential. As part of their vision to make dignified work and economic empowerment available for all, this project will serve to scale the Sustainable Livelihoods program over the next 12 months as slum entrepreneurs and small businesses continue to recover from the economic impacts of COVID-19.