The Coca-Cola Foundation, the global philanthropic arm of The Coca-Cola Company, has awarded Pact a $400,000 grant to help 2,400 women in impoverished communities in Vietnam take control of their future through economic empowerment.
Known as Mekong Vitality, the one-year project helps women in three districts of Vinh Long province in the Mekong Delta region of Vietnam gain economic independence through savings-led microfinance based on Pact’s award-winning approach known as WORTH. Pact developed WORTH in Nepal 14 years ago; today, thousands of WORTH groups operate throughout Southeast Asia and Africa.
The Coca-Cola Foundation award to Pact was among US$8.8 million in grants made to 66 community organizations worldwide during the second quarter of 2013.
Pact and The Coca-Cola Foundation last year partnered on a similar project in Myanmar that has a goal of improving the livelihoods of 24,500 women over three years.
“Vietnam has made remarkable strides in the past couple decades in transforming itself from a poor country to one of lower middle incomes,” said Mark Viso, President and CEO of Pact, a nongovernmental organization based in Washington, D.C., and at work in nearly 30 countries. “But, for a variety of reasons, women in the Mekong River Delta region remain poor and highly vulnerable, their families often in debt. The Coca-Cola Foundation’s generous contribution will allow Pact to help women in that area to tap their own potential, earn a dignified living and lift their families out of poverty, while also helping all of Vietnam realize the promise of a brighter future.”
For much of the last decade, Pact’s acclaimed capacity development work—supported by the U.S. Government and the Global Fund—has touched every facet of civil-society’s response to HIV/AIDS in the country.
"The Coca-Cola Foundation is committed to addressing the needs of the communities in the 200-plus countries where we operate," said Lisa M. Borders, Chair of The Coca-Cola Foundation and Vice President of Global Community Connections for The Coca-Cola Company. "These organizations are creating the type of change needed to improve people's lives, build sustainable communities and enhance our environment for future generations."
Pact’s WORTH initiative typically encourages small groups of up to 20 women to save together to develop village banks that make low-interest loans to members to fund entrepreneurial efforts. In addition to developing more income for their families from their small enterprises and dividends from interest payments, the women learn to read, apply basic math skills, confront public health issues and exercise influence in community affairs.
Coca-Cola and Pact both believe local solutions are the key to better communities worldwide.
While Coca-Cola invests in markets it serves, Pact bases its international development work on partnerships with local organizations and individuals, helping those partners develop and carry out solutions that are unique to their communities and sustainable after Pact’s departure.
The Coca-Cola Foundation is a key partner in Pact’s efforts to help those in poverty build lasting solutions at the local level. Corporations and/or their philanthropic arms interested in innovative local solutions to challenges facing their workforces, families and markets around the world should contact Suzanne Rexing, vice president of opportunity development, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About Pact – Pact is a promise of a better tomorrow for all those who are poor and marginalized. Working in partnership to develop local solutions that enable people to own their own future, Pact helps people and communities build their own capacity to generate income, improve access to quality health services, and gain lasting benefit from the sustainable use of the natural resources around them. Based in Washington, D.C., and at work in nearly 30 countries in Asia and Africa, Pact is building local promise with an integrated, adaptive approach that is shaping the future of international development. Learn more at http://www.pactworld.org.
About The Coca-Cola Foundation – Since its inception, The Coca-Cola Foundation has awarded more than $500 million in grants to support global sustainable community initiatives. For more information The Coca-Cola Foundation, please go to http://www.coca-colacompany.com/our-company/the-coca-cola-foundation.
About The Coca-Cola Company – The Coca-Cola Company is the world's largest beverage company, refreshing consumers with more than 500 sparkling and still brands. Led by Coca-Cola, the world's most valuable brand, our Company's portfolio features 16 billion-dollar brands including Diet Coke, Fanta, Sprite, Coca-Cola Zero, vitaminwater, Powerade, Minute Maid, Simply, Georgia and Del Valle. Globally, we are the No. 1 provider of sparkling beverages, ready-to-drink coffees, and juices and juice drinks. Through the world's largest beverage distribution system, consumers in more than 200 countries enjoy our beverages at a rate of more than 1.8 billion servings a day. With an enduring commitment to building sustainable communities, our Company is focused on initiatives that reduce our environmental footprint, support active, healthy living, create a safe, inclusive work environment for our associates, and enhance the economic development of the communities where we operate. Together with our bottling partners, we rank among the world's top 10 private employers with more than 700,000 system associates. For more information, visit Coca-Cola Journey at http://www.coca-colacompany.com, follow us on Twitter at twitter.com/CocaColaCo or check out our blog, Coca-Cola Unbottled, at http://www.coca-colablog.com.