To further express its commitment to empowering women, youth and building sustainable communities, The Coca-Cola Foundation, through the New World Program (NWP), has given a grant worth $100,000 to MEDIC towards implementing a Recycling Scheme for Women and Youth Empowerment (RESWAYE).
In 2016, retired English sailor, Dame Ellen Patricia MacArthur, said that by the year 2050, there will be more plastics in our ocean than fish. This does not seem far-fetched as Nigeria currently generates an estimated 32 million tons of solid waste per year, one of the highest amounts in Africa. Of this staggering figure, plastic constitutes 2.5 million tons.
The Coca-Cola Company recognizes the challenge of plastic waste disposal in the world, including in Nigeria. The company is currently running a World Without Waste program which seeks to not only educate people on waste disposal but also to work with relevant stakeholders such as MEDIC to improve plastic waste disposal and recycling procedure.
Speaking on behalf of The Coca-Cola Foundation (TCCF) on the grant awarded to MEDIC for RESWAYE, Public Affairs, Communications & Sustainability Manager, Coca-Cola Nigeria, Nwamaka Onyemelukwe said,
“What RESWAYE does is it focuses on two crucial passion points for us at Coca-Cola which are women’s empowerment and sustainable waste management. We recognize the importance of preserving our environment and we are passionate about empowering women to reach their full potential. For this reason, we are excited to be partnering with MEDIC on this.”
In Nigeria, there are twice as many women below the poverty line as men and up to 19 times as many men in executive positions as women. As a result of this, a considerable amount of effort is being put into female empowerment in Nigeria. This will no doubt complement our efforts on our 5by20 programme.
The Mental and Environmental Development Initiative for Children (MEDIC) is an NGO focused on building a sustainable environment and oceans through improved education and job creation for more resilient communities. They stand for growth and are passionate about what they do for communities, especially towards plastic pollution, recycling and empowering women.
Remarking on the launch of the Recycling Scheme for Women and Youth Empowerment (RESWAYE), Doyinsola Ogunye, Founder of MEDIC said, “We’ve been working in this community for over five years, but mostly with the children. With RESWAYE, we’re empowering the women to not only give occupy them but to also equip them enough to provide for and take care of their families. This launch is a historic event because this is the first-ever network of women who recycle in Nigeria and we can’t be more proud.”
Commenting on why MEDIC was chosen, Nwamaka Onyemelukwe said, “We are proud to partner with them on the Recycling Scheme for Women and Youth Empowerment (RESWAYE) to tackle Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) 13, 14, and 15, which are: Climate Action, Life Underwater, and Life on Land. RESWAYE seeks to empower self-motivated women and young people who are ready to make a positive change in their environment.”
The issue of waste management is one that concerns everyone in the society. People are encouraged to do as much as they can in ensuring the proper management of waste in their various communities. To this end, it is the belief of RESWAYE that Nigeria, and the world at large, that the world will be a better place if everyone does something to help the community.