THERE IS MORE to Coca-Cola than that refreshing ice-cold beverage enjoyed and shared with loved ones and friends to make mealtimes more special. In some of the Philippines’ remote villages where water is scarce, in communities where women are struggling to improve their household income, and in schools where students are suffering from poor health, Coca-Cola has been a refreshing sign of hope and progress.
This is all due to the various programs of the company through their social responsibility arm – the Coca-Cola Foundation Philippines, Inc.
The Foundation has helped improve the quality of life of hundreds of thousands of Filipinos through education, health, water sanitation, and livelihood programs since it was established in November 1986, the foundation’s press statement received by ElysPlanet.Com said. It has also provided emergency assistance during disasters and implemented various environmental conservation projects.
For its 30th year, the Foundation’s current programs are focused on enabling access to safe water in underserved, rural communities as well as providing education and development opportunities to the Filipino youth.
Diego Granizo, Coca-Cola Philippines’ President, and General Manager said, “At Coca-Cola, we have a shared vision of growing our business and enhancing the sustainability of local communities around the world. We are very thankful that for the past 30 years, we have been given wonderful opportunities to serve thousands of Filipino communities, share happiness and make a difference in the lives of countless people through programs implemented through the Foundation and our partners.”
The Happiness Project
The Foundation highlights its achievements in uplifting the lives of Filipinos in various communities through its 30th-anniversary magazine to be published soon. Dubbed as ‘The Happiness Project,’ the publication features amazing stories written by University of Sto. Tomas-Journalism Society, and photos taken by De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde (DLSU-CSB) School of Design and Arts students and faculty volunteers. They captured stories of struggles, hopes, and dreams that came true for beneficiary communities of Coca-Cola Foundation Philippines and their program partners.
The Happiness Project magazine, along with videos and photos capturing these true stories of hope will be exhibited from November 10 to 12 at the Activity Area of Gateway Mall, Araneta Center, Cubao, Quezon City – a project made possible through a partnership with the J. Amado Araneta Foundation and Araneta Group.
Among the “happiness” stories are that of a barangay captain in Bato, Leyte and a 74-year-old man in Baao, Camarines Sur who were blessed with finally having access to clean drinking water through the Agos project of the Foundation, in partnership with the Alternative Indigenous Development Foundation, Inc. and the Philippine Rural Reconstruction Movement. The project uses a gravity installation, which brings water from upland sources to communities downhill.
The Happiness Project also features eye-opening stories of the hardships of young Tacloban students in the aftermath of super typhoon Yolanda and a retired high school teacher in Butong, Quezon province who both found the passion for continuing learning and teaching, respectively, after experiencing the Little Red Schoolhouse project which the Foundation built. The two-storey, typhoon-resilient Little Red Schoolhouse inside the Marasbaras Elementary School in Leyte has six classrooms, each fully equipped with chairs, tables blackboards, and comfort rooms, while the Little Red Schoolhouse at the Quezon National High School-Apyao Annex is the first one built for middle school students.
“Our work in Coca-Cola Foundation has rewarded us over a hundred-fold – with warm smiles and the sincere expressions of gratefulness from the people we have met along the way. Even a tearful speech of a grandfather who has turned hopeful that his grandchildren will have a better life because they now have free flowing fresh water a few steps from their home, beats any award or trophy,” said Cecile Alcantara, Coca-Cola Foundation Philippines President.