Coca-Cola’s social initiatives have successfully reached countless people globally. For example, Coca-Cola EKOCENTERs are providing access to water, power and Internet to a growing number of people around the world. Through Coca-Cola’s Project Last Mile the availability of medicines in remote areas in Africa has increased, and through 5by20, hundreds of thousands of women have been equipped with the tools and knowledge to become successful entrepreneurs. While data provides concrete evidence of the programs’ positive impact, there’s really nothing like meeting the people whose lives have been changed, hearing their stories first-hand, and getting an up-close look at how these initiatives make a difference.

This week, a group of ten bloggers and journalists will get to do just that. They will travel to Tanzania to see and hear the ways in which Coca-Cola sustainability and business efforts are improving life for people throughout the country. Tanzania is home to several Coca-Cola initiatives, and so it is an ideal country to watch these programs in action and see how they complement one another.

The schedule will certainly be full for these bloggers and journalists. Planned activities for the group include:

  • A trip to a Coca-Cola EKOCENTER in Tangwi. EKOCENTER, a modular community market that provides safe water, solar power and Internet access, meshes perfectly with 5by20, as it is operated by a local woman entrepreneur. The first EKOCENTER opened in Johannesburg, South Africa in 2013, and Coca-Cola hopes to place more than 150 EKOCENTERs by the end of 2015.
  • A visit with two women who have directly benefitted from the 5by20 initiative, to learn how the program has allowed them to build their entrepreneurial skills. Since its launch in 2010, 5by20 has empowered more than 550,000 women, with a goal of reaching 5 million women by the year 2020. One of the women, Lilian Kessey, runs a small manual distribution center, and 5by20 has allowed her to gain management skills and double the size of her business.
  • A discussion of Project Last Mile at the Medical Stores Department (MSD), followed by a tour of the MSD warehouse. Project Last Mile’s mission is to harness Coca-Cola’s supply chain, distribution, logistics and marketing capabilities to bring needed medicines to remote African communities. Earlier this year, Cosmas Mwaifwani, MSD director general, noted that since their partnership with Coca-Cola began in 2010, availability of medicines in their medical clinics have gone up by as much as 30 percent.
    A plant tour of Coca-Cola Kwanza Bottlers Ltd. in Dar es Salaam, along with a briefing from the General Manager, Basil Gadzio.
The bloggers and journalists who will be welcomed in Tanzania come from all over the world, and each brings a unique background and perspective to the group:

  • Amanda Cottingham runs The Ana Mum Diary, a lifestyle and travel blog. A wife and mother of two, Cottingham hails from England.
  • Also a wife and a mother of two children, Lebogang Xolo writes For His Love. A post-partum depression survivor from South Africa, she uses her blog to raise awareness for the condition.
  • Robyn Richer, also from South Africa, writes Memoirs 4 My Munchkins, where she gives her thoughts on being a mother, wife, daughter, sister and woman.
  • Writing from Pretoria, South Africa, Laura Allmayer blogs at Harassed Mom, offering stories and insights about raising her young family.
  • Stefanie Fauquet runs Mommy Musings, a lifestyle, food and travel blog. Fauquet lives in Sarasota, Fla., with her husband and ten-year-old daughter.
  • Self-proclaimed tech geek, foodie and social media junkie Stacie Connerty writes Divine Lifestyle, a blog about travel and raising her family, from Atlanta, Ga..
  • UK freelance writer Sally Whittle runs the blog Who’s the Mummy?, where she write about raising her eight-year-old daughter. Whittle is the founder of HIBS100, Foodies100 and Tots100, online communities of more than 15,000 bloggers from the United Kingdom.
  • Jorge Barreno Cortés is a journalist originally from Zaragoza, Spain, and he is particularly interested in traveling, writing and photography.
  • Yoonkyung Lee of Korea has a blog called Going to be a Mom Someday.
  • Mike Mushi is a Global Shaper in the Dar es Salaam hub and founder of Jamii Forums, one of the most popular online communities in Tanzania. Jamii Forums’ boards of user generated content cover a wide range of political and social topics.  
Check the Coca-Cola Twitter handle, @CocaColaCo, for more information and updates about the Tanzania trip. The blogger group will be using #EKOCENTER, #5by20, and #ProjectLastMile to talk about their experiences.