This is my third and final written post on my adventures in Tanzania with Coca-Cola. You can see my first post on the Last Mile Project and the 5by20 project HERE and HERE. I am also hoping to do a final post with some photographs I took, so watch this space for that. Unfortunately half way through day two, my SD card corrupted most of the files, so there are not as many photographs as I would hope. I still could cry at the thought of losing so many of them, but luckily Sally Whittle, who was also on the trip, has come to my rescue and kindly let me use her images from our time in Tundwi, that I will be writing about today.
On our last full day in Tanzania we visited Tundwi, a very remote and ‘off the grid’ village in Tanzania. What a afternoon we had there! It took several hours of a long and bumpy dirt track and a ferry ride to get there. Once we were there though, it was alive with villages young and old, there to celebrate the opening of the new EkoCenter.
Coca-Cola is partnering with public and private sector organizations to bring basic necessities to millions of people through these EkoCenters.
At first glance, the EkoCenters look like a simple, but perfectly formed, stall to sell things. They are in fact so much more. Firstly they (after a careful selection process) enable women within the communities to become an entrepreneur They are given training, and financial help to establish themselves, as well as ongoing help if needed. In this respect the EkoCenters entrepreneurs are given business skills and training simular to the 5by20 programme. You can read more about that in my previous post. In essence though Coca-Cola’s 5by20 program, is an amazing initiative designed to economically empower 5 million women entrepreneurs across Coca-Cola’s value chain by 2020.
The EkoCenters also can provide other things like safe water, solar power and internet access. All of which are a commodity that the local entrepreneur can use to provide an income. The first EkoCenter was opened in Johannesburg, in 2013, there are now 25 of them, in places like Ethiopia, Kenya and Botswana and Coca-Cola hopes to place more than 150 EKOCENTERs by the end of 2015. The enthusiasm of the Coca-Cola team for this project is infectious!
EKOCENTER is a collaboration with SOLARKIOSKTM (www.solarkiosk.eu)The kiosks are designed by Graft Architects (www.graftlab.com), also from Germany.
With 4 billion+ people are without Internet access and 800 million people lack access to safe water there is a real need for ideas such as this.
It was a day of celebrations with speeches, music, food, drink and dancing…lots of dancing! I love this image again taken by Sally of me taking a selfie with some of the younger members of the Tundwi community.
Heres the actual selfie from Instagram.
Finally just before we left, we gathered for a finally photograph, the Coca-Cola Tanzanian blogging team. It was such a lovely experience meeting bloggers from around the world. All so different, but with this shared interest and passion. Now we had new common ground, one that will stay with us forever.
All images in this post are thanks to Sally Whittle from Who’s the Mummy? blog.
If you want to find out more about the Ekocenters, you can find out more information HERE.
You can read more about my travelling adventures on my collaborative travel blog : We Blog Travel I’ve also written more about my trip to Zanzibar and Tanzania.