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Kashf Foundation, with support from The Coca-Cola Foundation, launched 6 state-of-the-art training facilities in Lahore and Faisalabad under a special program titled ‘recycling for women empowerment’ to provide skill based training to hundreds of deserving women belonging to low-income households. This training will equip these women with the skills to make every day use sellable products such as pen holders, envelopes, lamps and bags using recyclable materials such as used plastic PET bottles, newspapers and other plastic materials, which they can later sell at their local market and get economically empowered by earning a decent livelihood for their families.
The program also places Pakistani women at the forefront of fighting the catastrophic challenges of climate change by reducing material wastage. Climate change is costing the world economy around USD 520 billion each year and as a result pushing 26 million people into poverty. According to projections reported by the Asian Development Bank, Pakistan may face major reduction in wheat and rice crop yields, decrease in water availability, and surge in economic and social costs in the future due to climate change effects. Hence, the need of the hour is to utilize all resources to fight the menace of climate change for a sustainable future.
As part of this program, women will also be offered extensive training in portfolio development to showcase their competencies and skills in the market and also undergo market visits to increase their understanding of in-demand designs and trends. The initiative also aims to enhance their technological skills by offering training on how to sell their products to a broader customer base using online marketing tool as well as availing digital financing for their day to day financial transactions.
Highlighting the role and objectives of this program, Roshaneh Zafar, Managing Director at Kashf Foundation said, “The Recycling for Women Empowerment Program is a one of its kind initiative in the country. Not only will the program play an integral part in enhancing the skills of women micro-entrepreneurs to improve employment opportunities but also address the determinable impact of climate change on our country. The program will underscore the importance of empowering women to fight climate change “
Talking about the importance of this initiative, Fahad Ashraf, General Manager and VP at The Coca-Cola Export Corporation for Pakistan and Afghanistan region said, “This initiative will not only help these deserving women to carve a niche for themselves in the local market by offering unique products, but also helps protect the environment by reducing material wastage which would otherwise pollute our lands and oceans. The Coca-Cola Company is leading the industry with a bold and ambitious goal: to help collect and recycle a bottle or can for every one we sell by 2030 – regardless of where it comes from. Coca-Cola is determined to playing its part in helping create a World Without Waste”.
The Coca Cola Foundation and Kashf Foundation have been collaborating since 2010 to economically empower women from low income households. Over the years, this partnership has transformed into a driving force to alter the socioeconomic milieu of women micro entrepreneurs in the country. As a part of TCCF’s 5by20 programme (where the aim is to financially empower 5 million globally by 2020), Kashf has been able to provide loans to over 9,972 women for establishing and expanding their businesses. This partnership has already enhanced the skills of more than 1600 women from low income households through various vocational training initiatives.