The Coca-Cola Foundation in partnership with INJAZ Al-Arab Continue to Instill Social Entrepreneurship among over 400 youth across the Region as the sixth edition of Ripples of Happiness comes to an end
15th July, 2015– The Coca-Cola Foundation, in partnership with INJAZ Al-Arab, have announced the winners of the sixth edition of the ‘Ripples of Happiness’ program. Over 8,750 hours of student community service was served from a number of universities from Palestine, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Jordan and the United Arab Emirates.
Palestine Technical University secured the first place position, making them eligible for a $10,000 grant, with their ‘We communicate with Signs’ project. Students from Arab American University in Palestine came in close second with their ‘First Aid-First Step’ project, which secured them a $7,000 grant to implement their idea. UTOPIA from Lebanon secured third place and $5,000 for their ‘Pool me Up’ project.
The panel of judges who chose the winning projects were Dana Salloum, Manager of Government, Industry and Community Engagement at Boeing Middle East; Rania Rostom, Chief Innovation & Communications Officer, MENA at General Electric, and Omar Bennis Director of Communications and Public Affairs at Coca-Cola Middle East. The growing number of submissions and sophistication of the projects speaks volumes about the motivation of students in the Middle East and their passion to make a difference in their communities.
Chairman of INJAZ Al-Arab’s Regional Board, H.E Sheikh Khaled Bin Zayed Al Nehayan remarks: “Partnering with the Coca-Cola Foundation to implement the Ripples of Happiness Program allows us to instruct students in financial literacy, work readiness and entrepreneurship skills. After all, we believe in the boundless potential of young people and through the Ripples of Happiness Program, we demonstrate our commitment to connecting knowledge and experience with socially- conscious programs and enthusiasm.”
Omar Bennis, Director of Communications and Public Affairs at Coca-Cola Middle East says, “The driving force behind the success of ‘Ripples of Happiness’ is the understanding that the most important thing about doing good deeds is the ‘doing’. They could be acts, big or small, they may not change the world, but they change someone’s world. The Coca-Cola Foundation recognizes there is a strong need to foster and nurture student’s skill for the future, and we are seeing wonderful submissions year on year that prove to us that we’re on the right track.”
The ‘Ripples of Happiness’ program focuses on empowering youth innovation and entrepreneurship to equip them with the skills they need to become socially responsible members of their respective societies. The competitive program also instills a strong sense of entrepreneurship in the participants, and plants seeds of workplace readiness that continue to blossom even after the program has come to an end. The Coca-Cola Foundation joins forces with INJAZ-Al-Arab to train university students in the art of identifying opportunities in their local communities and how to implement projects that will leave a positive impact as a strategy to encourage other members of society to follow their lead, thus creating a ‘ripples effect’ that will continue to spread from one generation to another.
Since its inception in 2012 the Ripples of Happiness has grown in reach across the Middle East Region, taking place simultaneously in Palestine, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Jordan and most recently the United Arab Emirates, reaching 48 Universities with more than 2360 participating students in total. An impressive 350 students participated in the last ROH program. Finally, the program has resulted in over 50,375 hours of community service benefiting thousands of people across the Middle East.
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For more information, visit: www.ripplesofhappiness.com
About the “Ripples of Happiness” Program
The Ripples of Happiness program is a training program jointly developed by the Coca-Cola Foundation and Injaz Al-Arab. This program aims to inspire university students to identify and implement projects that will have a positive impact on their communities while providing students with the right guidance and resources provided through the Coca-Cola System. The program involves a selection of a group of students in every university that will be part of the Ripples of Happiness class, taking place over the course of 6 consecutive weeks, with one day each week holding a 1-2 hour session of ROH. During the 1st and 2nd weeks of the program students will identify an opportunity in their community that is dear to their hearts and to the future generations. They will also decide on a solution to tackle this opportunity, and then proceed to implement their solutions during the 4th and 5th weeks of the program. The 6th week they will be asked to compile all their documentation to create a one minute Submission Document that will then be judged by a panel. The winners will be supported in taking their projects further and scaling them.
About The Coca-Cola Foundation
The Coca-Cola Foundation, the philanthropic arm of the Coca-Cola Company, supports sustainable activities worldwide in all countries where The Coca-Cola Company operates since 1984. The Ripples of Happiness Program is in line with both The Coca-Cola Foundation and INJAZ Al-Arab’s longstanding strategy to empower youth and foster social responsibility. The program is taking place simultaneously in Universities across Palestine, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, and Jordan.
About The Coca-Cola Company
The Coca-Cola Company (NYSE: KO) is the world's largest beverage company, refreshing consumers with more than 500 sparkling and still brands. Led by Coca-Cola, one of the world's most valuable and recognizable brands, our Company's portfolio features 16 billion-dollar brands including Diet Coke, Fanta, Sprite, Coca-Cola Zero, vitaminwater, Powerade, Minute Maid, Simply, Georgia and Del Valle. Globally, we are the No. 1 provider of sparkling beverages, ready-to-drink coffees, and juices and juice drinks. Through the world's largest beverage distribution system, consumers in more than 200 countries enjoy our beverages at a rate of 1.9 billion servings a day. With an enduring commitment to building sustainable communities, our Company is focused on initiatives that reduce our environmental footprint, support active, healthy living, create a safe, inclusive work environment for our associates, and enhance the economic development of the communities where we operate. Together with our bottling partners, we rank among the world's top 10 private employers with more than 700,000 system associates. For more information, visit Coca-Cola Journey at www.coca-colacompany.com, follow us on Twitter at twitter.com/CocaColaCo, visit our blog, Coca-Cola Unbottled, at www.coca-colablog.com, or find us on LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/company/the-coca-cola-company.
INJAZ Al-Arab & Junior Achievement Worldwide
Operating in 14 countries across the Middle East and North Africa, INJAZ Al-Arab is the only non-profit organization in the region that harnesses the mentorship of business leaders to help inspire a culture of entrepreneurship and business innovation among Arab youth.
Partnering with leading companies in the private sector, INJAZ Al-Arab equips Arab youth to drive the economies of the Arab World forward through training designed to inspire them to develop ambition, entrepreneurship and professional skills.
Named one of the top 100 NGOs in the world by Global Journal for two consecutive years (2012, 2013), INJAZ Al-Arab has influenced the lives of over 2 million students since its inception in 2004. INJAZ Al-Arab is a member of Junior Achievement; the world’s largest and fastest-growing youth business organisation dedicated to educating students about workforce readiness, entrepreneurship and financial literacy through experiential, hands-on programs.