CAIRO: Coca-Cola Egypt reinforced its commitment to sustainable community development by organizing a clean-up with more than 250 volunteers at Geziret El-Dahab island, the 4th village Coca-Cola Egypt is developing as part of its Egypt Livelihood Program (ELP) for developing 100 villages by year 2020 in partnership with the Egyptian Food Bank NGO and Sonna El Hayah NGO.
Coca-Cola Egypt relied on tweetback and social media as a platform to recruit volunteers and raise awareness about the work that needs to be done in Geziret El-Dahab over a month prior to the event that took place on Dec. 10.
Volunteers gathered at Geziret El-Dahab on the day to mark the kick-start of the development of the island by cleaning-up and refurbishing some of the facilities there.
Coca-Cola Egypt launched a special application on its Facebook fan page, which has close to 1 million fans, to allow volunteers to register for participation. In less than one week, more than 500 volunteers and 50 employees from Coca-Cola Egypt along with their families had registered. But numbers did not stop at that. Volunteer registrations continued to pour in with the hope for a chance to participate in future Coca-Cola and tweetback joint initiatives.
The tweetback team of 23 of the most followed tweeps on twitter was instrumental in communicating the challenges faced by Geziret El-Dahab residents to their 350,000 followers. Their support was meant to help reinforce a positive cultural leadership movement that Coca-Cola aims to spread.
"Giving back to our communities, engaging volunteers in development and interacting with residents of the villages in need is a priority for Coca-Cola in Egypt. We would like to spread a culture civic engagement and in doing so create leaders who are willing to help others and make tomorrow better", said Ghada Makady, senior manager, public affairs and communications at Coca-Cola.
Dec. 10 brought together journalists, radio and TV presenters, graffiti artists, volunteers, bloggers, activists and one of Egypt’s best music bands; CairoKee, ending the day with a memorable concert for the island’s residents. Volunteers gave back by repainting a nursery and cleaning up a garbage dump that was transformed into a green football pitch by the end of the day. Talented graffiti artists also volunteered their time to graffiti the pillars around the football pitch and were joined by the community’s children, whose willingness to help by distributing brooms, pushing wheel barrows, moving grass and mixing paint, added a sense of engagement and attachment to the island’s residents.
"I am so excited to be here and would like to thank Coca-Cola and tweetback for giving me the opportunity to give back and be part of something so great. It’s incredible what a few hours of hard team work can do," said Amr Mansour, one of the volunteers who was tasked with painting the nursery.
Coca-Cola Egypt’s plans to build a school and medical unit, micro-finance women and provide clean drinking water for Geziret El-Dahab residents features prominently in Coca-Cola’s priority list for the island’s development. Geziret El-Dahab residents are excited about the work that is going to be done. Real work will now commence in Geziret El-Dahab by micro-financing 10 families. Soon after, Coca-Cola Egypt will work with the Egyptian Food Bank and Sonna’ El Hayat NGO to upgrade and provide services as per the community’s needs in the hope of making tomorrow better for its residents.
"We have done it before and we will do it again. Tweetback is here to serve communities in need. We’ll use our influence to raise funds, mobilize volunteers and spread awareness about many forgotten communities. We’re here to help companies like Coca-Cola who want to do good and will continue to do so in the future," said Mahmoud Salem (aka @Sandmonkey), founder of tweetback.
Volunteers cleaning and repainting a nursery.