'Global shapers' attending the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland

The Coca-Cola Co. announced on Jan. 22 that it is awarding $50,000 in a challenge grant to a special group of young leaders from Rome and Nairobi, Kenya, to support the study habits of students in Sub-Saharan Africa by providing them with solar lamps to replace dangerous kerosene lanterns.

Coke announced the grant at this year’s World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. It directed the challenge last year at the forum’s “global shapers,” a selected network of youth leaders aged 20-30 from 300 city-based hubs around the world.

The forum challenged the youth to launch programs addressing youth employment, education, safety in communities and environmental concerns.

The hubs in Rome and Nairobi received the grant jointly for their program to bring safe, clean energy lamps to school-age children living in rural areas of Sub-Saharan Africa to replace the kerosene lanterns.

“Our support of the ‘global shapers’ movement reflects our view that true leading begins with taking action,” said Muhtar Kent, Coke’s chairman and CEO, in a news release.

Coke also awarded five $10,000 grants to hubs in Cape Town, South Africa; Kiev, Ukraine; Monterrey, Mexico; Port au Prince, Haiti and Yerevan, Armenia.

The grants were for:

— an online and mobile platform for matching organizations and volunteers to improve opportunities for finding jobs,

— a non-profit youth program providing mentoring opportunities with local leaders,

— a mobile application aimed at increasing local residents’ participation in their neighborhoods’ economic and social development,

— a Botanical Eco-Technology Park to enhance the production of fruit, investing the profits from fruit exports to support the community with financing for 200 school cafeterias,

— and a digital after-school enrichment program for children from socially vulnerable families and children with disabilities.

There are more than 3,000 “global shapers” participating in the forum initiative.

Coke teamed up with the Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship, and a variety of government and civic officials in the judging of the programs to be awarded grants.

For more information, call Amanda Rosseter at (404) 676-2683.