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EKOCENTER is the global initiative of Coca-Cola to bring clean water, solar power, and community centres to cities and villages throughout the world. In partnership with the government and NGOs, the project is meant to empower communities while also enabling business growth.
Based on the 3-in-1 model with a kiosk, a community house and a sport area, the third EKOCENTER is adjacent to a housing complex for single mothers, and includes a new community centre complete with a library, classroom and computer facilities, which will be dubbed as a training site for the local residents.
In addition, the kiosk’s whole roof is made from solar panels supplied by German company Solarkiosk to provide enough green energy for maintaining daily activities at the centre. EKOCENTER's water treatment system can also purify about 6,000 litres of water daily to serve for the need of 3,000 local people.
Especially, one of the centre’s main purposes is to empower local women’s capability.
The Women’s Union cooperated with Coca-Cola to provide sales training courses for core members. A representative was chosen to operate the centre and receive initial capital to start business at the kiosk, increasing income and earning budget for maintaining the centre’s activities.
Apart from providing clean drinking water for households, EKOCENTER is also facilitated with a community house and a sport area.
EKOCENTER will also be a culture and sport building for local people, contributing to promote dynamic and healthy lifestyle. Besides, as a standard model, EKOCENTER provides a wireless information portal allowing people to approach wide sources of information for free, acts as a bridge between community and diversified knowledge resource, and becomes a motive force for individual and community.
Especially, on this occasion, Coca-Cola cooperated with Microsoft as software provider and Dell as computer system provider at the community house to build a modern learning space and give local people the opportunity to approach information technology.
The cooperation once again demonstrates for the growing power of EKOCENTER programme by creating deeper and wider connection between enterprises, governments, and community organisations to enhance people’s living quality.
The two companies are initially sponsoring 100 computers, software and IT equipment at the first 10 EKOCENTER sites in Vietnam.
Speaking at the signing ceremony, Microsoft Vietnam general director Vu Minh Tri stressed, “Microsoft YouthSpark is committed to accompanying with EKOCENTER across Vietnam to expand and strengthen positive impacts for the community. With EKOCENTER’s available facility, YouthSpark Programme will provide basic IT training, entrepreneurship courses using IT applications for young people and women in order to improve the lives of local people in a sustainable way.”
“In Vietnam, YouthSpark is cooperating with the government, non-government partners, corporations and businesses to continuously bring millions of young people the opportunity to access digital, educational resources, employment and entrepreneurship through technology skills classes as well as connection to job opportunities and entrepreneurship for young people, giving priority to women and young entrepreneurs across Vietnam,” Tri added.
As planned, in 2016, EKOCENTER, YouthSpark – a project collaborated by Microsoft with VietNet Information Technology and Communication Centre (VietNet-ICT) – will implement IT knowledge and skill training programmes for the local youth, especially the those in difficulties to have the opportunity to access and apply IT in learning, working and entrepreneurship.
In addition, Vietnam Red Cross – one of the main partners of Coca-Cola Vietnam and EKOCENTER programme – will biannually organise the health check-up, advisory activities and free medicine supports at EKOCENTER for around 400-600 people each time.
Other communication programmes to provide useful information of clean water, maternity health care, preventing disasters are also in progress at EKOCENTER.
In Vietnam, the model is expected to be launched at seven locations throughout Vietnam in 2016, including Hanoi, Danang, Ha Long, and the Mekong Delta.