PepsiCo and Books For Africa Bring 20,000 Books to South African Children
PURCHASE, N.Y., Nov. 17, 2010 /PRNewswire/ — PepsiCo (NYSE: PEP), in coordination with Books For Africa, the largest shipper of donated books to Africa, announced today that it will distribute 20,000 books and supplies to locations in need in Johannesburg and the surrounding region.
Throughout the week, SIMBA, PepsiCo’s local snack business in South Africa, with support from local community leaders, will deliver the books to three schools and one orphanage in rural and impoverished areas facing challenges such as high unemployment levels. The partnership with Books For Africa was driven by MOSAIC, PepsiCo’s African American employee resource group, and the company’s global technology function, Business + Information Solutions, in an effort to expand community engagement activities outside of the United States.
“PepsiCo’s involvement with Books For Africa responds to the recognized need to improve education and computer literacy in South Africa, particularly in rural areas,” said Arnold Selokane, Community Manager at SIMBA in Isando, Johannesburg, who is leading distribution efforts and will personally deliver the donations to the schools and children. “Through this donation, we hope to generate broader awareness of the needs and issues in Africa. We will continue to work with communities in which we do business and form partnerships to bring about positive change.”
Books and supplies will be donated to the following locations:
- Seema Makapan Middle School in Dipetlwane Rural Village in the North West Province of South Africa, attended by 850 students;
- Dithamaga High School, attended by 650 students and located in Ga Matlala Village in Mpumalanga Province;
- Mlilo Primary School in Nelspruit in the Mpumalanga Province, about 325 Km from Johannesburg; at which SIMBA recently built a computer room and science laboratory;
- Fountain of Love Orphanage in Katlehong Township (Johannesburg), an AIDS orphanage attended by 150 children.
Also inspiring U.S. employee engagement, drives at nine PepsiCo headquarter sites in Illinois, New York, North Carolina and Texas resulted in employee donations of more than 1,500 books, four boxes of school supplies and 35 boxes to go toward the shipment overseas. As a partner, Books For Africa supplemented the donations to send a full container shipment of 20,000 high-quality books to South Africa, which were carefully chosen to be age and subject appropriate.
“The tremendous support for this project from PepsiCo employees and partners, both in the United States and in South Africa, serves as an outstanding example to others of what can be achieved when people decide to help,” said Pat Plonski, Executive Director of Books For Africa. “Books For Africa is honored to work with PepsiCo to help improve education and literacy in South Africa.”
PepsiCo offers the world’s largest portfolio of billion-dollar food and beverage brands, including 19 different product lines that each generates more than $1 billion in annual retail sales. Our main businesses — Frito-Lay, Quaker, Pepsi-Cola, Tropicana and Gatorade — also make hundreds of other nourishing, tasty foods and drinks that bring joy to our consumers in more than 200 countries. With annualized revenues of nearly $60 billion, PepsiCo’s people are united by our unique commitment to sustainable growth, called “Performance with Purpose.” By dedicating ourselves to offering a broad array of choices for healthy, convenient and fun nourishment, reducing our environmental impact, and fostering a diverse and inclusive workplace culture, PepsiCo balances strong financial returns with giving back to our communities worldwide. For more information, visit: www.pepsico.com.
About Books For Africa
Books For Africa is a 501 c 3 non-profit based in St. Paul, Minnesota. Books For Africa is the world’s largest shipper of donated text and library books to the African continent, shipping over 23 million books to 45 African countries since 1988. Last year alone, Books For Africa shipped 1.6 million books to 19 African countries.