Thirty prospective university students with a chance to enter three state universities but are facing financial difficulties are to receive financial support and material assistance from East Africa Bottling S.C. (Coca Cola Ethiopia). The students will be admitted at Addis Ababa, Bahir Dar and Dire Dawa universities, which are all located in cities where the company has factories.
Speaking at the launch of the program Anteneh Tegegn, country human resources manager for Coca Cola, said the program was part of the company’s commitment to support the community in which it operates. “We have plans to include 15 more students by next year,” Anteneh told Addis Standard. “By 2016 we will have supported 45 students with a total budget of 1.2 million ETB.”
The 30 students who were selected from 112 applicants based not only on their academic performance but also using rigorous exams and interviews will sign a contract with the Coca Cola Ethiopia committing to achieve high grades (3.00 CGPA and above) as well as display socially responsible behaviors. The company in return will offer 500 ETB monthly allowances. It also covers transportations fare costs and provide with stationeries necessary for their education. Meanwhile in their winter break the students will have an internship program in the factories owned by the company. “We set up a high grade they must achieve in order to continue being part of the program because we want them to succeed not just graduate,” said Anteneh.
Eleven of the students to be enrolled in the program are children of the company’s low earning employees. Furthermore the company plans to receive some of the students in the bursary program based on their performance not only in the academics but also in the internship program. While the selection process focuses on the Natural Sciences, seven students are from the Business majors.
Besides the current Bursary program, East Africa Bottling S.C. is known to have engaged in different corporate social responsibilities in Ethiopia like the 5 by 20 Global Women Empowerment Initiative, Coca-Cola Great Run and the RAIN Water Access Project.