The Nelson Mandela Foundation (NMF) and PepsiCo have embarked on a multi-year partnership, focusing on alleviating poverty and advancing the rights of women and girls in South Africa.
L-R: Graca Machel, Indra Nooyi, chairwoman and CEO of PepsiCo, and Sello Hatang, chief executive of the Nelson Mandela Foundation
The partnership was announced at the Nelson Mandela Foundation in Johannesburg during an evening celebrating women in leadership hosted by Nelson Mandela Foundation chief executive Sello Hatang. Special guests in attendance were Graça Machel and PepsiCo chairman and CEO Indra Nooyi.
“Women remain at the centre of both poverty and inequality and in terms of racism. The intersectional oppressions felt by women from the boardroom to the farm to the homestead remain a concern. Thus the NMF in its capacity has made gender a cross cutting issue across all our programmes. We cannot achieve our goals alone and it is by working closely with partners like PepsiCo that we are enabled to move forward and build a better society for all. Tackling gender inequality is a priority for us this year and I wholeheartedly welcome PepsiCo’s commitment to working with us.”
Developing strong female leaders
PepsiCo chairman and CEO Indra Nooyi said: “All of us at PepsiCo have profound respect and admiration for Madiba, for Graça Machel, and for the work of the Nelson Mandela Foundation, and we are thrilled to help advance the foundation’s mission as its newest legacy partner. We thank Sello Hatang and everyone at the Nelson Mandela Foundation for the opportunity to share in the year-long celebration, and look forward to working together to honour Madiba’s memory by lifting up communities in Johannesburg and across South Africa, with a focus on raising confident daughters, encouraging and inspiring women, and developing the next generation of strong female leaders.”
One of the first projects supported by the new partnership will be the Imbumba Foundation’s Caring4Girls initiative, which provides sanitary towels and feminine hygiene education to help ensure that young girls don’t miss a single day of school during their monthly period. The programme focuses on creating awareness about puberty and adolescence and helps debunk myths about menstruation.
Caring4Girls will also be supported by PepsiCo’s Basadi Network, a female-led employee resource group in South Africa focused on peer networking, mentorship, and advancing women within the company.
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