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Entrepreneur Works With Coke’s Distribution to Deliver Medicine to Remote African Villages

You would be hard-pressed to travel anywhere in the world and not be able to buy a Coca-Cola. Sadly, the same cannot be said for access to clean water and vital medicine. One man is doing what he can to change that, using the distribution power of large corporations.

In the 1980s, entrepreneur Simon Barry was an aid worker in remote villages in Zambia, and he became aware of how easy it was to grab a Coke nearly every place he went, but he also noticed how many basic necessities were missing. Barry got the idea to somehow use Coca-Cola's distributing success to deliver lifesaving supplies to the countries most in need. Unfortunately, the idea did not become a reality until about five years ago, with the help of Facebook and the Internet.

Once Barry's idea caught the attention of the Coca-Cola Company, the joint efforts resulted in a test program, called ColaLife. The program gets medical aid to Zambia using the extra space in Coke crates. The wedge-shaped AidPods fit in between the necks of bottles of Coca-Cola. Each AidPod, called Kit Yamoyo, or "Kit of Life," contains an anti-diarrhea kit that includes the following: a bar of soap, rehydration salts, zinc supplements, and a measuring cup.

Barry said, "Child mortality was very high, and the second biggest killer was diarrhea, which is simple to prevent." ColaLife is just one of the innovative ways in which major distributors can help save lives globally. Visit ColaLife.org to see how you can help.

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