Lebanese American University students drive change within their Community

The Coca-Cola Foundation in partnership with INJAZ Al-Arab, represented by INJAZ Lebanon, revealed today the winners of the first edition of “Ripples of Happiness”. The Lebanese American University from Lebanon was awarded a grant for its project “WeCycle” aiming at providing underprivileged craftswomen in the North of Lebanon with the needed entrepreneurial skills to start their own businesses while creating a place for them to showcase and sell their products.

The “Ripples of Happiness” program was launched in March 2012 and took place simultaneously in universities across Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Jordan and Palestine. It aimed at training university students on identifying opportunities in their countries while inspiring them to implement projects that will have a positive impact within their communities. In Lebanon, the universities participating in “Ripples of Happiness” were the American University of Beirut and the Lebanese American University.

With training and mentoring from a team of volunteers from INJAZ Al-Arab and Coca-Cola networks, the students defined challenges within their communities, selected their projects and developed action plans that they implemented on a small scale. The projects adopted by the teams in Lebanon supported Women Empowerment aiming at influencing the country’s economy through helping underprivileged Lebanese women play an efficient role in their communities.

Mrs. Dima Khoury, Executive Director, INJAZ Lebanon congratulated the winners and commented on the significant role of youth in building societies: “Such initiatives are intended to encourage youth to engage socially and take the lead in inducing social change in their communities through “Entrepreneurship”. Today our youth have shown success in responding to social needs facing their society and actually contributed to the empowerment of underprivileged members of their communities.”

At the end of the program, students compiled their case studies and submitted them to a judging panel combining representatives from the Coca-Cola Foundation, INJAZ Al-Arab, and various community leaders. The judging panel then joined forces to choose the top 5 community projects based on 3 major criteria: The Ripples of Happiness microsite voting, Facebook Voting Application and the Case Studies. The winning projects received grants to support implementation on a larger scale which will take place over the 2 months following the announcement of the results.

“Drawing on Coca-Cola’s commitment to give back the communities in which it operates, the Ripples of Happiness program was tailored to empower and train the youth so that they can create a positive impact on the lives of those around them”, said Antoine Tayyar, Public Affairs and Communication Director, Coca-Cola Middle East. “The first edition of “Ripples of Happiness” was a huge success; we were thrilled by the engagement and the commitment of the youth in the Middle-East who showed readiness to lead change in their communities”, he added.

The American University of Beirut team was also recognized for the outstanding job they did on their project “Mommy Made” which involved recruiting, training and employing marginalized mothers from the remote suburbs of Beirut in an attempt to help them earn an income and play an integral role in their society.

Winners across the region were announced as follows:
• Birzeit University in Palestine was awarded for their project “Yabrood”
• The Lebanese American University in Beirut was awarded for their project “WeCycle”
• The University of Bahrain was awarded for their project “Ambulance”
• The University of Jordan was awarded for their project “Droplet of Happiness”
• The College of Business Administration for Women in Saudi Arabia was awarded for their project “S.O.S”

The remaining teams also received distinction awards for the outstanding job they did throughout their projects:
• The American University of Beirut project “Mommy Made” was awarded best “Women Empowerment Driver”
• The Royal University of Women in Bahrain project “Bab Al Khair” was awarded best “Use of Technology in CSR”
• The College of Business Administration for Men in Saudi Arabia project “Green Planet” was awarded best “Extraordinary Voluntarism”
• Al Amman Al Ahlyia University project “My Environment, My Address” was awarded best “Environment Friendly Initiative”
• The Bethlehem University project “Hospital Libraries” was awarded best “Humanitarian Touch”

It is worth mentioning that “Ripples of Happiness” is a multi-year program and the next edition will reach out to more universities in the participating countries.

About the “Ripples of Happiness Program”
The Ripples of Happiness program is a training program jointly developed by the Coca-Cola Foundation and Injaz Al-Arab. This program aims to inspire university students to identify and implement projects that will have a positive impact on their communities while providing students with the right guidance and resources provided through the Coca-Cola System. The program involves a selection of 20 students in every university that will be part of the Ripples of Happiness class, taking place over the course of 6 consecutive weeks, with one day each week holding a 1-2 hour session of ROH. During the 1st and 2nd weeks of the program students will identify an opportunity in their community that is dear to their hearts and to the future generations. They will also decide on a solution to tackle this opportunity, and then proceed to implement their solutions during the 4th and 5th weeks of the program. The 6th week they will be asked to compile all their documentation to create a one minute Submission Document that will then be judged by a panel. The winners will be supported in taking their projects further and scaling them.

About The Coca-Cola Company
The Coca-Cola Company (NYSE: KO) is the world's largest beverage company, refreshing consumers with more than 500 sparkling and still brands. Led by Coca-Cola, the world's most valuable brand, our Company's portfolio features 15 billion dollar brands including Diet Coke, Fanta, Sprite, Coca-Cola Zero, vitaminwater, Powerade, Minute Maid, Simply, Georgia and Del Valle. Globally, we are the No. 1 provider of sparkling beverages, ready-to-drink coffees, and juices and juice drinks. Through the world's largest beverage distribution system, consumers in more than 200 countries enjoy our beverages at a rate of 1.8 billion servings a day. With an enduring commitment to building sustainable communities, our Company is focused on initiatives that reduce our environmental footprint, support active, healthy living, create a safe, inclusive work environment for our associates, and enhance the economic development of the communities where we operate. Together with our bottling partners, we rank among the world's top 10 private employers with more than 700,000 system employees. For more information, please www.thecoca-colacompany.com or follow us on Twitter at twitter.com/CocaColaCo.

About The Coca Cola Foundation
Founded in 1984, the Foundation was established in the U.S. and grants are awarded throughout the year. The Foundation is committed to investing its time, expertise and resources to help develop and maintain vibrant, sustainable and local communities. At the Coca-Cola Foundation, these goals are met by partnering with organizations around the globe to support initiatives and programs that respond in a meaningful way to community needs and priorities.

About INJAZ Al Arab
INJAZ Al-Arab is a non-profit organization committed to inspiring, preparing and empowering Arab Youth to succeed in the global economy. Together with the private and public sector, our programs provide hands on learning, from our corporate volunteers, in financial literacy, economics and business. Business leaders lend a hand in developing business and entrepreneurial skills to students from Kindergarten to Grade 12 that will prepare them for work in the private sector. INJAZ Al-Arab forms a part of the global network of Junior Achievement Worldwide (JA). The programs are designed to narrow social inequities, harness female empowerment, encourage social engagement, foster creativity and experience and develop generations of highly skilled workers.

About INJAZ Lebanon
INJAZ Lebanon is a non-profit, non-governmental, educational organization dedicated to educating students about work readiness, entrepreneurship and financial learning through experiential hands-on programs, to help inspire a culture of entrepreneurialism and business innovation among youth in Lebanon increasing their economic and financial literacy. With the help of trained volunteers and strategic partnerships with Lebanon’s business and educational sectors, INJAZ Lebanon programs provide young people with methods to generate and manage their finances, with skills to create and apply for jobs benefiting the wellbeing of their communities and with techniques to apply entrepreneurial thinking to the workplace. INJAZ Lebanon is an affiliate of INJAZ al-ARAB and Junior Achievement Worldwide, the world’s largest educational organization dedicated to Workforce Readiness, Entrepreneurship and Financial Literacy, and reaches 9.3 million students a year in 123 countries.

Winners of the “Ripples of Happiness” Competition Revealed

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