21 HBCU students take trip of a lifetime to South Africa

The students are winners of the Coca-Cola “Open Happiness Tour,” a video contest that sought creative and inspirational answers to the question: How does the Coca-Cola RAIN program inspire you? As part of a multifaceted sponsorship program inspired by the first FIFA World Cup(TM) being held in Africa, Coca-Cola is inviting consumers to join its football-themed, global Coca-Cola RAIN “Water for Schools” initiative to help provide safe drinking water for schoolchildren in Africa and around the world.

“The Open Happiness Tour allows Coca-Cola the opportunity to engage and inspire young African Americans while connecting them with their roots,” said Yolanda White, assistant vice president, African American Marketing, Coca-Cola North America. “We hope experiencing the diverse culture and meeting people who will be in South Africa for World Cup will inspire these students to view the world differently and make a commitment to creating a better place for everyone to live.”

The 21 winners will head to South Africa on June 25, where they will spend five days soaking up the South African culture and learning more about Africa’s water crisis. During their visit, the students will meet with executives from Coca-Cola South Africa, who will share what the Company is doing in support of the RAIN project as well as learn about other initiatives throughout Africa, including HIV/AIDS and malaria prevention, access to education, job creation and humanitarian assistance. In addition, the students will see first-hand the extreme need for potable water when they visit a local orphanage whose water system is in dire need of repairs. The Company will make a donation to assist with the repairs of the water system and, once the project is completed, the orphanage will have clean running water for cooking, bathing and other necessities.

The students also will have the opportunity to explore more facets of South African culture when they take a trip to the Nelson Mandela National Museum, go on a Safari and attend a FIFA World Cup match. The students will get another perk during their time in South Africa — meeting with actor Idris Elba, whose father is from Sierra Leone and mother is from Ghana. Elba will spend time with the students throughout the trip, discussing water stewardship and its importance to Africa and his passion for the World Cup, as well as providing his unique perspective on the local culture.

“I look forward to sharing my love for Africa with the students,” said Elba. “Through experiencing Africa’s rich history and the wonderful diversity of its culture, the students will be amazed and enriched. I hope they grow to love Africa as much as I do.”

“This tour, just like drinking a Coca-Cola, is a refreshing and simple moment of pleasure that we’re able to give to these students. To be able to have this once-in-a-lifetime experience during FIFA World Cup is something they will never forget,” said White.

For more information about the Coca-Cola water stewardship programs, including the RAIN program, please visit www.coca-colacompany.com/citizenship .

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