Friday, March 16, 2007

The real thing


I've liked it most of my life. Even though I'm supposed to avoid caffeine, I still drink a Diet Coke each day, to keep me breathing.

I now like the company even more -- since they're proving themselves to be a corporation with a mission beyond simple sales. They're building the world a house and furnishing it with love -- or, at least with water. According to the WSJ (HT: Scott Johnson @ Power Line), Coke is providing clean drinking water to people who truly need it:

In Kenya, where more than half of the rural population has no access to clean water, the Atlanta beverage giant brought water-purification systems, storage urns, and hygiene lessons to 45 schools in a poor western province. Children learn how to use a chlorine-based solution to kill diseases that come from contaminated, muddy pools or remote wells -- and are taught to teach their parents.

In Mali, Coke is helping extend municipal water taps beyond the country's capital of Bamako. In India, where the company has been accused of draining water from poor communities for its own use, the company is building rainwater-harvesting structures to help alleviate chronic water shortages. Coke's bottlers are also implementing water-efficiency measures.

Coke hasn't limited its largess to digging wells and buying clay pots. The company also spent $2 million last year to help create the Global Water Challenge, a coalition of corporations and organizations that is based at the United Nations Foundation. Coke also helped to entice the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to award a $9.5 million grant to CARE and other organizations to expand on the Kenya schools project, implementing it in as many as 1,500 more schools over the next five years.

I knew there was another reason for drinking Coke. Besides offering a particular gesture to Indra Nooyi, that is.

And now, back to the Hillside Singers...

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