ColaLife is a small UK charity that takes logistics to a whole new and innovative level. They are creating global solutions not by reinventing the wheel, but by simply making it more effective. It is a non-profit organization independent from Coca Cola that uses the drink company’s international distribution networks to get humanitarian health kits to remote communities in Zambia.
They have created the Aid Pod, a well packed and light weight kit full of health related materials that is shaped to fit between the necks of packaged Coca Cola bottles. ColaLife has created a packaging system that uses this awkward extra space to transport health supplies through Coca Cola’s distribution lines.
ColaLife has recognized three simple facts:
- Coca Cola products are available anywhere in the global south.
- Although diarrhea is easily and affordably preventable, one in eight children die before the age of five due to diarrhea related issues.
- Remote communities are not able to access oral rehydration salts and zinc needed to treat diarrhea.
Kit Yamoyo: Diarrhea Kits
ColaLife currently focuses on distributing Kit Yamoyo, their highly acclaimed anti-diarrhea kit. Zambia experiences approximately 11,000 unnecessary child deaths a year due to diarrhea and dehydration. ColaLife is seeking to change that.
Kit Yamoyos are designed to be low cost air pod kits that contain oral rehydration salts, zinc and soap. They include a graphic leaflet and enough supplies for three months. This kit is designed to be cheap and effective. While these items are available at health centers, clinics are often not convenient for remote communities to access. Furthermore, health ministries in the global south have difficulty staffing and re-stocking health centers due to a lack of trained staff and poor logistical systems, which typically result in parents traveling long distances to health centers and leaving empty handed.
Moving Beyond Logistical Systems
Coca Cola has the resources and the logistical networks to supply their products to even the most isolated rural communities. ColaLife simply use these logistical chains to provide a solution that works with local capacities. They work with micro-retailers on business management in order to strengthen the chains of distribution.
ColaLife is seeking to make Air Pods a longer term solution to reduce deaths due to diarrhea and dehydration by training micro-retailers in remote areas on the use of the pods and forging strong partnerships locally and globally. They have partnered with the Zambian Government, Coca Cola, UNICEF, and WHO to ensure the sustainability of this project. Most importantly, this system promotes local entrepreneurship, improves livelihoods, and ensures that all profits from the sales of the kits go back into the community to strengthen the local market.