-Over 100 schools in India revitalized with water and sanitation interventions in first phase
-The Coca Cola Foundation commits $500,000 to second phase
-Second phase kicks off with World Vision community school dedication in Chennai in late January
SEATTLE, Feb. 20, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- To further advance its commitment to revitalize and rebuild healthy, active and successful schools in rural and semi-urban India, Coca Cola India and World Vision kicked off the second phase of the Support My School initiative by dedicating the first completed school of its flagship campaign in January.Teams from Coca Cola, World Vision and community leaders from Chennai, India gathered to dedicate the first World Vision community school, where students now have access to basic amenities such as water, sanitation, and playing fields. With such necessary amenities in place, schools are able to provide a cleaner and healthier environment more conducive to learning. Launched in 2011 by Coca-Cola India and NDTV, the Support My School campaign is supported by Charities Aid Foundation India, UN-HABITAT, Sulabh International, Merck, H20 for Life, McDonalds, and Pearson Foundation as a Learning Partner, among many others. The Support My School campaign was created with a vision to revitalize rural and semi-urban schools in India by providing basic water and sanitation amenities. This is a nationwide initiative to create awareness on water and sanitation, environment, healthy active living and providing a holistic environment in schools. The interventions made at these schools have helped reduce dropouts and absenteeism and also increase enrollments. The need for a visionary program such as this is great. In India, fewer than half of all schools have a working toilet. Research shows that inadequate infrastructure, such as sanitation, accelerates the dropout rates, especially among girls in rural areas . Already in one campaign school, enrollment has jumped by nearly 40%. Clean water is a cornerstone of healthy communities and a healthy environment, and part of the World Vision's holistic community interventions. World Vision has been working with children, families and communities in India for over 50 years. The partnership with World Vision will allow Support My School to reach an additional 100 more schools in India in phase 2. Speaking about the project, Irial Finan, president, Bottling Investment Group, The Coca Cola Co., said. "In today's business environment businesses have to look beyond their corporate structures and work towards sustainability of the communities in which they operate. We are proud of the success Support My School has achieved in phase one, with the completion of more than 100 schools across India. We have witnessed transformation in the benefited schools as dropout rates have decreased and more students are attending school. These stories are not just limited to the students and staff of the schools, but have extended to entire communities. We believe that this collaboration with World Vision for phase 2 has been one of the main achievements of the campaign, and their holistic approach to community development will make this an even bigger success in phase two." "This partnership is a great example of how World Vision believes a nation should be transformed," said Dr. Jayakumar Christian, National Director of World Vision India. "Partnerships that invest in infrastructure are foundational to our work, and ensure that every child has access to education. Infrastructure facilitates that access." The Support My School campaign, already benefitting over 43,000 children across India, has expanded into a global initiative with another World Vision project starting in Papua New Guinea. This is yet another example of the "picture of success" moving across the globe. For further information on World Vision's Support My School project in India, please visit www.worldvision.org/supportmyschool About Coca-Cola India: Coca-Cola India has always placed high value on good citizenship. At the heart of business is a mission statement called the Coca-Cola Promise -- "The Coca-Cola India exists to benefit and refresh everyone that it touches." This basic proposition means – that the India's business should refresh the markets, protect, preserve and enhance the environment and strengthen the community. Coca-Cola India provides extensive support for community programs across the country, with a focus on education, health and water conservation. For further information on India's operations and its products, please visit www.coca-colaindia.com . About World Vision: World Vision is a Christian humanitarian organization dedicated to working with children, families, and their communities worldwide reach their full potential by tackling the causes of poverty and injustice. We serve the world's poor — regardless of religion, race, ethnicity or gender. For more information, visit WorldVision.org/press or follow them on Twitter at @WorldVisionNews . SOURCE World Vision U.S.