One of the biggest pillars of Ramadan is about giving back to the less fortunate. In a time where we spend most of the Holy Month time watching mosalsalat, we’ve become at risk of forgetting that fact. So this year, PepsiCo have launched an initiative to tackle one of the biggest issues rural Egypt faces: the lack of basic electricity.
PepsiCo’s entire Ramadan campaign has been about threads of light bringing us together. It’s all about family and friends, nostalgia, reliving old memories – It’s about as Ramadan-y as you could possibly get. The threads of light and decorations that come out across the country ever single year are a staple of Egypt. Imagining Ramadan without coloured lights isn’t something I can do - they’ve probably been around longer than I have.
Lack of electricity seems like such a foreign concept, as we enjoy the comforts of air conditioning and read or watch on one of our electrical appliances, but the lack of electricity is, in fact, a very real issue plaguing Egypt’s rural communities to this day. With PepsiCo taking their cues from a global initiative that started in the Philippines Egypt became the first country in the Middle East to implement it. Along with the cooperation and unparalleled support from the Misr Al Kheir Foundation, SunUtions (props on the punny name) and a team of professional consultants, PepsiCo bring us Litre of Light.
Essentially, they’re using recycled plastic Pepsi bottles to make electricity. I’m a little fuzzy on the science part of it so bear with me; they use a solution of water and chlorine in the bottle, then connect it to a solar panel, yes the ones that absorb the sun’s light, for the night-time. In terms of corporate social responsibility, it’s a double whammy of environmental sustainability and providing electricity need to an underprivileged area – I tip my hat to both of those causes.
This isn’t the first CSR that PepsiCo has undertaken in Egypt; the global brand has a well-documented history of giving back to the community – something that has driven PepsiCo’s core pillar, “Performance with Purpose”. It’s an ethos that sees PepsiCo aim to implement in every community that it has some kind of presence in. The initiative aims to achieve human, talent and environmental sustainability through PepsiCo’s projects.
The company has also created an interactive campaign to allow their customers to take part in the “Liter of Light” initiative, by donating to the Misr Al Kheir Foundation to allow them to reach more villages beyond just Assiut, where the project is being piloted. You can donate 5LE to them by texting the word “Nour” or “نور” to 9597. Yeah, it’s as easy as sending a text.
By Habiba Salama