The PepsiCo Foundation, PepsiCo’s philanthropic arm, today announced the renewal of the partnership with World Vision Romania to tackle inequality in education and food insecurity in the rural area surrounding Bucharest. Through a $160,000 grant, the partnership will support educational, social, and vocational training needs, workforce preparedness and will provide hot meals for 90 students in the Ilfov and Ialomița counties through expanding World Vision’s “I Want in the 9th Grade” program. The program is an extension of PepsiCo’s commitment to have a positive impact on local communities in which the company operates.
“We are pleased to continue our partnership with World Vision Romania and play an active role in increasing the number of children who are given the opportunity to continue their studies and reach their full potential. Access to quality education, skills development and food security should be available for all children. By making education accessible to as many children and adolescents as possible, today’s youth will lead us toward a more equitable, sustainable, and prosperous future.”, said Andrea Pont, PepsiCo Foundation Europe Lead.
Existing socioeconomic barriers have long created educational gaps amongst children in Romania, leaving many students without the appropriate tools and support needed to complete their education. One child out of ten from rural areas does not currently attend any educational institution, whereas 56% of students who drop out of school after 8th grade do so because their families cannot cover the high school expenses. To address this issue, the PepsiCo Foundation will continue to work closely alongside World Vision Romania to provide educational support and resources to 90 students identified in the rural area surrounding Bucharest. The partnership goal is to help children continue their studies through access to resources and scholarships, prepare them for future employment through vocational mentoring, and provide hot meals to support their well-being. Additionally, their parents will benefit from an education course with the aim of encouraging their children to complete compulsory education and beyond.
“All our data shows that among students from the most disadvantaged communities, one of the main investment needs is support for teenagers moving from middle school to high school, i.e. the next four years of study. Teenagers from the countryside go to high schools in the city with unequal chances of development. And these inequalities, if they are not corrected in school, limit young people’s access to the university environment or to a decently paid job. We thank the partners from the PepsiCo Foundation for giving a chance to our young people who want a better future.”, said Mihaela Loredana Nabar, World Vision Romania Executive Director.
Since 2008, World Vision has run the “I Want in the 9th grade” program, which currently offers scholarships for over 800 students from villages across Romania to go to high school and invests in educational and personal development, giving them a roadmap to a brighter future. Through collective efforts, the program aims to create a lasting impact for communities and empower them to grow and thrive.