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    The third year of partnership between the PepsiCo Foundation and World Vision Romania: 90 students from rural areas will benefit from educational opportunities

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    The PepsiCo Foundation, the philanthropic arm of PepsiCo, announced today the continuation of its partnership with World Vision Romania for the third consecutive year, contributing to reducing social and educational inequalities in the rural area near Bucharest.

    Through a donation of $150,000, the partnership will support educational, social, and vocational training needs and will provide hot meals for 90 students from the counties of Ilfov and Ialomița through the World Vision program “I Want in 9th Grade.” This program contributes to PepsiCo’s commitment to having a positive impact on the local communities where the company operates.

    “We are delighted to continue our partnership with World Vision Romania for the third consecutive year, maintaining our steadfast commitment to supporting the education and development of children in vulnerable communities. Through our collaboration, we strive to contribute to building educational opportunities and reducing social inequalities. In this regard, we provide educational and food support for students in rural areas, aiming to facilitate their ability to leverage their skills and carve out a prosperous future for themselves. Each child holds extraordinary potential, and through our partnership with World Vision Romania, we aim to provide them with the resources and opportunities necessary to develop their skills and reach their maximum potential,” stated Andrea Pont, PepsiCo Foundation Europe Lead.

    The reality of rural areas and the challenges faced by adolescents in rural environments are not fully known and especially not fully understood. It is very difficult to imagine, however, in vulnerable communities, 14% of adolescents frequently or always go to bed hungry, and for 9% of them, this is a common situation. Additionally, 37% of adolescents miss school sometimes or always because they have to work at home, and 47% of rural adolescents declare that they never or only sometimes enjoy school, according to the World Vision Romania study – Well-being of Children in Rural Areas, 2022.

    Thus, in order to reduce the existing socio-economic barriers, the PepsiCo Foundation will continue to work alongside World Vision Romania to provide educational support and resources for 90 students from rural areas in the counties of Ilfov and Ialomița. The goal of the partnership is to help children continue their high school studies by granting them access to both formal and informal educational activities, such as mentoring sessions, tutoring, monthly personal development sessions, summer camps, preparing them for future employment opportunities through vocational guidance sessions, psychological counseling, social responsibility projects, and providing them with hot meals to ensure their well-being.

    Additionally, this year, parents will benefit from the “Parents’ School” project, where they will be informed through webinars on three areas of interest: education, protection, and health. Furthermore, parents will have the opportunity to receive advice from specialists on nutrition, healthy lifestyles, parenting, and psychologists on how to improve their relationships with their children, how to support them in various situations such as bullying, cyberbullying, what constitutes a healthy lifestyle, or nutrition rules adapted to their age.

    “Our experience gained through community interventions has shown us that there is a major need for investments in supporting adolescents from the most disadvantaged communities, especially in their transition from middle school to high school and in the next four years of study. This period is crucial for their development and can significantly influence their subsequent educational and professional path. The evident inequalities between students from rural and urban areas must be addressed to ensure that all young people have equal chances in education, university, or in life, for employment. We thank the PepsiCo Foundation for the steadfast partnership they have shown, thus offering a chance to our young people who aspire to a better future.” – stated Mihaela Nabăr, Executive Director, World Vision Romania Foundation.

    Since 2008, the World Vision Foundation has been implementing the “I Want to Attend 9th Grade” program, which provides scholarships for over 1,000 students from villages in Romania to continue their high school studies, while also investing in their educational and personal development, offering them a chance towards a better future. The objectives of the program aim to support rural students in continuing and successfully completing their high school studies and equipping young people with life skills to integrate into the high school environment and maximize success in their subsequent educational/professional trajectory.

    Since the partnership was established in 2021, the PepsiCo Foundation has supported World Vision Romania with funding of over $750,000. This initiative supports PepsiCo’s ambition of PepsiCo Positive (pep+) a total strategic transformation that places sustainability at the core of the business and inspires positive changes for the planet and people. This program is one of the numerous ways in which the company fulfills its global commitment of PepsiCo’s Food for Good to promote food security in communities by increasing access to nutritious food for more than 50 million people worldwide by 2030. Since 2009, Food for Good has delivered over 245 million meals to millions of people globally.

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