ColaLife

Our vision is a world where people collaborate from business, public and NGO sectors so children no longer die from preventable causes through lack of access to simple medicines and the knowledge of how to use them. Our Mission is to build novel partnerships to alleviate poverty and improve health in the developing world through innovation.
Sep 28, 2015

Starting work in Lusaka's compounds

Our new Vouchers
Our new Vouchers

Finally! Two years after the ColaLife trial in Zambia came to an end, we are very pleased to confirm that the UK’s Department for International Development (DfID) will be the majority funder of our new project in Zambia. It took a significant effort for us to win this money. The process has taken nearly a year, and involved not only an initial 'Concept Note' and then a fully costed bid, but also a complete review and development of all of our systems.

This is the fully funded project we have been waiting for: we have always known that the key to establishing our ground-breaking diarrhoea kit - Kit Yamoyo - as a sustainable product in  Zambia is to work in the biggest market - where the most people live.

That is the capital, Lusaka, where over 2 million of Zambia's 13 million people live - over half of them in 'compounds' - or shanty towns. Our first work was in remote rural areas, because we wanted to prove that a well-designed, desirable and affordable product would get there - based on learning from what Coca-Cola and other corporates do. But for sustainability, a proper market launch, targetting the biggest population is key.

This new project - called KYTS-LUSAKA - will ensure that parents of 100,000 children will be able to buy an affordable diarrhoea kit close to home. It will also train several hundred shop keepers and community health workers - not only in how to use Kit Yamoyo, but also in using safe water, hand-washing and hygiene, and the 6 danger signs to beware of, in a sick child.

So, where do our Global Giving supporters come in? Whilst most of the funding comes from the UK Aid Direct Programme, we have pledged a voucher fund of £16,500 (or $25,000) to offer discount vouchers to mothers and carers in the poorest areas. This is enough to co-fund 30,000 vouchers. We would not have been able to bid for the project without the on-going support of Global Giving supporters! We are also adding co-funding from the GSK and Save the Children Healthcare Innovation Award.

This new project will mean a lot to some of the poorest families in Zambia. Our local project manager, Albert Saka, tells us: "All of our work piloting Kit Yamoyo so far tells us that families really worry about their child dying from dehydration from diarrhoea - or remaining weak because of many recurrences. With so much pressure and crowding in public clinics, they want to be able to find a top quality medicine close to their home. We have waited a long time for this latest plan to come to fruition. Thank you Global Giving!"

Jun 29, 2015

Join us to hear about our next steps!

Tilingenji and Kondani
Tilingenji and Kondani

Are you in or near London on the evening of 27th July?  If you are, please join us at a free event for ColaLife supporters, both existing and new. Come and hear about our future plans yourself, ask questions, and see the ColaLife Film.

Work in Zambia is moving forward – with one new project already underway this year, aiming to reach the most remote areas where under-nutrition is rife, and one set to start in the heavily populated capital, Lusaka, in September.

Both of these projects feature implementation through local agencies: our way of ensuring ownership, alignment to local cultures and people,  and long term sustainability. And both will feature vouchers, crowd-sourced through our Global Giving support network!  We know how important these vouchers are, as at certain times of the year, before the harvest is in, many communities become low on cash:

Local mother Tilingenji told us: “The first time I tried Kit Yamoyo, I had a voucher, and this helped me as I had not yet sold [my harvest]. My child Kondani got better quickly, and up to now, has not suffered from diarrhoea again. So, my advice to other mothers when a child has diarrhoea is to buy Kit Yamoyo, even if you do not have a voucher, because it will help your child to improve quickly.”

Kit Yamoyo vouchers work in several vital ways. Given out via community health workers for redemption in local shops, they help us to target the poorest mothers and carers who have low incomes, poor educational level, large families – often more than six mouths to feed – or additional burdens to cope with, such as disability or long-term illness like HIV-AIDS.

Secondly, they help to ‘pull’ Kit Yamoyo out into even the most remote areas, in effect putting ‘value’ in the hands of mothers at the end of what distribution experts call ‘the value chain’. We feel this approach is much more sustainable than free products. This can undermine local shops and livelihoods.

Thirdly, local shop-keepers tell us that vouchers give them confidence to buy and bring Kit Yamoyo, when they know these are circulating in the community.

There are still challenges to overcome, but we also have some exciting new partnerships emerging – expanding the ‘channels to market’ for Kit Yamoyo – so that it will soon be available via government clinics and supermarkets. 

Hope to see some of our supporters in London soon!

Best wishes

Jane and Simon

Apr 6, 2015

Is 2015 our breakthrough year?

Margret gives Rabecca ORS using Kit Yamoyo
Margret gives Rabecca ORS using Kit Yamoyo

This spring, Albert Saka, from our partner Keepers Zambia Foundation (KZF) has been out and about in Lusaka's compounds (townships) finding out what people think of ColaLife's Kit Yamoyo Anti-Diarrhoea Kit.  

As well as visiting shop-keepers, and showing round some VIP guests (more below!), Albert was able to interview an enthusiastic customer: Margret.  Her daughter Rabecca has been suffering from diarrhoea for a while. In Zambia, diarrhoea is a serious problem for children under five years old: caught in a downward spiral of poor nutrition and chronic diarrhoea that they can't shake off, they can easily fall prey to Zambia's third biggest killer of children under five. Oral Rehydration Salts are often out of stock in clinics, not available in shops, and 1 litre sachets are not well-suited to home use. Zinc in combination with ORS - a simple, affordable, essential medicine - is now the ‘gold standard’ treatment for diarrhoea, but is rarely available. Marget confirms what we already know too well: that many parents have difficulty finding easy-to-use treatment, close to home.

Margret tells Albert: “Kit Yamoyo really helps us a lot. In the past we went to the clinic we used to wait in line and at times we were told that there's no ORS. Now we just go to a shop and buy Kit Yamoyo. Kit Yamoyo is easy to make up. If your child is sick, whenever you go out, to a funeral or to church, working or trading at the market, you can easily buy it and it is so easy to use you can even trust someone else to make it for your child.”

She has already noticed the difference it makes to have zinc in the kit: “The benefit we have found with Kit Yamoyo is that it also has zinc tablets and soap to wash our hands. We don't always have soap at home, but during diarrhoea it is important to use soap. When we give the child zinc tablets it gives them strength and appetite and stops the diarrhoea. Besides Kit Yamoyo, zinc cannot be found at the clinic or shops. So I recommend Kit Yamoyo to my fellow mothers whenever their children have diarrhoea”.

Albert tells us: "Since we finished trialling Kit Yamoyo with ColaLife, at the end of 2013, we've been working to scale-up our work, especially retailer training and community awareness, as well as stimulating production and sales, through our production partner, Pharmanova. KZF is a small organisation and we are proud that the whole world has admired our work. We do need funding to educate shop-keepers and the public on this new product and how to use it.  But in spite of the success of the trial, raising new funding has been difficult... " 

Until now: 2015 looks like it could be our breakthrough year!  

One evening, at the tail-end of 2014, ColaLife got a surprise call: we were joint winners of the GSK and Save The Children Healthcare Innovation Award! We've been lucky to win a lot of recognition up to now. But this award is different: it comes with $370,000 - a share of the Million Dollar prize! These were the VIP guests Albert was show-casing our work to, at the start of the year. By Feb-15, the announcement was official, and the award is in the bank!

This award will go a long way to making our scale-up plans a reality. We will stretch it as far as we can: offering ‘match funding’ can really help pull in government support. We have put some aside to keep our work in Lusaka going, until a new project starts, hopefully later this year.  The win has already helped ColaLife and KZF to launch a market development project in 14 of the most remote districts in Zambia – where the majority funder is the Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) programme. And that has resulted in a first, big, public sector order for our partner, Pharmanova.

Since we met up with Albert in Lusaka, he has been out on the road for 8 weeks, visiting these remote areas. He tells us: “The response from key government institutions and other stakeholders has been great. They can’t wait for the programme to get started. They know it is a big job to reach remote villages. We make sure that health personnel and the community know the product and how to use it. And the trainings we deliver to retailers are vital: apart from bringing the kit and selling it, they can help to educate mothers on how to use the kit.”

And Albert adds a big thank-you to our Global Giving supporters: “I wish to thank all those who contribute to our voucher fund: that’s how we make sure this new product is affordable to people like Margret and her little daughter, and helps us do our job to establish Kit Yamoyo for the future”.

Margret learns to use Kit Yamoyo at her local shop
Margret learns to use Kit Yamoyo at her local shop
The retailer explains use of Kit Yamoyo
The retailer explains use of Kit Yamoyo
ColaLife
ColaLife's Simon Berry, Health Minister & Partners
 
   

donate now:

An anonymous donor will match all new monthly recurring donations, but only if 75% of donors upgrade to a recurring donation today.
Terms and conditions apply.
Make a monthly recurring donation on your credit card. You can cancel at any time.
Make a donation in honor or memory of:
What kind of card would you like to send?
How much would you like to donate?
  • $10
    give
  • $25
    give
  • $50
    give
  • $100
    give
  • $500
    give
  • $1,500
    give
  • $10
    each month
    give
  • $25
    each month
    give
  • $50
    each month
    give
  • $100
    each month
    give
  • $500
    each month
    give
  • $1,500
    each month
    give
  • $
    give
gift Make this donation a gift, in honor of, or in memory of someone?
WARNING: Javascript is currently disabled or is not available in your browser. GlobalGiving makes extensive use of Javascript and will not function properly with Javascript disabled. Please enable Javascript and refresh this page.