Gallery: COLA LIFE CAMPAIGN: Coke’s distribution chain to save lives


In 1988, Simon Berry, Chief Executive of ruralnet|uk was working as a development worker in remote north east of Zambia, conscious that while he could buy a bottle of Coke anywhere, 1 in every 5 children under the age of five die in these areas through simple causes such as dehydration through diarrhea. Twenty years later, through the power of social media technology, Berry has launched a simple campaign asking Coca Cola to use a small part of its incredible distribution capacity to get medicines, such as rehydration salts, to dying children.

Coincidently, in June 2008 Annie Lennox also made the Coca-Cola/child mortality link; “We can distribute Coca Cola all around the World but we can’t seem to get medication to save a child from something as simple as diarrhea and I think that that is wrong.”

Since the launch of the campaign and due to the power of the Facebook group, Simon was invited by Salvatore Gabola, Coca-Cola’s Global Head of Stakeholder Relations, to a meeting to discuss the idea further at Coca-Cola’s European HQ in Brussels. The campaign’s Facebook group has reached over 3,400 members since its inception on 18 May 2008. It was nominated for the NewStatesman’s New Media Award in June and showcased at London’s 2gether08 festival on 3 July.

Most recently, the campaign was featured on BBC Radio 4’s iPM programme in May and July, and on the BBC World Service on 13 July. Simon explains; “Before the Facebook group I was getting nowhere at all. The group has changed everything and is the reason we’ve made such rapid progress …Continuing support for the idea is vital if we are to turn this idea into a reality and actually save some lives.”

Research and development of the campaign continues to evolve. The next objective is to get an international NGO to engage with the campaign. Meanwhile research is underway in East African into Coca-Cola’s distribution system and the feasibility of the idea is being investigated and reported in Simon’s blog.

To find out more information and to follow the story, visit To support the campaign, please join the Facebook group! To get more involved and discuss ideas, you can sign up to the campaign’s Google Group “ColaLife”.

+ Campaign Facebook Group
+ Simon Berry on Youtube

Top photo courtesy of Nick Gripton


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  1. Syahrul Ginanjar December 3, 2010 at 11:03 am

    Dear’I think Hongkong it’s very Beautiful,i like green Campaign in Hongkong because Earth must be Clean,thank you.

  2. sverity1 August 8, 2008 at 9:22 am

    A briiliant campaign – and hopefully one that will go from strength to strength. !!!

  3. DaveBriggs August 5, 2008 at 5:27 am

    The campign now has its own website at



  4. .hj barraza August 1, 2008 at 6:54 pm
    its like that all over mexico
    starving and no drinkable water, just omni present coca cola

  5. August 1, 2008 at 1:56 pm

    The team here at Greenzer finds this kind of progress incredibly inspiring. The fact that a major, global corporation like Coca-Cola has taken an interest in using its massive success for the greater good will encourage other similarly influential businesses to follow suit.

    After all, of the 100 largest economies in the world, 51 are corporations and only 49 are countries. It’s certainly time to see these companies fulfill the massive potential they have to give back.

  6. 51m0n July 30, 2008 at 1:48 pm

    Thanks for covering this campaign. We are really making amazing progress since we started using the web to gather supporters. Before the facebook group we got nowhere. Now we are talking to Coca-Cola and they have included this idea in the research they are doing into their distribution network in East Africa. We are in touch with the researcher on the ground and telling his story here:

    Please join us on the facebook Group if you can (and consider inviting all your friends!).

    We could really make a difference here!


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