Living in the city of Los Angeles, I often take our mobility for granted, instead complaining of the seemingly without end traffic jams, the rush hour traffic and the length of time it takes getting from place to place. It’s so easy to forget that other places around the globe have virtually stalled in terms of mobility. Children aren’t going to school because they can’t make or afford the trip. Communities are hurting for healthcare and education systems. Thankfully, there are brands that are working to change that one community at a time.
In 2012, Kia Motors announced that it would be expanding its already successful corporate social responsibility activities with the development of The Green Light Project. In short, the Green Light Project is an effort to improve the accessibility of health and education for disadvantaged youth in ailing regions in a way that is sustainable. Nagashanqui, Tanzania was the first community to benefit from the Green Light Project three years ago.
“A green light is the universal transit symbol to move forward, and as an automotive company, our Green Light Project will provide mobility to individuals in both a literal and figurative sense. Our Kia K2700 trucks will offer safe transportation to local residents who are isolated from healthcare and education services, and the Maendeleo Secondary School and its neighboring Green Light Program Center will empower individuals to challenge and move past restrictions that are keeping them from living a more fulfilling life,” said Thomas Oh, Executive Vice President and COO of Kia Motors Corporation.
In addition to Kia Motors, volunteers help with an assortment of activities including school construction, bus stop creation, and supporting educational classes at the school. Today the community of Nagashanqui, Tanzania boasts three educational facilities thanks to the Green Light Project: a middle school, a high school, and a daycare center. But what is a school without children to fill it? Kia also provided three school buses to transport the 600 students who attend from and to home each day. In addition to transporting students, the busses also serve the community and those living in surrounding villages in other essential ways.
The project in Nagashanqui, Tanzania will continue until the community becomes self-sufficient, an effort that takes approximately five years. In addition to it’s ongoing activities in Tanzania, Kia has also implemented Green Light Projects in Malawi, Ethiopia and Mozabique. Through the efforts made by Kia, there is no doubt that the communities impacted will become self-sustainable beacons able to empower their residents and begin a domino effect in neighboring communities.
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