This week across Europe and Sub-Saharan Africa (ESSA), our associates are getting involved in celebrations leading up to International Literacy Day on September 8th; from book swaps to digital book drives.

Now in its second year of partnering with the digital reading charity and award winning innovator, Worldreader, PepsiCo continues to deliver on its Performance with Purpose 2025 commitment to female youth education. Specifically, this focuses on strategic partnerships in communities to enable 1.5 million young women to progress through school and be successful in the workplace.

Did you know that today 740 million people are illiterate, two-thirds of which are women? Worldreader is changing this by championing digital reading in underserved communities in order to create a world where everyone can be a reader. This in turn helps to break the poverty cycle, offering women increased earning potential and choices, and subsequently decreasing gender inequality.

To date numerous countries across the PepsiCo ESSA region have run programs locally; including PepsiCo France’s campaign with Worldreader for International Women’s Day, plus PepsiCo South West Europe fundraising to support World Book Day earlier this year. This led to a PepsiCo volunteer group launching, which offers pro bono skill sharing to the charity in areas such as marketing.

PepsiCo associates have been crucial to success, with the biggest success to date delivered by PepsiCo South Africa. The team there launched a digital library for schoolchildren, which was made available globally and viewed more than 40,000 times. To celebrate International Literacy Day this week sees the team launch a new online library collection – ‘Kids’ favorites of 2018’.

If you’d like to show your support for eradicating illiteracy, visit www.worldreader.org and support Worldreader in its mission to provide digitalized books for all.