Soft drink giant Pepsi has taken ‘charge’ of two children’s schooling once their story, shared by Humans of New York’s Brandon Stanton, went viral on social media.
The siblings, whose photo and story warmed the heart of thousands of HONY followers, have been saving up money for their school fees and bicycles by helping people park cars. However, the children, called Hanan and Essam, admitted that sometimes they spend their earnings on little pleasures such as ”peanuts”, ”a necklace” and ”Pepsi”!
The story was shared over 5.800 times until it eventually caught the attention of Pepsi which expressed its dismay at the children’s situation prior to stating that it would like to ”give them [the siblings] our full support”.
However, it was not clear if Pepsi decide to cover the children’s school tuition, equip them with bicycles or provide alternative assistance.
Many users expressed joy that the story created a positive impact which caught the attention of one of Egypt’s biggest soda mogul as well as Coca-cola rival. However, many called the gesture ‘cheap marketing’ and pointed out the importance of helping struggling children without the need of waiting for stories to go viral as most companies need to engage in corporate social responsibility.
Although Egyptian public education for free, families do have to provide books, stationary and bags for their children. Moreover, it is not uncommon to see children working in bakeries, or in the streets in order to collect money for their families. Although Egyptian law bans child labor, the phenomenon is still at large.
This is not the first time that HONY has impacted the life of its photography subjects. Indeed, the New-York based initiative is known for its resulting philanthropy. It has helped bands, writers and businesses gain unparalleled attention, gather the funds for a cameraman in his adoption process, collect money for a cancer center and provide students with educational opportunities.
Human of New York, personal project which has spiraled into an international phenomenon with imitation projects springing up in various cities such as Humans of Amsterdam and Humans of Cairo.
It has since racked up eighteen million fans on Facebook and hundreds of thousands of followers the project’s social media accounts on Twitter, Instagram and Tumblr.