Our Supporters

The idea behind ColaLife sprang from an observation from co-founder Simon Berry, working in the mid 1980s in remote rural Zambia, that Coca-Cola is often available in remote villages in the developing world, yet simple lifesaving medicines, like Oral Rehydration Salts are not. The idea remained just that, until, with the advent of Social Media, there was a way to promote and discuss that observation and its potential to save lives, and to convene people and organisations willing to turn ideas into action.

So, our Supporters Page must start with a huge Thank You to the thousands of individuals – too numerous to mention – who gave time, expertise and money to turn an idea into reality. You all know who you are, and nothing would have happened without you. You helped to get the BBC’s attention and they engaged Coca-Cola. You challenged, argued, donated, written, tweeted, advised, filmed, recorded, networked, and gave us audiences all over the world. You gave advice, insights and expertise freely. That’s how this amazing journey started and continued to develop. ColaLife always intended to remain small – and our power came largely from our supporters.

Quicklinks: Current Supporters | Past Supporters |


Supporters from 2008 t0 2024 [alphabetical order]

Allen & Overy – A&O
London solicitors Allen & Overy gave pro-bono help for ColaLife to achieve charitable status in 2011. They continued to provide free meeting space for our Trustees in London, as well as the services of our legal issues specialist, Board Member Emma Danforth. We also received a grant in 2014, to help pilot Kit Yamoyo in Lusaka.

Amcor donated the specialist breathable sealing film for the first ‘AidPod’ design, and went on to design and donate the first consignments of the packaging for the Kit Yamoyo flexi-pack. The team working with ColaLife won The Amcor CEO’s Outperformance Award – enabling Amcor to make a cash donation of $5,000 Australian dollars to ColaLife in 2014. Together, we were short-listed and won UK Packaging Awards: Resource Efficient Pack of the Year 2015. Amcor has gone on to form a commercial relationship with our manufacturing partner, Pharmanova.

Andrew Jackson Design
Andrew supported us from 2010 with original art, artwork and graphic design. We also contracted him to do all the billboards and posters for the Kit Yamoyo scale-up in 2016.

The international network of Social Entrepreneurs has followed our development since ColaLife won the Making More Health Award in 2011.  Our co-founder, Simon Berry, was elected as an Ashoka Fellow in November 2015. Ashoka supported an important mentoring programme to help us frame our options for scale-up.

BBC Radio
Various BBC radio programmes have aired our work, including the team at iPM, who helped us make the first contact with Coca-Cola in 2008; Peter Day who met us at the Design Museum awards and came to see our work in Zambia in 2013; and several times on the World Service, including Claudia Hammond on Health Check.
See: A big thank you to everyone at iPM
See: The ColaLife Story as told by the BBC’s iPM Programme
See: Listen to Peter Day’s take on ColaLife – BBC Radio 4, Thursday, 29-Aug-13
See: ColaLife on the BBC World Service this Monday (8-Nov-10)

Bells, Wells & Braithwaite

The specialist team helped us to set up the legal structure to incorporate ColaLife on a pro-bono basis in 2009.

Boxwood staff provided us with a strategy day in 2010 and continued to support ColaLife’s progress with contacts and personal donations through its early years.

ColaLife was one of the first organisations to register to crowd-source funding with the Buzzbnk in 2011, and we went on to raise over £3,000.

Ceniarth /Isenberg Family Charitable Foundation
This UK family foundation and its US counterpart have been a tremendous source of encouragement for ColaLife’s way of working, providing a vital source of funding to take us beyond on-the-ground projects, supporting ColaLife’s periods of development between funded projects as well as supporting our dissemination work, allowing us to strategise, assess impact, write publications and found ORSZCA. The IFCF also funded a vital bridging stock of 120,000 Kit Yamoyo co-packs, after the scale-up projects ended to allow Zambian Ministry of Health time to assess its own options to go to tender. Pharmanova won the procurement contract and has gone on to supply 2 million kits to the Zambian Ministry of Health.

Civic Agenda

This agency supported an event in London for all our supporters in 2012.

CHAI – Clinton Health Access Initiative
CHAI staff from various countries have been very helpful in exchanging experience on ORS and Zinc design. CHAI’s focus group work in India, Nigeria and Uganda included customer testing for our proto-type ‘flexi-pack’ design and provided valuable feedback and insights. CHAI have become a valued participant in the ORSZCA network.

COMESA – the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa – co-funded the COTZ trial and through their project TMSA acted as the ‘accountable body’ for our first DfID grant for the COTZ trial – invaluable support for a new, small organisation such as ours. They also provided office space, administrative support and employment contracts in Zambia for Simon Berry and Jane Berry throughout the COTZ trial.

Contextly is a ‘content recommendation’ system which runs on our website. It automatically places links to related pages (posts) at the end of all our blog posts and so enables visitors to move easily from one page to another that they might be interested in. It also provides anonymised daily, weekly and monthly reports on posts read, how many people scrolled to the bottom of blog posts and which link they clicked on next. This obviously takes some processing power but this all done on the Contextly servers, not ours, so there is no speed penalty from using Contextly. Contextly is a paid for service but Contextly supported ColaLife by providing their service to us for free. Contextly offer a 21-day free trial.

DataKind UK
DataKind UK, the UK data-for-good community linked us up with Abbott Katz a data scientist and Excel expert who worked with us in a voluntary capacity to create a dashboard to bring alive the data being collected by frontline workers as they supported wholesalers and retailers who carry the Kit Yamoyo product. These dashboards were published periodically here.

Design Engineering Solutions
Design Engineering Solutions is run by Dave Salmon. Dave was a member of the original ‘AidPod’ team at PI Global and in Dec-16 offered to work on a pro bono basis on the retail display solution for the Kit Yamoyo flexi-pack.

Design Museum

The Design Museum in London supported and hosted an event in 2012. We kept in contact and applied to enter Product Design of the Year in 2013 – which we won! Kit Yamoyo formed part of the permanent collection from 2018.

DfID – now FCDO (UKaid)
The UK’s Department for International Development was majority funder of the ColaLife trial (COTZ) and went on to support our work after the trial to keep kits flowing in those areas while we sought funding to scale up market development. DfID was majority funder of both scale-up projects to develop public and private sector markets for Kit Yamoyo in Zambia: KYTS-ACE and KYTS-LUSAKA. DfID went on to select the ColaLife project in the GREAT Britain campaign, 2013DfiD went on to support our application to the WHO to amend their listing to recommend co-packaged ORS and Zinc. We also presented to staff at FCDO’s Zambia office during our final visit to Zambia in 2023, and staff attended our final celebration and lesson-learning event, The Kit Yamoyo Story, in Lusaka in June 2023, where the ambassador, Nick Woolley, also spoke.

See also:
Dreams can come true (30-Nov-11)
DfID Zambia say ‘Yes’ to ColaLife Scale-up Plan (29-Oct-2013)
DfID support for Lusaka scale-up confirmed (10-Sep-15)
KYTS-ACE gets underway (16-Feb-15)

DEFRA staff ran a strategy day for ColaLife at the inception of the charity and staff continued to support ColaLife’s progress with contacts and personal donations.

Digital Leaders
Digital Leaders is the UK-wide Digital Transformation initiative. It promotes digital know-how, thought leadership and sharing best practice around Digital Transformation across all sectors. It is the UK’s premier platform for expert opinion and networking for a community of 40,000 members. Over several years from 2014 ColaLife was the beneficiary of the raffle at the annual award ceremony and dinner. Each raffle contributed around £2,500 to our work.

DS Smith
DS Smith is a leading provider of corrugated & plastics packaging, supported by paper & recycling operations employing 26,000 people across 36 countries. DS Smith  helped us on a pro bono basis with the development of an appropriate ‘Shelf Ready Pack’ for the distribution and display Kit Yamoyo on retailers’ shelves from supermarkets to remote community retailers.

Ernst & Young
Ernst & Young staff from South Africa and London helped with volunteer time and contacts.

This US start-up, manufacturing healthy hydration drinks, funded discount vouchers for ColaLife’s Kit Yamoyo from a proportion of their profits, as part of their CSR model. As they grew, we recieved more funds, in a real win-win partnership, which included learning on scaling up distribution. See Our partnership with Everly.

Gareth Bentley (Photographer)
Kit Yamoyo and GRZ co-pack with contents
Gareth is a Zambian photographer who works internationally. He first photographed our work in 2012 when he was contracted by PATH to accompany the DefeatDD team on a visit to Zambia. He subsequently produced the images for the Kit Yamoyo billboard campaign and was contracted by The Guardian and Les Affaires (Canada) to photograph our work. More recently he photographed the latest Kit Yamoyo formats for us on a pro-bono basis.

Grand Challenges Canada
Grand Challenges supported our Principal Investigator, Rohit Ramchandani in 2012, during the COTZ Trial, under their Stars in Global Health campaign. We got as far as the last hurdle for their Grand Challenges scale-up fund in 2014, but unfortunately, after a long wait, our bid was turned down by their investment committee.

ColaLife collaborated with various GSK staff over the years, who helped us to understand how global pharmaceutical players work. In 2014 ColaLife won the GSK/Save the Children Healthcare Innovation Award. The cash element of this prestigious award was instrumental in leveraging other funding for our two scale-up projects in Zambia (eg from DfID and the SUN Programme).

Honda supported Simon Berry through their Cultural Engineers programme, in 2010 with publicity and a generous donation towards transport for the COTZ trial. The vehicle purchased with their support was ColaLife’s only vehicle in Zambia, up to 2018.

ColaLife used Huddle for day-to-day project management and we paid for this on a commercial basis. However, Huddle provided the platform for our Open Access Initiative on a pro bono basis. This enabled us to share our designs and learning and also enabled us to support those we are sharing with.

Impact Journalism
The Impact Journalism team featured ColaLife’s story and helped with press liaison and leads.

The first corporate donor to ColaLife’s Zambian trial (COTZ), and a donor who has stayed with us through the tricky transition from trial to scale-up, the Johnson and Johnson Corporate Citizenship Trust and the J&J Family of Companies continued to help us with funding, advice and two-way learning opportunities. We were the first ‘outsiders’ to take part in their ‘Innovation Bootcamp’ in 2010-11. This was vitally important in helping us to rigorously shape our ideas and provided an underpinning of management training and expertise which we continued to draw on, Together, we won the FT Innovation in Finance Award in 2014. We went on, in 2015, to visit their HQ in Belgium, to share lessons from the initial COTZ trial and early market scale-up with their employees and management teams.
See: The biggest day so far for ColaLife (06-Dec-11)
See: At last, a peek at the ColaLife Trial Plan (18-Jul-12)
See: ColaLife and Johnson & Johnson win FT/IFC Transformational Business Award (12-Jul-14)
See: Report on trip to Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Beerse, Belgium (02-Sep-15)

We used Moo’s magnificent printing service for our illustrated business cards from 2009 until our last order in 2023, with a generous charity discount. ColaLife won the inaugural Moo Award in 2012, which gave us a year’s free printing. We used this to fund the first batches of our Training Cards for retailers and health workers.

Museum of Brands
Chris Griffin, founder of PI Global (see below) and The Museum of Brands supported ColaLife from the outset through his companies and in a personal capacity. He was a key enabler, helping us with packaging design (PI Global) and then by offering as a  business address (Museum of Brands) and meeting space in London. One of the ColaLife team’s last official meetings, in 2024, was with the PI Global team at the Young V&A in London, to view an installation of the ‘Kit in the crate’ concept that we created together, and which went viral in 2012 to kick off our work.

PATH’s Defeat Diarrhoea team provided insights, networking and advice and introduced our Kit Yamoyo designs to the UN National Assembly (2013) and Best Buys in Global Health (2014). PATH staff continued to support and advise the ColaLife team right up to its closure, and have been instrumental in supporting the work of ORSZCA.

PI Global
The first packaging company to offer us their design expertise, PI Global designed the first ‘AidPod’ as attractive, functional packaging for the first Kit Yamoyo, used in our COTZ trial in Zambia. They introduced us to Amcor, and went on to support ColaLife with networking, contacts and pro bono advice. They introduced us to the prestigious Dupont Packaging Awards, and together we put in the Diamond Award winning entry in 2013. Awards are great to spread our message on the importance of health product design for the developing world.

Polymer Containers (Zambia) Limited
We enjoyed the support of Polymer Containers in 2013-14 when we started collaborating to produce the ‘screw-top’ container for the top-end version of Kit Yamoyo. Our collaboration was highlighted in Our Top 10 Achievements of 2013. The support of Polymer Containers went beyond fruitful and enjoyable collaboration when they offered to cover the cost of the mould for the ‘screw-top’. This was a significant contribution from a small Zambian business and we were very grateful. Unfortunately, the economic difficulties in Zambia, including a rapid rise inflation meant that we had to put the production of the screw-top version of Kit Yamoyo on hold. However, the ‘screw-top’ measuring container remained a desirable and well designed item, part of our promotional arsenal.

Prime Decision
This design agency offered us pro-bono design support after the first trial – and we deployed their expertise to help design a zinc blister pack to promote better adherence to the 10 day regimen. This design made it into production to support our scale-up projects in a slightly moderated form and is used to this day by our manufacturing partner, Pharmanova.

Royal Society of Medicine (RSM)
The RSM were an early supporter and gave ColaLife’s Simon Berry a platform for sharing the initial thinking behind ColaLife at one of their Innovation Briefings in Feb-11. More recently, in Sep-15, Simon Berry presented at the 11th Annual Medical Innnovations Summit. See: Medical Innovation – Kit Yamoyo and its value chain. These events have helped establish ColaLife’s credibility.
See also: The Royal Society of Medicine: innovation and ColaLife.

Royal Society of Statisticians (RSS)
The RSS provided us with a volunteer statistician, Dario Domingo, to analyse data for our final paper (currently in press). This looked at the influence of co-packaging on dispensing behaviour in health facilities in Zambia, and found that especially in small and poorly resources settings, co-packing ORS and Zinc together had a highly significant impact in ensuring children received the correct treatment.

SABMiller, Zambia and International
As the Coca-Cola bottler in Zambia, SABMiller provided local insights into their distribution model and a donation towards the COTZ trial, as well as sharing their training manual for retail staff, to help ColaLife frame retailer training for the small shops selling Kit Yamoyo. The company continued to support our fundraising and networking events with refreshments in Zambia, until we left in 2018, and in UK. Also see: SABMiller confirms commitment (07-May-11).

Simon Lyle Ritchie (photography)
Simon kindly organised a hand model and took some fantastic images of the original ‘AidPod’ Kit Yamoyo design for an exhibit as part of the ‘What Is Design?’ permanent exhibition, Cube Design Museum in The Netherlands. The pictures showed the kit itself, its contents and use.
See more of Simon’s work at simonlyle.com.

Sound Delivery
UK charity Sound Delivery helped by featuring our work in Case Studies and presentations. Staff generously contributed to our work with individual donations.

The Coca-Cola Company agreed to let us ‘piggy-back’ delivery of our earliest diarrhoea kits using space in their crates. This ultimately proved unnecessary to reach remote communities, but helping us to understand their ‘value chain’ and distribution model, especially in Zambia, gave us the breakthrough we needed to design a successful new product and its value chain. TCCC helped with networking and contacts and invited us to visit a relevant event in South Africa while we were planning the COTZ trial. We continued to exchange experience of last mile delivery in Sub-Saharan Africa.

The Funding Network
The Funding Network, the UK’s first open giving circle, invited ColaLife to its ‘Dragon’s Den’ In December 2011, where TFN donors pledged £10,260 to help us establish systems in the UK to support our work in developing countries.

The Green Room Charitable Trust
The Green Room Charitable Trust provided an unrestricted grant in Sep-17 just as we were kicking off the globalisation of our work. The trustees responded to this blog post: Please help colalife take its next big step.

UNICEF staff in Zambia and internationally offered help, advice and exchanges of experience since 2010. UNICEF Zambia helped us to design the first COTZ trial and went on to oversee its monitoring and evaluation. We went on to meet UNICEF innovation teams in London and Copenhagen, to seek practical ways to feed our findings into their procurement models. UNICEF is now in regular liaison with the ORSZCA network, which we founded to take co-packaging forward.

UnLtd provided ColaLife’s first ever grant, £15,000 to help research and develop our ideas in 2010. This enabled ColaLife founders Simon and Jane Berry to give up their jobs and launch the charity.

?What If!

The innovation agency supported us during our launch and early work, providing our first address and meeting space.

WHO staff have offered advice and insights on ORS sachet sizing and the WHO Zambia team were invited onto our trial steering group. WHO accepted and supported our application in 2019 to amend their Essential Medicines list to recommend co-packaged ORS and Zinc for childhood diarrhoea.

Worlds Best Hotels
Nigel Bolding, the Managing Director of The World’s Best Hotels, has supported our fund-raising. He took part in the Boulogne to Biarritz cycling challenge, which funded two planning trips to Zambia in 2010/11. The company also provided free accommodation on trips undertaken by ColaLife staff.

WTG – World Trade Group
WTG offered various speaking opportunities and in 2015 ColaLife was the selected Charity for their Barcelona Conference, resulting in a donation of over £1,000.

Zambian Ministry of Health
Staff from the Zambian Ministry of Health gave invaluable help and support since our first visit in 2010. They helped to frame our plans for the original COTZ trial in 2010/11. Following signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), the Ministry provided oversight of all of our work in Zambia, also chairing project steering groups and providing vital advice and insights. The late Minister of Health, Dr Joseph Kasonde went on record to back our plans. By 2015, the Ministry was actively piloting distribution of a public sector version of the Kit Yamoyo flex-pack. It went on to procure millions of kits from the manufacturer to distribute for free in its health centres, a move which has contributed to Zambia’s top 3 spot in Africa (as of 2018) in coverage of ORS and Zinc for childhood diarrhoea.
See: Order confirmed for 452,000 ORS and Zinc co-packs (05-Apr-2015).

A visual representation of ColaLife’s extended support network during the COTZ trial, 2011-12 is here.