So when I set up Sarah’s Coffee the plan was always to trade directly with producers in Africa so that the money being spent had the biggest impact. That hasn’t really been possible until now.. and so I’m excited at working with the Mount Elgon Coffee and Honey Cooperative based in Mbale, Uganda.
To find out why I’m so thrilled to have them as my first direct trade hear directly in the words of Wasibi Rogers the impact they are having in Uganda. The abstract below is taken from email correspondence…
“The truth is there is a lot of injustices happening on a daily basis in coffee farming. Just recently I visited 2 new coffee women’s groups and I found out another disturbing story.
Women and children doing stone quarrying to meet family needs.
In Uganda coffee farmers are suffering from a wide range of challenges among them poverty, climate change related disasters (drought, floods, landslides, pests and diseases.
The cultural differences have made the situation even worse for women and children because women and children are taken as property hence making it difficult for them to make decisions on how to share money from coffee sales.
In the Mt Elgon region of Uganda, culturally women don’t own land and yet they’re are the ones who do the donkey work of looking after coffee including harvesting and drying. When it comes to harvesting, it’s husbands who do the marketing and spend all the money.
What are we doing, as a cooperative, we are empowering women by creating awareness and encouraging men to stop seeing women as objects. We have come up with a women’s coffee initiative where men allow women to be trained in the whole coffee value chain and marketing. We buy such coffee at higher price than ordinary coffee. We advise women in making wise investment choices and this project is creating harmony in families. Some men have started valuing their wives because of the roles their wives are now playing.
We are now challenging different coffee stakeholders to take such actions to advance the rights of children and women in the whole coffee value chain for prosperity.
Children living with HIV, Street Children, orphans, children displaced by mudslides, conflict, children living with disability are the key vulnerable groups we have placed at the centre of our coffee agenda.
How we are helping:
- Health wise, supporting children suffering from intellectual and physical disabilities with learning aids tools and materials, medicine.
Education wise, sponsorship, sports to children with mental and physical disabilities.
- Capacity building in improved coffee farming. Provision of inputs to farmers to improve post harvest handling
Supporting women groups with pulping machines. Drying turbines, bee hives, tools and equipment.
Our Arabica coffee is being produced by women groups from high altitude of Mt Elgon volcanic landscapes producing the best aromatic coffee.
Coffee is giving life and hope to children suffering from intellectual and physical disabilities.
We can provide medication support to our children, we have Musa he has a psychiatric illness and is able to continue on his medication.
Also there is a 12 year old called Mercy who has had grand mal seizures for 11 years she is at the orphanage she fits the profile of a child at risk. She was having 2 seizures a day. She has had an assessment at cure and prescribed meds also had psychiatric evaluation she has taken carbamazepine for a week and the seizures have stopped. Therefore she needs on going support for this medication.
There is another boy at orphanage age 16 who has manic episodes and he needs continued support too.”
So as you can see the work of the Mount Elgon Coffee and Honey Cooperative is a perfect fit for Sarah’s Coffee and with my charity The Cariad Project.
Give Mount Elgon your support by following them on Twitter @CoffeeHoneyCoop and on Facebook and of course you’ll soon be able to buy Mount Elgon Coffee from http://www.sarahscoffee.com