Recent Achievements in Tanzania

Young entrepreneurs in Coffee Kids met with local mentors to discuss pressing issues related to their new and growing businesses. During mentoring sessions with six youth groups, each group meet with their mentor, asking questions and sharing their business plans and records. Each young farmer then participated in individual consultations with mentors to receive personalized advice and specific solutions.

The Coffee Kids staff also coordinated feedback sessions with these mentors to learn about the challenges and support needed in the field and specifically with individual youth businesses. This will inform how we adapt our trainings and follow-up to best support our youth participants.

We are proud to see the youth groups achieving success by utilizing the techniques they learned through Coffee Kids trainings. The Nuru Youth Group secured a government loan and started an agricultural input shop, already successful in selling goods to the community. The Mbokomu Youth Group established a coffee nursery and are already planted seedlings. A local community leader gifted the Mlolosi youth group with a chicken business, including chicks, and the youth group is currently finalizing their business plan. And at the annual meeting conducted with Nkoasenga youth group, it was revealed they jointly saved as a group 4.2 million Tanzanian Shillings, over $1800 USD!

All this good business news is accompanied by positive progress in the area of gender equality – an important area of focus for us. All couples have now participated in trainings from our Gender Household Approach and have officially registered as Change Agents. Change Agents are advocates in the community for positive gender relations within the home. As part of the training, each couple created a joint vision and budget. Visions included supporting children through school, household maintenance, and execution of their business plans. Those visions are important to showcase the positive impact and importance of gender balance in coffee farming households.

 

Success so far in Central America

In Honduras, at the cooperative UNIOCAFE the initial youth group started with 22 young farmers in 2017, now three years later there are 109 youth (37 women and 72 men). Credit for this growth is largely attributed to the tireless efforts of the Keven Leveron, President of the youth group, and a core group of young women and men who have inspired their peers to get involved, learn new skills, and access the support network of UNIOCAFE. Within the youth group there are three leaders who representing the perspective and achievements of the youth group within the General Assembly of UNIOCAFE and at meetings with the Board of Directors of UNIOCAFE. This is a great example of how young coffee farmers can have a voice and an influence in local community organizations.

In Guatemala, Coffee Kids is currently working with over 100 youth across 6 youth groups in Huehuetenango, a region near the border with Mexico. Our most recent focus has been on best agricultural practices and climate adaptation trainings. Demonstration plots are set up to test and evaluate different practices over time and irrigation systems were built for improved water management. Coffee Kids also started training young farmers in a variety of techniques to process coffee, including honey and natural processing, so the youth understand the many ways they can differentiate their coffee.

Now with the global disruption caused by the spreading of coronavirus we are dedicated to protect these young farmers. These young men and women need us even more now to keep their businesses thriving beyond this crisis. Help us to continue our services by contributing to our “Farmer Support Fund”, through which we support youth remotely, plan and evaluate alternatives, and mitigate the impact on themselves, their families, and their businesses.