Honor you that special someone with the gift of empowering the next generation of coffee growers. Make your donation to Coffee Kids and we will be sure to let him/her know!
1. Fill in the donation form on our donate page and check the box that asks if you would like to make the donation is someone else’s name.
2. Write your custom message to in the text box. In that box, give us the email address where you would like us to email the e-card.
3. Wait for your someone special to receive their card! We will email you a copy as well!
To understand the main drivers and influences of the behavior, income, and activities of young people, the MasterCard Foundation recently published the following report: Invisible Lives: Understanding Youth Livelihoods in Ghana and Uganda. It documents a trend Coffee Kids has observed in various coffee growing communities: how rural young people pursue “mixed livelihoods” to generate income, combining temporary and seasonal work in the informal and formal sectors by working for themselves and others.
Understanding trends in youth livelihoods in agricultural communities is essential knowledge for implementing successful and sustainable solutions to youth abandonment of coffee growing. Below are the five key takeaways from the report. You can read it in full here.
Climate change remains a major threat to the future of coffee.
Although Coffee Kids is not a climate change-focused organization per se, we are working in communities struggling with its affects. Young farmers want to know how to deal with the effects of climate change and as result, we have integrated ways of addressing it in our agricultural trainings.
One reality is that many organizations and initiatives that address climate change are opting to use other terms to describe their work and avoid using the exact terms “climate change” out of fear of losing support and funding. This is an unfortunate reality that the non-profit sector as a whole has recognized.
Climate change is real. Climate change is here. Climate change is now and it affects the future of coffee. Young farmers are ideally positioned to implement novel and creative solutions to climate change. Thanks to you we won’t have to stop saying climate change and we can focus on the work which needs to be done to help young farmers adapt to it.
There are about 1.8 billion young people between the ages of 10 and 24 – the largest youth population ever. Over the next year alone an estimated 118 million youth will turn 18. This age can be an exciting turning point from youth into independent adult; however, it also means a transition into uncharted territory for many young people. Some will begin their university studies, some will start a trade, and others may be encouraged into military service (as mandated in over 70 countries). While agriculture is the primary livelihood for 65% of adults with low incomes, many youth in rural areas are not equipped or uninterested in pursuing a life in farming. From the rural farm areas of Ohio to the desert outposts of Oman, rural youth often struggle to find a trajectory will lead to a livelihood with a reliable, year-round income.
Many youth face limited opportunities
Nearly eighty-five percent of young adults are from low-income countries. There is a shortage of formal employment opportunities, particularly for youth in rural areas. Many young people rely on taking odd jobs here, but they are unpredictable and do not provide training or adequate financing. That’s where Coffee Kids comes in.
Entrepreneurship training for rural youth
Coffee Kids is on the ground in remote, rural coffee-growing towns and villages. We offer our Rural Business Workshops which include training, mentorship, and seed capital leading youth to create a dream and a plan for their future. Our students recognize the potential of pursuing coffee growing, some by inheriting their parent’s farms, as a means to provide economic opportunity. They have told us that they face challenges caused by climate change, market volatility, and access to land. They have shared their hopes and aspirations with us to become self-reliant entrepreneurs with businesses that provide steady, year round-income.
The future of coffee
As an organization that engages the coffee sector, we believe that the future of coffee begins with young farmers. We work with local communities to provide relevant business skills training by local trainers who understand the community. We also provide start-up capital to put our students’ ideas into action. But our support doesn’t stop there; we also provide long-term mentorship to our students to improve their chance of success. After all, without farmers, there is no coffee!
This month Peet’s Coffee announced the launch of its annual, limited release Anniversary Blend and a donation to Coffee Kids. The donation supports our Rural Business Workshops in Risaralda, Colombia. The blend celebrates Peet’s founding by giving back to origin, continuing a longstanding tradition of donating to coffee-producing communities. Coffee Kids and Peet’s have collaborated for nearly thirty years to support coffee communities.
About the blend, Doug Welsh, Vice President, Coffee, Peet’s Coffee said: “There are hints of ripe melon from Colombia, sweet cherry from Rwanda, and full-bodied papaya from New Guinea. Together these flavors produce a refreshingly bright cup. Sweeter still, this year’s blend contributes to Coffee Kids, which supports youth training and mentorship that empowers budding coffee entrepreneurs.”
On a visit together to Risaralda earlier this year, the Coffee Kids team and Peet’s met with the young farmers participating in our Rural Business Workshops and learned about their experiences first hand.
The 2017 Anniversary Blend is available in distinctive purple bags, so look out for them next time you visit Peet’s!
According to the National Coffee Association, on a global level, women do 70% of the work on coffee farms but own only 15% of the land and traded beans. Economic (and often cultural) challenges mean that they are unable to access the funding, resources, or health care that they desperately need. Yet studies show that empowering women coffee farmers leads to healthier families, more resilient communities, and higher quality crops.
Coffee Kids recognizes that young women farmers face a unique set of challenges. We work closely with these young farmers to give them the tools they need to be successful entrepreneurs because we know the critical role women play in the future of coffee.
Here we have interviewed a woman who participated our Rural Business Workshops. Maria is a young coffee farmer who was able to actualize the dream of opening a bakery to supplement her coffee income. Read more about her story in her own words below.
My name is Maria del Carmen Villeda Carrillo. I am 24 years old and I live in Honduras.
I come from a very humble home; I did not have the opportunity to study but my parents formed me with good values and manners. At the moment I have my own business and I am a married mother of two children.
How the Coffee Kids helped me launch my business:
Before joining Coffee Kids, I had my idea of starting a bakery as a side business, but it was only “an idea.” When I heard about the Rural Business Workshops, getting involved seemed like a great opportunity to make my dream come true. By joining, I was able to learn life and business skills. As result, I feel that I was formed into an entrepreneur.
The seed funding I received from Coffee Kids helped jump start my business idea of opening a bakery. The money I received was invested in materials and equipment, which I have learned to register in my book keeping. In the future, I would like to use more coffee-derivative products in my shop.
My hopes for the future
I would say that my great successes is that I have been able to financially depend on myself completely. I’m so thankful for this great opportunity that has transformed my life and I encourage all young people to fight for their dreams.
At the end of 2015, we pledged to implement our Rural Business Workshop project in three different regions—Central America, Colombia, and Tanzania—and because of your support, we accomplished our goal. The workshops provide business skills, funding, and ongoing mentoring to empower young people to turn coffee farming into a business that provides a good life. With these tools, not only are young farmers optimizing their farms, they are starting side businesses that provide steady, year-round incomes.
In 2016, 250 young people living in coffee growing communities participated in our workshop with 90 young people from Tanzania alone. Our workshops in Tanzania were particularly significant because it was the first time in Coffee Kids’ history that a project was implemented anywhere in the continent of Africa.
In coordination with the Hanns R. Neumann Foundation (HRNS) regional office in Northern Tanzania and with support from the local Tanzania Coffee Farmer Alliance (TCFA), we began implementation of our Rural Business Workshops in June 2016. As TCFA provided a network to farmers, we formed three youth agricultural clubs serving 90 young people that created the space for the exchange of ideas and technical training.
All three youth clubs engaged in the following entrepreneurship and business skills trainings:
- Introduction to entrepreneurship
- Is farming a business?
- Projected Income Statement (PIS)
- Record keeping
- Business plan writing
- Business evaluation
Upon completion of the sessions above, participants presented their business idea to a wider audience at a business event. During the business event, the selection committee consisting of RPCS and HRNS representatives and two mentors, conducted a business assessment of each proposal. Criteria for evaluation included:
- Key partners
- Key activities
- Projected Income Statement
In the end, seven business plans from each youth group were selected summing up to 21 in total. Stay tuned for updates about how the business plans are going and watch our young farmers develop into viable, profitable, entrepreneurs!
The role of women in agriculture immediately comes to mind as we commemorate International Women’s Month, a month dedicated to celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women.
Women and the Rural Economy
Women are shaping the rural economy in developing countries- they contribute as farmers, laborers, and entrepreneurs. Recent studies report that the majority of the world’s farmers are women and they cover a wide variety of roles. However, what is striking is that women face greater difficulties and constraints than their male counterparts with regards to land ownership, access to credit, markets, technology, seeds, water, information and education and other services.
Challenges Faced by Women in Coffee
According to the World Farmer’s Organisation, rural women are especially affected by various forms of poverty:
- Time: taking care of their farm and their family gives them less time for recreation, repose and even time to work.
- Work: women’s work is often less productive due to injustices of the basic accesses cited previously.
- Business certainty: women often have less access than their male counterparts in formal contracts of work, property, and professional training and information.
- Social networks: the quality of social and technical infrastructure makes the access to social networks more difficult for women.
Coffee Kids, Youth, and Gender Inclusivity
Coffee Kids’ Rural Business Workshops aims to close the gender gap by recognizing the barriers specific to young women in coffee growing communities and providing solutions to those barriers. Our Rural Business Workshops not only provide young women with the training, mentorship, and seed funding that young people in coffee growing communities need access to, we plan our workshops to accommodate the specific needs of women to ensure their participation. As result, the participation rates of young men and women are reasonably balanced; in Colombia, for example, 44% of the Workshop participants are women.
As Coffee Kids enters its second year since resuming programming, we will continue to conduct outreach to young rural women and to help bolster the development of women in rural coffee growing communities. Stay tuned for updates!
This post is a reflection by Coffee Kids Manager, Joanna Furgiuele, after her recent origin trip to Colombia.
Hello! It is an absolute pleasure to join the Coffee Kids team and the whole Hanns R. Neumann Stiftung family! Please allow me to introduce myself.