2012

The Coffeelands World Gifts Espresso Café

[iconbox title=”Contact Name: Theresa E. Kane, Ph.D.” icon=”adress_book.png”]
Website: http://www.poluscenter.org, www.worldgiftscafe.org
Location: Various Coffee Growing Countries
Email Address: tkane@poluscenter.org
Phone Number: 978-368-1550[/iconbox]

Project Description

The Coffeelands World Gifts Espresso Café is a social enterprise that provides support for coffee growers and their families in origin countries around the world.

AThe Café is a project of the Polus Center, a non-profit founded in 1979 to provide social opportunities for people with disabilities and other vulnerable groups. In 1998, the Polus Center began community-based humanitarian work, primarily for victims of landmines and explosive remnants of war. In 2005 the Polus Center established the Coffeelands Trust, a fund supporting survivors of conflict in coffee growing regions. These funds provide rehabilitation services such as artifical limbs and physical therapy, as well as small business grants that help people get back to work producing quality coffee for the world to enjoy. For the last several years, donations have been 100% matched by a public-private partnership with the U.S. Department of State, Office of Weapons Removal and Abatement.

CIn addition to excellent specialty drinks, the Coffeelands Café sells unique handicrafts made by landmine victims and people living in coffee regions, providing an alternative source of income that helps address hunger issues during the thin months. The fully accessible Café provides employment and training opportunities for a small number of people with developmental disabilities. Products are made by people in the coffeelands who have received small business grants, or are bought through distributors who have confirmed use of sustainable fair labor practices. Proceeds and donations received at the Café are used to support the Coffeelands Trust.

Who Benefits From This Project?

– People living in coffee growing communities who are addressing the aftermath of conflict. Landmines and other deadly munitions do not distinguish between the footsteps of a soldier, farmer, woman, or child. The Coffeelands Trust supports not only for the person who stepped on an explosive and suffered physical or psychological harm, but also for their families and communities who have been affected.
– Buying unique handicrafts expands marketing opportunities and provides an alternative source of income for people living in coffee communities, addressing the issues of cyclical food insecurity and poverty. Coffee growers in origin countries benefit through fair trade practices of our roaster, Dean’s Beans.
– The beautiful newly renovated Café occupies a formerly distressed storefront, which is now a vibrant center of community activity.
– Through meaningful work opportunities, employees who have disabilities enjoy social inclusion instead of isolation and are developing valuable marketable skills. People with disabilities working side-by-side with people without disabilities in an integrated setting promotes valued social roles for vulnerable groups, creating a more inclusive society. Community life is strengthened by including all of its citizens.

How Can I Help?

DDonations to the Coffeelands Trust go directly to coffee growing regions, and may be doubled through matching grants from the Department of State. Equipment and product donations are always welcome. The Café is especially grateful to Boyer’s Coffee, who donated our espresso machine and grinders.

Company leaders who work directly with coffee growing communities are encouraged to contact us to help us spread the word to artisans who might be interested in selling products through our community-based and online stores.

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