2012

Coffee Lifeline Project

[iconbox title=”Contact Name: Peter Kettler” icon=”adress_book.png”]
Website: www.radiolifeline.org
Location: Various Coffee Growing Countries
Email Address: pkettler@sbcglobal.net
Phone Number: 608-334-9173[/iconbox]

Project Description

The Coffee Lifeline project is a radio communications initiative that provides coffee farmers with access to vital information that can have a significant and positive impact in the lives of their families as well as within the communities in which they live.

Coffee Lifeline provides access to news and informational programming through the use of unique, patented crank and solar-panel radios, providing a reliable, sustainable link to the world at large. Through a unique distribution process, these radios come to be seen as community property, a tool to be used for the common good as opposed to private gain or competitive advantage.

Since 2005 Coffee Lifeline, in partnership with the USAID-funded SPREAD project and Radio Salus, a community-based radio station affiliated with the National University of Rwanda, have produced a series of 30 minute weekly broadcasts called Imbere Heza, or “Bright Future”. Funding for these broadcasts has been generously provided by Green Mountain Coffee Roasters. Each program covers a variety of topics, including agronomy practices, cooperative development and sustainability, environmental stewardship, early childhood and maternal health, nutrition, HIV/AIDS education, family planning and commodity market information.

The Coffee Lifeline project was founded upon the belief that access to information can be one of the most powerful aspects of any development initiative. This is especially true in coffee-producing areas that often rely on isolated groups of people working together toward a common goal, whether it be quality improvement, health initiatives, education, food security, environmental protection or cooperative development. Access to accurate, reliable and consistent sources of information is key to the success of any project. In recognition of our efforts, the Specialty Coffee Association of America awarded Coffee Lifeline its annual Sustainability Award in 2010.

With an expected expansion of its activities into Kenya and Tanzania later this year, the Coffee Lifeline project will create an opportunity for farmers, exporters, coffee-centered NGO’s as well as the community radio sector itself to share information and collaborate on a wide range of issues facing the region today.

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Who Benefits From This Project?

Currently, every stakeholder in the Rwandan coffee sector benefits from the Coffee Lifeline project. Our focus on coffee quality, cooperative development as well as a wide variety of issues that affect quality of life has resulted in the Coffee Lifeline broadcasts becoming viewed as the respected voice of Rwanda’s coffee farming community.

With a projected expansion into neighboring Tanzania and Kenya, Coffee Lifeline will effectively create the world’s first coffee radio network, offering unique opportunities for information sharing and capacity building among the various farming communities, development organizations, government agencies and community radio stations participating in the project.

The coffee community of East Africa faces many of the same challenges as most of the world’s coffee producing regions – increased population, competition for natural resources, climate change, food security, health care and education. Access to reliable, consistent information can help local communities decide on which strategies might best suit their individual needs. Radio is everywhere.

How Can I Help?

The Coffee Lifeline project can utilize your donations to help increase the range of our broadcasts and provide cooperatives with additional radios to make sure that the information is shared with even their most remote members.

Please help us send a strong signal to today’s coffee farmers!

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