Healthy Women Play a Pivotal Role in the Future of Coffee

Project Description
Women have always played a critical role in the coffeelands. Shouldering nearly 70% of the labor burden at origin, they are also instrumental in shaping the social and economic fabric of coffee-farming communities. And as programs to support gender equity take hold, women are primed to play an even more influential role in the future of the world’s supply of coffee and the sustainability of the supply chain.

In order for these women to reach their full potential as farmers, accountants, managers and community and business leaders, they must be healthy.

Grounds for Health is committed to helping women in the coffeelands maximize their potential by providing life-saving health services at origin. Specifically, we deliver much-needed screening and treatment for cervical cancer, an easily prevented disease that kills more women in most developing countries than maternal causes.

In November 2014, we expanded our geographic reach to Ethiopia. In early 2015, we launched the Roasters Challenge campaign, our first fundraising campaign backed by the U.S. Government.

With generous seed funds from Dean Cycon of Dean’s Beans and Bob Fulmer of Royal Coffee, Inc. and further support by coffee companies from across the United States, we were able to raise more than $200K by our deadline, Mother’s Day 2015. A matching contribution from the U.S. Government’s PEPFAR program, a public-private partnership focused on reducing deaths from cervical and breast cancer in Latin America and Africa, translated to a total of $400K to help us expand our impact on Ethiopia’s coffee-growing communities.

Grounds for Health addresses a critical gap in women’s health services in Ethiopia, where there are approximately 20 million women at risk for developing cervical cancer and 5,000 preventable deaths expected in 2015. The program is the first of its kind in the country’s coffee-growing regions and aims to reach women between the ages of 30-49 with screening and treatment services.

In partnership with the Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon initiative, Grounds for Health is expanding cervical cancer screening and preventive therapy services to 19 districts in Sidama zone as well as other zones in Western Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples’ Region (SNNPR). The organization works closely with the Sidama Coffee Farmers Cooperative Union (SCFCU) as well as the Sidama Zone Health Department and Regional Health Bureau of the SNNPR. The collaborative nature of the work is critical to ensuring adequate training of health providers and community health promoters and creating awareness for the program in order to maximize the number of women screened and treated.

Through this initiative, nearly 1,400 women have benefited from Grounds for Health’s services in Ethiopia. The program is well on its way to screen thousands more this year and expand to multiple district health centers in the near future.

Readers can help by
There are several ways to contribute to Grounds for Health’s programs in Latin America and Africa.
1. Individuals.
Individuals can donate to Grounds for Health: For those interested in supporting a specific project, check the box next to “I would like to designate this donation to a specific fund” and select the project of choice.

2. Corporate Supporters and/or employees.
We offer many ways to support our programs through workplace giving, cause-marketing and other initiatives that help companies reinforce business and CSR objectives. Please contact Pam Kahl, for more information.

Follow Grounds for Health:

Project Contact:
Pam Kahl


(802) 876-7835

Project URL:

Ethiopia, Sidama Zone, Southern Nation and Nationalities Region (SNNPR)

Project Impact:
Delivering life-saving health services to women living in rural coffee-growing regions of Ethiopia.

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