Coffee, Gender Equality, and Africa

Laurie Benson - Womens Care Certified BV Roastery Pciture 21% For Women and the Buena Vista Roastery are joining forces to raise money for communities across Africa, starting in Zimbabwe. These communities are part of Slow Food International’s 10,000 Gardens in Africa Project and are based in community centers and village schools.

When asked why their efforts are starting in Zimbabwe, Laurie Benson, founder of 1% For Women had this to say:
“I’m often told that we shouldn’t invest in Zimbabwe. My response is that we aren’t. We are investing in its people.” NASA just released an analysis stating that 4 billion people are at risk as the water table drops all over the world. Slow Food has invited Laurie’s organization to bring training to their garden communities. Training that will help these communities regain dignity, restore the failing land, and gain access to more water and greater crop production.

“Our training program is based on that of the Africa Centre for Holistic Management. Through the work of Allan Savory, the Africa Centre is bringing grasslands back to life and raising the water table through land management that specifically uses the cattle within communities to mimic the herds that used to cover these regions.”

1% For Women has launched an Indiegogo campaign to engage the global community in supporting this training across the African Continent. Benson also shared, “There is a community outside of Victoria Falls where the women used to wake at 2am and walk to gather their family’s water for the day. Because of this training, they now have water that flows through their village even through the dry season. This has completely changed the lives of these community members!” She added, “The timing is critical and there is no reason not to spread this knowledge far and wide.”

Every campaign comes with its perks and this is where the Buena Vista Roastery enters the mix. The Roastery was recently the first in the US to order Women Care Certified Coffee from Costa Rica. This certification ensures gender equality through the production chain and environmental sustainability. They have offered this coffee as a thank you to contributors to the campaign. “It’s a win, win, win situation” noted head-roaster, Ed Barkowski. “People’s support helps women in coffee, communities in Africa, and they get a great cup of coffee.”

“Statistics show that if we can get this campaign in front of 33,000 people, we will meet our goal.” Laurie Benson added, “We need people to engage by contributing if they can, sharing with their social media networks, and leaving us comments on the campaign page.”

The world can no longer ignore the increasing issues with water, land degradation and failing crops. This campaign is an incredible way to help many engage in creating global change.

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