[iconbox title=”Contact Name: Marilyn Dryke” icon=”adress_book.png”]
Location: Latin America
Email Address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Phone Number: 800-791-1181[/iconbox]
Since 2003, women coffee farmers, living in extremely impoverished conditions have been quietly working to make their families and communities healthier with the support and access to resources provided through the Café Femenino Foundation.
By focusing the leadership, planning, and decision-making processes into the hands of the women coffee farmers of the community, the Foundation has been successfully supporting initiatives set forth by the Café Femenino vision. A few of these initiatives include gender equity, food security, and income diversification. It is through a multi-layered approach that the Foundation has been able to support changes that are both sustainable and revolutionary.
One of the many issues that create poverty in the coffeelands is the glaring imbalance that exists in the levels of education between men and women. This widespread problem is due to the lack of importance a woman/girl is perceived as having inside of the culture. This plays out in the access to education, trainings, and workshops inside their farmer’s cooperatives also. It is common that the male members of the farmers’ cooperative will attend trainings but the women will not have access. The Café Femenino Foundation looks for opportunities to rebalance the educational levels when possible. The 2012 Coffee Production Training Project is one such opportunity for women to receive education.
2012 Coffee Production Training Project: In Guatemala, one focus area is on Educational Equality between men and women, supporting trainings specifically for the women cooperative members, which are traditionally attended only by male cooperative members. We are looking to support one such project with a $3,000 grant in Guatemala. Organic production requires more labor and organic fertilizer knowledge. The women of this cooperative have expressed the need to become more educated in these areas of production. The grant creates educational equality by providing the training to the women who are usually not actively integrated in these types of events. Access to these trainings held specifically for women will give Café Femenino farmers the knowledge needed to boost their yields and thus, their incomes. Educating women goes a long way to combat poverty.
Another initiative of focus for the Café Femenino Foundation is that of Income Diversification. Many impoverished coffee farmers find themselves in risky situations by investing in coffee farming as a sole source of income. To combat this, the Foundation supports ways for the women coffee farmers to create additional and diverse income sources. This gives the women the opportunity to have other financial resources and supplement their income whether the coffee harvest is good or not. Such programs have brought about tremendous change and opportunities for women and their children who do not have access to resources. This year the Foundation looks to support this in Kenya with the 2012 Goat Project that can be implemented for a cost of $3,000.
The project includes the purchase of baby goats, trainings on care, veterinary support, nutrition, and marketing training to sell products made with goat’s milk. This project will allow Café Femenino women farmers to provide an additional income source to the family as well as increase the nutritional intake of their children. Its implementation has the ability to drastically change the lifestyle of coffee farming families in remote areas, and potentially create positive changes within the entire community.
The Café Femenino Foundation works in 9 countries where coffee production and extreme poverty intersect. To adopt a project or to donate to the Foundation, visit www.cafefemeninofoundation.org. To find out more about Café Femenino visit www.cafefemenino.com
Who Benefits From This Project?
Projects like these, put into the hands of the women coffee producers, create a paradigm shift that is occurring in most of the communities where the Foundation is working. The women are seen as organizers, decision-makers, and connected to resources for the first time. The men see the positive changes and give their support. As the men begin to see the women as leaders for the first time, the inclusion and integration of the women into decision-making positions begins to take place. The community is strengthened, the families are healthier, and the future looks that much brighter. The men begin to acknowledge the intelligence of the women. And when the women have a voice; the other half of the sky is held up.