I drink more than my fair share of coffee. I know what I want and I’m not afraid of the scorn of my fellow customers nor the barista when I ask for my very specific order. I don’t crow about it or demand certain temperatures or anything too over the top, but if you drink essentially the same thing every morning for ages, you kind of plan on consistency.
Because it is often in the community conversations online and elsewhere, I grow ever more aware of things like free trade and shade grown and why they matter. Because my cup o’ Joe matters to me, a new (to me) organization that cares for coffee-growing families also matters to me. Coffee Kids works with local, community organizations in Latin America to improve programs in education, health awareness, micro-credit, food security, and capacity building. More than 125 million people around the world depend on the coffee harvest for their income. This is a nice grassroots effort putting the decision making in the farming community (instead of dropping in and telling a certain population what they need–a danger of many international organizations). The main job of Coffee Kids is to provide technical resources and support, training, and follow-through for the locals, based on the community’s needs and priorities. Since every coffee farming community is unique, every project has a unique focus–it is nice to see an organization serving many populations while rejecting a one-size-fits-all approach. There are four main categories of projects: Health Awareness and natural medicines (including pre- and post-natal care), Education (from learning materials to school building maintenance and even scholarships for higher education), Micro-Credit (more than 4,000 women are now running their own businesses through this initiative), and Capacity Building (bringing technical expertise into a region).
There are ways for you to help and get involved, in every day circumstances as well as in disaster relief situations, when Coffee Kids and their partners take the lead in these rural communities. Jump in–your cappuccino is worth a little give-back, doncha think?