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Giving Back

Through our 501C3 non profit organization - Kijiji International, Growers Alliance Coffee is focused on improving the lifestyles of the coffee growers, and educating them on utilizing any available resources to be economically independent.

Some of the projects that Growers Alliance Fund has already started are:

 

  • Started a 16 station Dialysis Clinic in Naivasha, Kenya
  • Digging of clean water artesian wells (boreholes) in Gachuriri and Kiandegwa villages, Embu
  • Supporting Little Angels Childrens Home & Joy Rescue Center for HIV orphanages
  • Installation of electricity to a 300 members co-operative society - Gikumbo Farmers Coffee factory
  • Building and upgrading of school buildings and classrooms from mud and grass thatched classes to stone bricks - Kathunguri Primary School, Embu district.
  • Buying schools uniforms and supplies for children in Kathunguri Primary School, Embu district.
  • Education (workshops) and advice for growers in modern and sustainable farming methods to Gikumbo Coffee society members.
  • Renovating the water tanks and coffee storage cellars in Gikumbo Coffee society.
  • HIV/ AIDS awareness seminars and free check-up clinics to Kutus United Self Help Women Group.
  • Seminars for empowering women on using the resources around them to become financially independent.
  • Marketing products from Kutus United Self Help Women Group.                                                                               

Examples of those products are: 

  •    Hand-woven handbags 
  •    Carvings 
  •    Handmade floor mats and rugs 
  •    Wallets
  •    Portraits 
  •    Sandals - etc

 

Upgrading the School Buildings

The backbone of a strong economy of a country starts with education. Since the new government in Kenya took over, they made education free for primary schools up to grade 8. This has made it easier for local people to ensure that their children attend schools. The only challenge is for parents to come up with decent buildings where children can learn comfortably. Growers Alliance Fund’s first project in Kathunguri area was to help change the classes from mud and grass thatched roofed classes to brick buildings. See the pictures below for Kathunguri Primary School.

 

Uniforms and School Supplies

Growers Alliance Fund gathered school supplies – Pens, books, toys, chalks etc, and school uniforms for over 50 students in Kathunguri Primary School. Hopefully, we will be able to supply some more in years to come.

Digging of Clean Water Artesian wells (Bore Holes)

The supply for clean water around the coffee growing regions is currently an issue. The streams that pass through coffee farms have muddy dirty water, which is contaminated with pesticides from all the agricultural activities going on around the region. This has in turn caused so many ailments to the local coffee growing communities. Growers Alliance decided to start digging clean water artesian wells around these coffee regions as an alternative for clean water supplies. One artesian well situated in a common area can serve up to 10 families of coffee farmers. So far, Growers alliance Fund has helped to dig seven artesian wells in Gachuriri, Embu District. With your help, we are looking forward to continue getting more families clean water supplies. See pictures below for Gachuriri Artesian Wells Projects.

 

 

Workshops on modern sustainable farming methods


Growers Alliance has been able to contract graduates from some of the finest learning institutions in Kenya – Egerton University for Agriculture – Njoro. They  conducted four seminars in 2007 presenting to member groups. Some of the materials covered during the seminars are:

  • Training in organic composting
  • Soil fertility
  • Conservation
  • Water harvesting
  • Land management
  • Agro business
  • Biocides
  • Organic seeds
  • Organic fertilizers
  • Agro forestry, etc

The lessons learnt at these seminars will enable growers to produce enough food for local consumption, and gain access to more profitable markets for their international produce thus raising their standards of living and economic independence.

 

The aim of Growers Alliance educational programs in the best farming methods is to:-

  • Reduce local farmers' dependency on expensive, artificial inputs such as chemical fertilizers and pesticides and move towards Organic coffees and foods for their own consumption.
  • Encourage better land use (such as crop rotation) to improve degraded soil.
  • Encourage the creation of small kitchen gardens to produce other different foods for the family.
  • Introducing growers to more profitable international markets.
  • Reduce dependency on international funding since they can economically depend on their own farms.

The growers have expressed so much appreciation for the seminars. Some of the immediate effects that we noticed last year were that most of the growers who had cut down their coffee trees started re-planting them. As of the end of 2007, about 4807 coffee trees were re-planted in Gikumbo area. We hope to give many more seminars to most of the regions where we source our coffees from and see more impact.

 

HIV/ Aids Awareness programs in the rural coffee societies


As per US Census Bureau 2005 projection, approximately 800 Kenyans die each day from HIV/AIDS related diseases, and an estimated 1 million children are left orphaned each year.

The coffee growing communities worldwide and especially in Africa, Central and Latin America are not an exemption to these statistics. With the help of professional workers and volunteers, Growers Alliance Fund has made headway in encouraging the growers to set up social groups.

These groups are met on different dates by the social workers funded by Growers Alliance Fund on HIV and AIDS awareness seminars, where people can gather to learn more information and support from people in similar situations, and also discuss issues and worries in a safe environment. Unfortunately, there is a culture of secrecy surrounding HIV and AIDS in Kenya. Many people do not go for testing when their partners die for fear that they might be infected, or those who do know they are HIV positive, keep it as a secret for fear of rejection by the soc iety. Grower Alliance Fund is helping to encourage and support open and frank discussions about the virus, with the hope that the societies will face the problem courageously.          

Growers Alliance Coffee