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To work with coffee-farming families to improve their lives and livelihoods.
To this end, our staff works with local organizations in Latin America to create programs in education, health care, economic diversification, food security and capacity building in coffee-farming communities. These efforts allow coffee farmers to reduce their dependence on the volatile coffee market and confront their most pressing community needs.
- Coffee Kids partners with local organizations in coffee regions that work directly with coffee-farming communities.
- Our partners provide technical resources, training and follow-through to communities to implement grassroots projects.
- We provide the resources that enable our partners and their communities to put their vision into action.
- We facilitate idea-sharing exchanges between project participants and other organizations to find solutions to common problems.
- All projects are designed by community members and based on their needs and priorities.Because every coffee-farming community is unique, every Coffee Kids project is unique. What is common is an attitude of respect for all people’s values, cultural integrity, intelligence and ingenuity.
The projects we support can be categorized into five main program areas:
Through effective community organizing, women in rural Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras and Peru are learning to identify and treat common illnesses with natural medicines. In turn, these women train others about preventive health care, including traditional herbal remedies, and pre- and post-natal care.
Thousands of children have continued their schooling thanks to education projects in rural Costa Rica and Nicaragua. Grants to elementary schools provide teaching materials and repair school buildings. Scholarships for high school and university students help families cover the cost of school supplies, textbooks and transportation.
More than 4,000 women are now running their own small businesses thanks to microcredit projects in rural Mexico and Nicaragua. By building their personal savings and taking out small, low-interest loans ($50-100), these women are able to start or expand their own small businesses, ranging from selling vegetables or tortillas to running a midwifery clinic or a general store.
Through projects in family gardens, worm composting and nutritional education, among others, hundreds of families work to ensure adequate supplies of fresh, local food to minimize the impact of a global rise in food prices.
Coffee Kids funds projects that bring essential technical training to coffee-growing communities.
Bill Fishbein, a coffee roaster from Providence, R.I., USA, founded Coffee Kids in 1988. Fishbein has been working in the specialty coffee industry since 1977 when it was just beginning to make an impact in the United States.
While traveling to Guatemala in 1988, he witnessed the poverty faced by those producing coffee. Over 125 million people around the world are completely dependent on the annual coffee harvest as their only source of income.
Fishbein was shocked by the poverty, but overwhelmed by the generosity and spirit of the people forming the base of the coffee industry.
Upon his return home, Fishbein began canvassing fellow coffee roasters and was overwhelmed by the support. Numerous roasters were confronting the same realities at the roots of the industry and looking for an outlet to support positive change.
Since then, Coffee Kids has raised and distributed over $4 million in funds to help coffee-farming families in their efforts to improve the quality of their lives.