It's what we know already, and why we do what we do. Good summary of a complex situation.
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Many of you sent me out to Tanzania with comments and questions - the villagers loved that they could hear direct from those who enjoy their coffee and we had some fun in translation of the questions!Here are a few of their responses (I've paraphrased):
More photos and little stories online soon
- What are your biggest joys and frustrations as a coffee farmer? - "Biggest joy is when we get paid! And biggest frustration is climate being so changeable and unreliable."
- What options do farmers have when they don't like the alternatives that buyers offer them? - "Once the coffee is grown, no option. We have to sell to whoever comes along. But relationship with Ian has changed that. Other things we grow to help sustain us include maize and bananas."
- What help do they think we can offer?Do you drink coffee? - "Buying coffee at a good price and coming back every year."
- Do you drink coffee?- "Yes!" (I knew the answer to this before I asked and it is 'no', they don't really like it, and it s a valuable crop, but they wanted to be polite so answered 'yes'. When I questioned them they just all laughed.)
So much happening this year - exciting projects with trees and water supply in Tanzania, some local initiatives in Gloucestershire too, and a new coffee arriving from Cameroon.
You can view/download a pdf copy of our latest newsletter here
We ran a campaign at the end of last year to match any funds raised by Amigos for their work in Uganda. We set a challenge of £2,000 and we did it!
Here's their letter to us:
Dear Ethical Addictions,
Fantastic! Thanks so much, we really appreciate your kindness.
As I’m sure you’re aware, in January 40 new trainees will embark on a life-changing year at Kira Farm Development Centre. As well as acquiring vocational skills such as carpentry and tailoring, these precious young people will learn conservation farming techniques which radically increase crop yields. To complement these skills, the students will also be trained in the importance of hygiene, gender equality and conflict resolution. It really is a wide-reaching holistic course from which we're seeing amazing results!
Early 2016 will also see the start of our new conservation farming groups, enabling communities to grow enough food to feed their families and have a surplus to sell. This means they will be able to pay for essentials such as medicine and children's school fees.
Your incredibly generous donation has helped to make that happen, changing the lives of both individuals and communities, and for that we cannot thank you enough.
We love and appreciate your support in standing with us in this vital work.
We could not do this without you!
It was so nice hearing from you it has been more privilege of being sponsored by you through Amigos. It is so exciting to know that you coming hope I get to meet you that will be so good. Am just counting days to going home but I fill so ready for home but I fill so ready for home. I have been blessed with so many Skills am now making plans on how I am going to put them into better use. Once an amigos always an amigos that has kept me so relaxed because I know I will have people to consult about so many things. I will be looking forward to your travelling plans. Yours, Dorcus.
[PHOTO: Dorcus showing off her cassava chips she has made for sale.]
How are you doing? I cannot believe this is my last email am writing to you before I leave Kira next month. I am counting weeks to going back home, my last weeks on Kira are going to be emotional,
With the business training I have been taken through at this end of my training I have been encouraged that even with little I can achieve something. My focus is now on how I am going to use specifically my building skill to see that I earn some money that can enable me do other things like carpentry and also helping out my family. I am saying building at first because there are so many building jobs in my village so for that I am so sure I have a ready market. Thanks a lot for restoring hope into my life.leaving my friends and this wonderful environment of Kira Farm is not going to be easy.. There is a lot of positive changes that have happened in my life. I have new goals to achieve and I am so sure they are all achievable. I have skills and a life that has been transformed inside and out. I am now using these last weeks to draw out plans on how am going to see my goals become a reality. Yours, Beckham.
[PHOTO: Beckham frying some mandazi for his busness.]