Following our visit to the Orera village in December I want to share the following updates and some photos (even more photos on the photo pages):
The harvest was early and so most of the picking was done. All the beans were in the final days of drying before going to the mill and then being packed to send to us in the UK.
We made some pre-payments on the crop which is essential for smallholders given they often have no other sources of income, and no lines of credit like big companies. The money helped them to pay for food for Christmas and for education fees due early in the new year.
We looked around the vilage and met with the kids, taking gifts and playing silly games. We sat through long meetings and then one-by-one paid each smallholder and had them sign for their reciept which is such a huge leap forward in transparency and avoids dispute and corruption (even if it is a long process!) See the list of signatures here.
There was further encouragement with progress on tree-planting by the Community Club and a new bee project. The land that was jointly purchased for pulpery and processing is now finalised and ready for the building of a store house which EA were able to make a donation towards construction.
Great trip, and encouraging to see the real difference we get to make. The work we do is a priviledge and we've returned thankful for the customers we have who make it all possible.