On the morning of December 6th, 2018, the Economic Empowerment Committee camped out in Hagerty Hall on Ohio State’s campus to give out coffee and ask for donations to Sustainable Growers. Sustainable Growers is a nonprofit which provides a yearlong training program to women coffee farmers in Rwanda (and hopefully other places, soon). The training is free, and each week the program’s coordinators check on their women’s crops to see if they’ve implemented some of the coffee farming techniques they’ve been taught. Sustainable Growers teaches its participants more eco-friendly practices, ways to add value to their end-product by picking the coffee cherries at the right time, and also provides an international market for the women’s coffee. When the women in the program do implement a technique they’re learned, they accumulate points which can be used buy items they might need through Sustainable growers, like pruning shears, solar lights, fabric, or even rabbits. The Economic Empowerment Committee purchased Question Coffee, the brand that Sustainable Growers’ women grow beans for, and brewed the coffee for the event.
Many of AWOW’s donations came from members who stopped by for coffee on the 6th on their way to study for exams, but some came from friends who heard about the event from members, and some were from students, staff, and faculty who happened to pass by in Hagerty Hall. We are so excited to have raised $125 for Sustainable Growers! The money will go directly to Sustainable Growers’ fund which purchases the items women can buy with their points. We want to thank Ruth Coleman, the Executive Director of Sustainable Growers, for her help in coordinating the event as well as all of the donors who are helping to provide incentives for women to continue growing their small businesses and supporting their families. We’re so excited about how empowering Sustainable Grower’s program model is, and how their program’s participants are truly learning how to sustain their businesses by learning the best techniques for their financial wellbeing and for the environment. It’s also so exciting that we can make an impact on people’s lives just by being intentional about where we buy our products! If you want to help out this cause, please consider buying your next bag of coffee from Question Coffee in order to directly support women (and to get some really great coffee):