I have had the pleasure of reporting from low-income countries in east Africa, Asia, and the Caribbean many times and have seen a multitude of poverty eradication efforts from organizations that are created by social entrepreneurs to those that are funded by foundations, corporations and countries’ developmental aid. No matter the organizations’ efforts, there are key poverty eradication tenets they all subscribe to: community buy-in (financial inclusion), women-based business opportunities, educational programs, and increased access to food, clean water and quality health care. When all of these aspects are combined they tend to gradually reduce community and familial poverty.
Noting this, I was happy to learn about Rwanda-based nonprofit the Kula Project that helps families escape poverty through robust coffee farms whose yields reach international markets as well as a women’s fellowships program that teach them how to build their own agribusiness or businesses that creates artisan goods. In short, the Kula Project believes in poverty eradication through sustainable entrepreneurship instead of merely through charity. And, their vision has created a measurable impact. The Kula Project has had 850 entrepreneurs graduate from their Kula fellowship. Their entrepreneurs have planted 400,000 coffee trees and shade trees and have sold 5000 tons of coffee from 3000 families. Additionally, 20,000 hours has been dedicated to training among other impact milestones.
This year is Kula’s ten-year anniversary and they have a goal of raising $1 million for their fellowships and investments in women’s businesses. One way to help Kula reach its goal is by purchasing its Together Bundles for the holidays. I received a bundle for review and can say that the coffee is the type I love: dark roast with a hint of sweetness. It also comes with a beautifully made Rwandan tea towel and a wooden coffee scoop. The coffee and spoon came wrapped in the tea towel with a twine bow.
To support the Kula Project you can purchase one or a few Together Bundles. They are only $30 and are perfect holiday gifts.