At Mt Atkinson Coffee our speciality is connecting your cup of coffee with positive change for a community of coffee growers in Kanungu, West Uganda.
Through the purchasing and importing of this coffee we are seeing this community transformed.
We call it DIRECT TRADE. Every KG that we import from Uganda has a margin built in that funds initiatives to lift this area out of poverty.
What exactly does it fund?
You know that horrible queasy feeling that you get when you are not well? its not quite painful, but you can’t ever really relax. Hard to concentrate, hard to focus on anything.
You constantly just wish it felt better. Wish it felt normal.
In Kanungu, West Uganda this is a big problem.
The reason: Lack of pure water.
99% of households in this area have to walk each day to get water from ponds, or streams. These water sources are often contaminated by animals or from pollution.
If you are lucky, this ONLY gives you a sore tummy, usually drinking this water leads to much more serious conditions.
When we took our young family to Kanungu, we were advised to take bottled water for us and our 2 young boys to drink so that we all didn’t get sick.
As New Zealanders this seemed crazy, we drink water straight out of the tap.
Think about this contrast for a minute:
Here in New Zealand one of my kids runs up to me and yells
‘DAD IM THIRSTY’
It is the simplest of things to grab a glass off the shelf in the kitchen, turn on the tap and pour him a glass of pure water to quench his thirst.
Kanungu, West Uganda:
We walked for an hour to visit a coffee growers home. On the way we passed ladies carrying jerry cans of water on their heads. These are heavy.
The home we visited was built on the side of a ridge, surrounded by coffee trees, constructed of mud and straw, with a tin roof. It was a hot day. We were thirsty.
I asked where they got their water from.
It was a 2 km climb down to the bottom of the valley to the muddy stream to fill the jerry cans and come back home.
A 4 km daily chore.
Even then, this water is risky to drink, potentially contaminated with diseases that upset the stomach of those who drink it, or worse cause hospitalization and death.
That same ‘DAD IM THIRSTY’ comes with a huge cost of time, effort and risk.
While the effort and time is harder to change, the risk is easy to solve.
The coffee we import, directly funds water purification tablets being distributed to homes in this community.
A 200g bag of our coffee purifies 5 litres of water.
A 500g bag purifies 12.5 litres
And a KG purifies 25 litres.
So drink up, while that tasty cup of Mt Atkinson coffee is giving life to your day, it is also providing life on the other side of the world.