GWC, Amref Health Africa and the Starbucks Foundation Celebrate Partnership to Support Women and Girls in Coffee- and Tea-Growing Communities Across Kenya and Tanzania

As we reflect upon this month’s International Women’s Day, we are cognizant, now more than ever, of women and children’s vulnerability amid the upheavals and unpredictable events of the world. And yet, simultaneously, we have witnessed women time and again as powerful agents for change through the pivotal role they play, and the ripple effect they have on their communities when empowered with the resources to improve their livelihoods.

As women around the world amplify their voices for more equitable, diverse, and inclusive societies, critical issues around basic humanitarian needs, such as access to safe water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) remain as pertinent as ever.

Around the world one in three (over 2.2 billion) people do not have access to safely managed drinking water. In 80% of cases, women and girls are responsible for water collection. The burden that women and girls bear in collecting water is a contributing factor that results in the inability to participate in schooling as well as reduced income-generating or leadership opportunities. Proper access to WASH is a cornerstone of gender equality in water scarce environments.

In keeping with our commitment to empowering women and girls through WASH access, this month we celebrate our partnership with The Starbucks Foundation and Amref Health Africa in Kenya and Tanzania, East Africa. With our partners and our women for water platform, we have developed projects that will improve the health and economic status of up to 125,000 coffee-and-tea smallholder women farmers through improved access to WASH and the promotion of entrepreneurial and leadership training skills.

“Women’s empowerment through WASH is a proven approach for achieving community economic transformation and resilience. Our programs with The Starbucks Foundation and Amref Health Africa in Kenya and Tanzania will play a critical role in positively transforming these coffee- and tea-growing communities by empowering women to build a more sustainable future for themselves. We want to ensure our partnerships increase water security and connect women with entrepreneurial opportunities to create healthy homes and sustainable livelihood. This International Women’s Day let’s continue to enable women’s equality through water”, said Monica Ellis, CEO of Global Water Challenge.

This project is part of The Starbucks Foundation’s goal to positively impact women and girls in coffee-, tea- and cocoa-growing communities. “To create a sustainable future of coffee, we must care for the well-being of the farmers and communities that grow coffee, tea and cocoa around the world,” said Michelle Burns, Starbucks executive vice president of Global Coffee Tea and Cocoa and board member of The Starbucks Foundation. “While we continue to provide holistic support to all farmers, helping to improve their lives and livelihoods, we know that when we invest in women, we are also investing in her community.”

In Kenya, small-scale coffee farmer Eugenia Igoki will benefit from the project through entrepreneurship skills development training she will receive in addition to WASH facilities to improve her farming and family’s living conditions.

In Tanzania, Felechina Magoha’s 30-year coffee farming experience will be enhanced through improved WASH access and training in entrepreneurial and leadership skills – all of which will greatly improve the quality of Felechina’s life and her ability to provide for her family.