Monika Nowak, the Starbucks Coffee Master at DeVere Village at Shaw Ridge Leisure Park featured in the September Link magazine, is organising a fundraising coffee tasting evening on Sunday 25 October, 5pm to 7.30pm.
The aim is get supporters behind her project to raise £1,000 to purchase a cow for a family in Rwanda.
Monika will show a movie made on her visit to the country in May on a Starbucks organised trip to meet coffee growers. She will talk about how a cow represents a major health and economic asset to a family, and provides fertiliser for coffee bushes.
She travelled to Rwanda as the UK representative on this year’s Starbucks Origins Programme. With coffee masters from 22 European countries she visited coffee farms in the mountains around the capital Kigali to meet growers and see coffee processing methods.
Monika said: “It was an amazing experience to meet the farmers and the communities that depend on them. Everywhere we went we were welcomed with dancing celebrating coffee and were expected to join in. Considering the conflict and the horror of civil war in the early 1990s, it was incredible to meet such happy people rebuilding their country. We were humbled by the experience and came back wanting to do more.”
Starbucks is committed to helping coffee growers improve their farming methods and the quality of their produce and arranges trips for staff around the world to farms in Rwanda, Costa Rica and Sumatra. So important is coffee to the Rwandan economy that Monika and colleagues met the president of the country.
She added: “In 2009 Starbucks launched Rwanda Send a Cow so that customers can help buy livestock to sustain families. A cow provides milk to keep children healthy, its manure helps nurture coffee trees and overall boosts annual family income from $200 to $600 which helps pay for health care, education, electricity and running water. And the farmers commit to donating young lifestock to a neighbouring farm.
“Starbucks originally donated 57 cows and there are now 114.”
There is a Send a Cow collecting box at the serving counter at DeVere Village. Monika’s target is £1,000, but she’s planning a range of fundraising projects such as a fun run to set a record for the most people dressed as cows.
“I’ve had so many offers of help from customers and contacts for this project,” said Monika. “Together we can make a difference”
To take part in the coffee tasting evening, visit the DeVere to book a place or mail: Monika.Nowak@village-hotels.com If you’re unable to take part but would like to contribute, visit the Starbucks outlet at the DeVere or donate online at: www.justgiving.com/SbuxRwanda2015
Quoting Dr Loretta Scott, Monika says: ‘We can’t help everyone, but… everyone can help someone.’