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Its Time to Invest the $25,000 Raised for Coffee Women in Ethiopia

Funding Proposals Now Being Accepted!

WOW ~ This year’s JavaJoggers raised $25,000 through donations from friends, family and colleagues from near and far!  Now its time to embark on the grants process that will decide which worthy projects will receive the funds.

We have already invited several organizations to submit proposals, and the process is open to others that meet the criteria described in the grant protocols. Please help spread the word!

Here is a snapshot of this year’s timeline:

  • April/May: JavaJog invites up to organizations to submit funding proposals
  • May: Grant Review Committee members confirmed
  • 15th June 2015: Funding proposals due, JavaJog Advisory Council assembles and compiles
  • 25th of June 2015: All proposals that meet basic criteria sent to external Grant Review Committee for independent review
  • Grant Committee meets virtually to discuss proposals and make final recommendations to JavaJog Advisory Committee by 24th of July
  • 3rd of August: recipients announced. Signing of contracts between JavaJog and Grant Recipients.
  • Funds disbursed by end of August
  • Initial report due December 2015 with pictures
  • Final report due with pictures and end financials Feb 2016

We look forward to receiving and reviewing proposals for this year’s funds, and keeping the JavaJog community apprised of the progress.

Thanks for all you do, JavaJog supporters!



“Ask Not What Coffee Can Do For You…

…But what you can do for Ethiopia’s coffee women.”  These words from Elizabeth Goldblatt of Six Degrees Coffee have been key to her fundraising success. She has so far raised $3,500, surpassing her goal of $3,000.  Elizabeth continues to seek donations and challenge others to help us meet our goal of $40,000.  Donations for JavaJog for a Cause are being accepted through April 30th.

In recognition as JavaJog 2015’s top fundraiser, she won a stylish  Virtuoso Grinder  donated by Baratza.  “The Virtuoso lives up to its name by providing technical skill, classic style and a consistent, quality grind.”  Lucky Elizabeth will enjoy this grinder “that’s truly in a class all by itself. ”

Elizabeth’s motto #justask and assuring that no donation is too small – have encouraged her supporters to make donations ranging from $10 to $500.  “Coffee connects us.  Its so vital, if we don’t take care of origin, we’re in deep trouble. Everyone can contribute.” This is the second year that Elizabeth has won the top-fundraiser award.

virtuosa grinder









We thank Baratza for the generous donation of the grinder and Elizabeth for her fundraising prowess and tenacity!  Well done!

3rd Annual Java Jog a Success, Raising Money for Ethiopia

By Laura Everage, Family Eats (Reprinted from the SCAA Chronicle, April 12, 2015)

The 3rd annual Java Jog for a Cause was held Friday morning, April 10, 2015 at South Lake Union Park in Seattle. Nearly 200 runners joined the early morning 10k/5k run which brought together the coffee community for a fun event that helped raise money for a great cause.

This year, Java Jog fundraising efforts will benefit the women of coffee growing communities in Ethiopia. To date, team and individual runners have raised nearly $25,000 for the cause.

Funds raised from Java Jog 2015 will be invested in organizations that work locally to address issues facing Ethiopian women in a variety of areas such as health, productivity, training, leadership, and advocacy. Java Jog organizers are working with coffee partners on the ground in Ethiopia, identifying potential recipients for this year’s funds. Key groups have been invited to submit proposals, which will be reviewed by an independent committee. Reports of the use of the funds will be made public on the Java Jog website.

“Our goal with Java Jog is to help empower women in coffee-growing communities as they struggle against political turmoil, domestic violence, lack of education, insufficient access to healthcare, and much more. We are thankful to all the sponsors, supporters, and runners of Java Jog 2015 whose efforts will benefit the women of Ethiopia,” said Kimberly Easson, one of the founders of Java Jog.

Java Jog for a Cause was established in 2013 by Easson, Beth Ann Caspersen, and Aimee Russillo. The Founders’ Run was held in Boston with 15 runners and raised $7500, which was donated to the women’s committee of the Sopacdi farmers’ cooperative in South Kivu, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Java Jog 2014 benefitted coffee-farming women in the DRC as well.

Java Jog for a Cause 2015 is generously sponsored by StarbucksMetad PlcEqual ExchangeBaratzaSpark Coffee TechnologiesSchluterEquator Coffees & Teas and Roast Magazine. Donations will continue to be accepted until April 30. To support the cause, visit the JavaJog Crowdrise site. To learn more about the cause, visit

Laura Everage is a writer, editor, and the founder of

There is still time to support this year’s JavaJog at SCAA! Run, Walk, Donate, Volunteer!

We’ve set a HUGE goal for JavaJog 2015.  We need your help! 


Last year the coffee community (YOU!) raised more than $35,000 for women in the Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).  That’s BIG.  See how your money has made a difference.

Please help us reach our 2015 goal!  We have about ten days to go before the race and we’re at 25% of our $40,000 goal.  Every penny raised* (including race registration fees) goes to the cause.  The JavaJog Organizing Committee has put in hundreds of volunteer hours to bring this race to you, and our generous sponsors have covered the race costs.  We love the fun and spirit that specialty coffee JavaJoggers bring to the race.  A friendly reminder of the purpose of JavaJog: fun, celebration, raising-awareness and fundraising.  That is why it’s called JavaJog for a Cause.

cherry pickerEthiopian coffee women need your support. Ethiopia is the fifth largest coffee producing country in the world, and while the situation of women there does not make for dramatic headlines like it does for the DRC, coffee women too often live in pretty dire circumstances.  Learn more here.

How your donations will be spent… Below are two likely organizations that will receive JavaJog 2015 funds you raise. We’ve invited three other organizations to apply so far, and our proposal process is open.  Read about our grant protocols here.

–        Girls Gotta Run

–        Grounds for Health

Fundraising can be fun and inspiring. Think of the women – and how their faces light up knowing they’ve been recognized, knowing that they’re connected and have a chance for a ‘leg up’ through JavaJog support.  Your support makes a difference.

Reaching our goal is easy with your help!  If every registered runner brought in another $200 we’d easily reach our goal.   That’s pretty easy – here are some tips for how you can bring in donations.

Thank you for being a part of JavaJog 2015. Think of the pride you’ll have, sporting your stylish, eco-conscious JavaJog t-shirt – and – knowing you contributed to the advancement and wellbeing of our coffee sisters in the birthplace of coffee.

We accept cash, checks and visa through Crowdrise.  Feel free to bring a check or cash when you pick up your race packet, April 9th or the morning of the race.

See you April 10th bright and early.

Rock On, JavaJoggers.  We appreciate you immensely.

Kimberly, Aimee and Beth Ann

JavaJog 2014: Where’d the Money Go?

by Beth Ann Caspersen

We are a small volunteer organization that has provided financial support to women in coffee through capacity building, medical support and coffee processing equipment. Java Jog for a Cause raised $35,000 in 2014 for women in the DRC and while project execution can be difficult in a country like the DRC, we can proudly report on the projects that were funded and demonstrate how we are, thanks to all of our supporters, succeeding in helping women in coffee. Here is a snapshot of how the beneficiaries of this money put it to good use:

Virunga Coffee Company: $3,500

This grant built new tables and stools for sorting that are more ergonomically correct and comfortable. In addition, a solar lighting system was installed, enabling the women to see better, especially during the rainy season.

Following construction of the sorting tables.

Virunga has worked diligently to implement the funding and started out by building two different kinds of sorting tables as ‘model’ tables to try out for a short period of time. Once they determined which table was better, based on workflow and feedback from the women, local woodworkers constructed 16 tables. Each table can accommodate four women sorting coffee, for a total of 64 women (only a modest 25 table spots were initially requested). The dimensions are designed to allow enough space for the handling of coffee with comfortable body positions.

Eastern Congo Initiative: $11,500

“Coffee has the potential to be an important driver of economic development for local communities surrounding Lake Kivu, in the eastern DRC,” says Harper McConnell of the Eastern Congo Initiative. “While women play an important role in coffee production in DRC, few women are currently implicated in decision-making surrounding the sale, management and marketing of coffee. This is a critical challenge to the socioeconomic development of the region and an obstacle to gender equality.”

Partnering with the Tufaidike cooperative in the Minova region, ECI is working to integrate women into the cooperative’s decision-making structures. To support this objective, 23 sub-group leaders within Tufaidike will travel with the cooperative management team to Rwanda between March 31 and April 1 for a learning visit to two prominent coffee cooperatives, Huye and Simbi. Eleven of the 23 traveling sub-group leaders will be women. The Tufaidike representatives will build a stronger understanding of coffee processing in washing stations, and focus on the importance and benefits of effective and inclusive cooperative governance.

Following the visit to Huye and Simbi, these cooperative members will be hosted by the Rwanda Trading Company in Kigali on April 2 to learn about the coffee cupping process, as well as farming practices that can improve quality.

International Women’s Coffee Alliance: D.R. Congo Chapter: $20,000

What happens if you harvest great quality coffee but you don’t have anywhere to process it? This is the situation that many farmers face in the DRC and it is one of the many reasons we chose to fund the the International Women’s Coffee Alliance project to support women coffee farmers in Lubarika village, Ndolera village and Uvira Territory to build their own coffee washing station. The $20,000 grant, along with additional outside funding provided by Food for the Hungry USA, has allowed for a range or equipment purchases for processing infrastructure.


Chantal Binwa, president of both the Tuungane Coffee Growers Cooperative and and the IWCA’s DRC chapter, happily reports that the project is nearing completion. They have finished building the water filter for the washing of coffee; the water reservoir of the washing station; the shed for cherry reception; a sink for cherry reception; the shed for cherry machinery; fermentation sinks; a coffee grader and washing canal; sinks to soak coffee; and cherry machinery installation.

These updates to the washing station will allow for the processing of approximately 450 kilos of cherry during the harvest season, from coffees grown by some 1,500 female smallholder farmers from the Uvira, Walungu and Fizi territories. Just as important, it will allow the women of the cooperative to further their position in society through economic empowerment.

Java Jog 2015

The $35,000 raised in 2014 allowed for some significant steps in the empowerment of women in the DRC and the development of the coffee segment’s industry as a whole. We humbly ask for your support in 2015, as each contribution from each jogger represents more and bigger steps toward positive change in the supply structure, and improved opportunities for women that benefit everyone involved.

(Beth Ann Caspersen is one of the co-founders of Java Jog for a Cause. She is the Quality Control Manger for the coffee importer and roaster Equal Exchange in West Bridgewater, Mass., the founder of the Congo Coffee Project, a Q Licensed Instructor and member of the SCAA Coffee Tasters Committee. You can email her with your thoughts and questions:

2015 JavaJog T-shirts are organic, fair trade, made by women

One of the good things about JavaJog are our t-shirts!  We placed an order for 300 mens and women’s tees this week. Like last year’s shirts, these tees are fairtrade and organic – from Freeset.

“Freeset tees are made by women in Kolkata, India who were once marginalized and trapped by poverty and prostitution. Freeset has given them an alternative – a way to find freedom. They have learned new skills and now earn a respectable, shame-free living making tees for you!”  Read more about the story here.

Last year, JavaJog participants remarked at the style and comfort of the shirts.  Our women JavaJoggers in particular, were pleased by the sculpted design with a scoop neckline and cap sleeves, which has been repeated for this year.

Pick-up your JavaJog 2015 t-shirt and race packet in the main registration area at the SCAA Expo in Seattle on Thursday, April 9 from 2:30 – 5:00pm. 

Here is a sneak peak at the shirt design!!

Screen Shot 2015-03-22 at 10.51.04 AM

This year, our courageous volunteers get their own shirt to help them stand out in a crowd!

Screen Shot 2015-03-22 at 10.51.17 AM

JavaJog 2014 Funds Yield Swift Results in DRC

Higher Grounds Co-Founder, Chris Treter recently visited Tuuange Coffee Growers’ Cooperative (and JavaJog 2014 award winner through IWCA DRC)  in Eastern DRC:  

“Having participated in the Javajog last year, I was great to see the amazing swift, efficient use of the funds. When I remarked in amazement the low cost of the washing station, Chantal remarked, “that’s what happens when women have control of the money.” Great work!”

Take a look at the impressive result below:

Thanks for this report Chris, and CONGRATULATIONS to Chantal and her leadership with the farmers to make this dream become a reality!!

Java Jog 2014 Update: Funds in Action in DRC

What happens if you harvest great quality coffee but you don’t have anywhere to process it? This is the situation that many farmers face in the Democratic Republic of Congo and is one of the many reasons why JavaJog for a Cause chose to fund the International Women’s Coffee Alliance (IWCA) Congo Chapter’s project to support women coffee farmers in Lubarika and Ndolera village and Uvira Territory to build their own coffee washing station. The $20,000 grant awarded by Java Jog for a Cause, matched with additional funding provided by Food for the Hungry USA, was used to purchase equipment and provide infrastructure support for processing their coffee.

Construction begins on the washing station.
Construction begins on the washing station.

Chantal Binwa, the President of Tuungane Coffee Growers Cooperative & President of IWCA DR CONGO reported happily that the project is now complete. The project included:

–       Water filter and reservoir for the washing of coffee
–       Shed and sink for cherry reception
–       Shed for cherry machinery
–        Fermentation Sinks
–       Coffee grader and washing canal
–       Sinks to Soak coffee
–       Cherry machinery installation

Chantal visits the project site with technicians.

Chantal visits the project site with technicians.

Ms. Binwah provided us with a detailed look at the system they are implementing and how this will impact the area, “Our 3 disc pulper with Aagaard pregrader system has the processing capacity of 3 tons an hour. For that, we allow to process 450,000 kgs of cherry during all the harvest period. With this production, we’ll attend 1500 small women’ coffee growers and others from Uvira, Walungu and Fizi Territories.” She explains that the washing station was conceived to process the two variety of coffee : Arabica and Robusta.

Not only will the washing station be very beneficial for women members of TUUNGANE COOPERATIVE, it will help the women further meet their goal of establishing their rights and position within society through economic empowerment.


2015 JavaJog for a Cause Set to Benefit Women of Coffee Growing Communities in Ethiopia

This year’s 5K JavaJog Run and Walk will be held Friday April 10th at 7:30am (7:00am for the 10K)  in Seattle in conjunction with the annual EXPO of the Specialty Coffee Association of  America (SCAA).  Register through the SCAA EXPO Registration process, or here.


This year’s event, the third race, will benefit women of Ethiopian coffee producing communities, and will provide individuals, teams and corporations the opportunity to contribute to improve livelihoods of women within these communities.

Teams are being invited to run and fund-raise, with prizes to be awarded to the best performers.  We expect 300 runners this year to gather at South Lake Union Park for a beautiful run (or walk) along the lake.

Stay tuned for more details – don’t miss the fun!  And, its all for a great cause.

SCAE JavaJog Founder’s Run A Success

JavaJog SCAE brought together 10 runners from 6 nationalities for a 5K Fun Run through the parks of Rimini. Coffee professionals from the UK, Ireland, Australia, Netherlands, Honduras and the US met up at the John F Kennedy Plaza near the Rimini marina on a sunny morning, June 11.

The race was put together as an impromtu gathering for fun, fitness and to raise funds for coffee women in the Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo.  In all, more than 200 Euros were raised and will be added to the funds from the SCAA Seattle JavaJog which was held on April 25th.

JavaJog organizers are already planning a race for next year’s SCAE in Sweden ~  see you there!