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 JavaJog.org.

Laura Everage is a writer, editor, and the founder of FamilyEats.net.

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! 

DONATE HERE!

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.

DRC_cooperative

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: bacaspersen@equalexchange.coop)

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 Welcomes Sponsors for 2015 Run for Ethiopia

2015 JJFC

JavaJog for a Cause organizers welcome 2015 sponsors for the third annual run in Seattle to benefit coffee women in Ethiopia. Starbucks and Metad Plc have signed on as Gold sponsors for the event, with Equal Exchange, Baratza, Spark Technologies and Schluter providing Silver level support, and Equator Coffees & Teas as Bronze level support. Roast Magazine is our Media Sponsor. JavaJog 2015 will be held April 10, starting in Seattle’s South Lake Union Park.

“We are grateful to all our sponsors for this year’s race, says Kimberly Easson, co-founder of the event, which was launched in early 2013 by Easson, Beth Ann Caspersen, and Aimee Russillo, as a way to bring together fun and fitness in the coffee community – all to benefit a great cause. “With their generous support, we are able to bring the race to Seattle, and help us reach our goal of $40,000. JavaJog is still welcoming additional sponsors and runners for the event,” she adds. Last years event brought together more than 200 runners and walkers who raised more than $35,000 for women in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

“The support from our sponsors, Starbucks, Metad, Equal Exchange, Baratza, Schluter, Spark Technologies, Equator and Roast Magazine will go a long way in helping us raise awareness and funds for women in coffee farming communities in Ethiopia,” explains Easson.

2014: 10 K starters
2014: 10 K starters

The goal for the Seattle 2015 JavaJog is 300 runners and $40,000 raised for women in coffee farming communities in Ethiopia. “While a much larger goal than last year, we wanted to set a goal that would allow us to raise more money for the cause,” explains Easson. “There are many great organizations doing work in Ethiopia including Grounds for Health, Girls Gotta Run, IWCA Ethiopia, Common River, and Amaro Gayo. And, by raising more money, we can invest in activities across the region working together with local community based organizations. There is no doubt that the need is great, and if we can strengthen our impact through sponsorships and a goal of 300 runners, $40K seemed like a realistic number.”

JavaJog’s ‘Founders Run’ was held in Boston, April 12, 2013. Fifteen runners participated, raising $7500, which was donated to the women’s committee of the Sopacdi farmer’s cooperative in South Kivu, DRC.

For more information about our sponsors, visit Starbucks, Metad Plc, Equal Exchange, Baratza, Spark Coffee Technologies, Schluter, Equator and Roast Magazine websites.
To sign up for this year’s run, or to support the cause, visit the JavaJog Crowdrise site. For more information about the cause, visit JavaJog.org.
For more information about the race or sponsorship opportunities, contact javajog@gmail.com or 202-657-5788.

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: Benefitting Women of Coffee Growing Communities in Ethiopia

2015 JJFC

(January 26, 2105) – JavaJog for a Cause, an annual event that raises money and awareness for women in coffee producing communities, is scheduled to be held April 10, 2015 in Seattle in conjunction with the annual EXPO of the Specialty Coffee Association of America (SCAA). 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.

“We chose to focus on Ethiopian women this year to tie to the SCAA’s Portrait Country promotion. Ethiopian coffee is among the most sought-after coffees in the world – and although women play a central role in assuring its quality, especially on the farms and at the processing centers, they remain very much behind the scenes. Political turmoil, an influx of refugees and high rates of poverty have affected many Ethiopians and women bear the brunt; they suffer from high rates of genital mutilation, lack of education and domestic violence – many live without access to clean drinking water or medical facilities.” explained Beth Ann Caspersen, one of JavaJog’s founders.

JavaJog 2015 will build off momentum from the 2014 run, which raised more than $35,000 for the women of the Democratic Republic of Congo. The goal of the 2015 event is to welcome more than 300 runners and walkers, who will raise money for the cause individually or as a team, helping reach the goal of $45,000.

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

Sponsorship of JavaJog 2015 provides companies with a unique opportunity to lead the charge in raising money for the Ethiopian women communities while promoting their brands in one of the newest, most exciting coffee events. Sponsorship levels include: Platinum ($5,000); Gold ($2,500); Silver ($1,00); and Product Sponsors.

Java Jog for a Cause was established early in 2013 by Kimberly Easson, Beth Ann Caspersen, 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 farmer’s cooperative in South Kivu, DRC. JavaJog 2014 benefitted coffee-farming women in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

To sign up for this year’s run, or to support the cause, visit the JavaJog Crowdrise site. To learn more about the cause, visit JavaJog.org.

For more information about the race, or sponsorship opportunities, please email javajog@gmail.com.

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.

Eth-woman-basket-smile

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.

JavaJog for a Cause 2014 Names Grant Recipients

JavaJog 2014 Benefitting Women of the DRC

JavaJog Benefitting Women of the DRC

 

August 24, 2014 – JavaJog for a Cause, an annual event that raises money and awareness for women in coffee producing communities, announces its 2014 Grant Recipients. A total of $35,000 has been allocated to three organizations working in the Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC): The DRC Chapter of the International Women’s Coffee Alliance, The Eastern Congo Initiative, and Virunga Coffee.

JavaJog - In Globe2 - Green 250Nearly 200 runners came together this past April for the 2nd Annual JavaJog 5K/10K Race in Seattle, raising more than $35,000 in funds for coffee women in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Another smaller race held in conjunction with the annual SCAE conference raised an additional $300 for the cause. The awards were allocated through a rigorous 2-part evaluation process. In late June, the JavaJog Grant Review Committee evaluated proposals. The Committee’s recommendations were then provided to the JavaJog Advisory Committee for final approval and awarding of the grants.

JavaJog for a Cause 2014 grant recipients include:

ECILogo_250The Eastern Congo Initiative (ECI), which will receive $11,500 for Small Business Development for Congolese Cooperatives. The eastern region of Democratic Republic of Congo has enormous potential to produce specialty coffee. Today, with peace and a bright economic outlook, Congolese coffee farmers are driven to increase the quality of their production to provide the international marketplace with specialty Congolese coffee. ECI and the Kahawa Bora Ya Kivu (Fine Coffee of Kivu) coffee project work with three cooperatives, investing in business development throughout the entire value chain. Through JavaJog’s grant, 30 cooperative members will have the chance to travel to successful cooperatives in East Africa, learning from different business models, which can be applicable in DRC, forming strong businesses that can reliably provide quality coffee.

IWCALogo300The DRC chapter of the International Women’s Coffee Alliance will receive $20,000 to support 750 women coffee growers of Lubarika and Ndolera village, and Uvira Territory who struggle daily to establish their rights and position within society. The grant money will be used to purchase equipment and provide infrastructure support for processing and packaging of coffee, which will help the women further meet their goal of establishing their rights and position within society through economic empowerment.

VirungaCoffeeLogo_final2_300Virunga Coffee Company will receive $3,500 for efforts to improve working conditions for women, specifically supporting the improvement of conditions for the women who sort coffee by hand. Typically, throughout most African countries, thousands of tons of coffee beans are hand sorted by women working for a few dollars per day, often in very basic working conditions. Through this grant, Virunga Coffee will make initial investments in the infrastructure, and provide these women in the DRC with a higher salary, a free lunch, and better the working environment which will include new tables, stools and good lighting.

JavaJog 2014 was made possible through a network of volunteers as well as many generous sponsors. Platinum Sponsor for JavaJog 2014 was Westrock Coffee Company, which provides global export opportunities and purposeful employment to partners at origin. Equal Exchange, Baratza and Equator Coffees & Teas provided Bronze Level support, and Roast Magazine served as the Media Sponsor. A number of product sponsors, included Theo Chocolate, Bonavita, Espro and SCAA. Coffee served at the event was from Caffe Vita and Herkimer Coffee.

Plans are underway for the 3rd Annual Race to take place in Seattle, April 10th.
To learn more about the cause, visit JavaJog for a Cause. For more information about the race, or sponsorship opportunities, please email javajog@gmail.com