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.
Nearly 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:
The 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.
The 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.
Virunga 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.