CARE, the international humanitarian and development organization, announced today that it has received a commitment in excess of $500,000 from Starbucks to help fund a three-year program that will improve economic and educational prospects for more than 6,000 people in rural Ethiopia's coffee growing regions.Starbucks has supported CARE for 15 years with grants totaling more than $3 million to coffee growing regions including Costa Rica, Guatemala, Indonesia and Ethiopia.
"As we have seen throughout Starbucks past support of programs in Ethiopia ? as well as Guatemala, Indonesia, Costa Rica and other coffee growing regions ? education, micro-finance and agricultural training methods provide both immediate and long-term benefits to the community," said Dr. Helene Gayle, president and chief executive officer of CARE."Women in particular will have increased access to tools that help them take the lead in income generation activities that enable them to better support their families."
The development project between CARE and Starbucks will support 1,500 households through programs to improve agricultural practices and adult literacy.CARE's projects will train women and men in agricultural techniques that reduce crop losses, establish community-based saving and self-help groups that provide sustainable financial and social services, and fund adult functional literacy programs. The project is particularly sensitive to balancing women's learning with cultural sensitivities and their existing workloads.
"Teaching our local farmers how to increase crop yields and improving adult literacy are critical to the long-term development of the coffee growing regions," said Abby Maxman, country director for CARE Ethiopia. "We view this project as an example of empowering households to take command of their own futures and their potential through education and training."
Ethiopia's human development index ranks the country 170 out of 177 with more than 45 percent of the population living below the poverty line.The newest Starbucks-funded project in Ethiopia is in a region known both for its high-quality coffee growing as well as chronic food insecurity that results from its remote location and periodic weather-related crop failures.
"We have proudly supported CARE projects around the world for the past 15 years," said Sandra Taylor, senior vice president, Corporate Social Responsibility, Starbucks Coffee Company."Ethiopia is an important coffee sourcing region for Starbucks, and we are pleased to continue our years of extensive community and economic development work there in partnership with CARE."
CARE and Starbucks have been working together since 1991.Over the years, Starbucks has contributed more than $3 million to CARE.Some of the issues Starbucks and CARE work together on are health and nutrition, community development, water sanitation, biodiversity conservation, community-self financing and children's concerns around the world.In addition they have been actively involved during global emergencies such as after earthquakes, hurricanes, and the 2004 tsunami to provide relief to displaced victims.
CARE is a leading humanitarian organization fighting global poverty. We place special focus on working alongside poor women because, equipped with the proper resources, women have the power to help whole families and entire communities escape poverty. Women are at the heart of CARE's community-based efforts to improve basic education, prevent the spread of HIV, increase access to clean water and sanitation, expand economic opportunity and protect natural resources. CARE also delivers emergency aid to survivors of war and natural disasters, and helps people rebuild their lives. To get involved, visit www.care.org.