These days, life for Makena’s good. Last year she won the right to own her own land, and to tend her own arabica coffee bushes. Her two kids tag along under her feet as she proudly picks the red cherries to take to market.
This is progress in Kenya, where the culture is shifting. It’s not equal yet, but it’s on the right track.
We want to do more for Makena – we want to help her not just to grow coffee but to empower her as a modern businesswoman. Our teams on the ground are beginning to teach Makena – and 2,000 Kenyan women like her – the less obvious but essential parts of modern coffee farming – like keeping records of expenses, sales and harvests.
‘I was never that great at arithmetic at school,’ she says. Still, we’re getting out the abacus and going back to maths lessons. But we’re getting there, together.
So far we’re proud to have created 250 ‘lead women farmers’ who can advise their sisters and lead by example. We’re helping Kenyan women take care of the coffee business so they can have the opportunity for a bright and sustainable future – and you can taste success in every cup.