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2013 Final Reports


Table of Contents Building Sustainability in Microcredit and Savings in Guatemala The Chajulense Association of Women United for Life (ACMUV) .......................................................... 2 Las Nubes Afterschool and Learning Center in Guatemela The Association for the Sustainable Development of Paraxaj (ADESPA) ................................................ 11 Microcredit for Emergency Health Care in Peru The San Ignacio Provincial Association of Coffee Producers in Solidarity (APROCASSI) ....................... 22 Food Security through Pig Rearing in Peru The Tabaconas Valley Organic Producers Association (APROVAT) ....................................................... 30 Agricultural Innovation through Heritage Seeds and Practices in Mexico The Advice and Rural Services Center (ASER MAIZ) ............................................................................. 40 Strengthening and Expansion of Kids Saving in Solidarity Groups in Mexico Self-Managed Development (AUGE) .................................................................................................... 50 Community Participation in Food Security (Stage Two) in Mexico San Juan Colorado Sustainable Development Council (CDS) ............................................................... 59 Community Microcredit and Savings in Nicargua The Organization of Northern Coffee Cooperatives (CECOCAFEN) ...................................................... 68 Foundations in Microcredit and Savings in Honduras Coordinating Association of Rural Women of La Paz (COMUCAP) ...................................................... 78 Productive Investment in Food Security (Stage One: Rainwater Harvesting) in Mexico The Association of Rural Development and the Environment (DERMAC) ............................................. 85 Youth Development Scholarships in Nicaragua Society for Small-Scale Coffee Producers and Exporters (SOPPEXCCA) ................................................ 93 Productive Investment in Coffee (Stage Two) The Association for Agroecological Development in Coffee (VIDA) ................................................... 102


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2013 Final Report

Project: Building Sustainability in Microcredit and Savings Partner: The Chajulense Association of Women United for Life (ACMUV) Program Area: Economic Diversification

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ACMUV - Building Sustainability in Microcredit and Savings

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Building Sustainability in Microcredit and Savings in San Gaspar Chajul, Guatemala

Program Partner: The Chajulense Association of Women United for Life (ACMUV) Program Area: Economic Diversification Project Participants: 792 women from 13 communities; 3,960 beneficiaries Project Duration: January 2013 – December 2013

The Project •

Strengthened the organization’s management of existing microcredit and savings groups

Fostered 10 new community-run microcredit and savings groups and provided business-skills training, enabling participating women to maximize their investment and manage their business finances more effectively

Provided the ACMUV management team with training in financial management and accounting

Provided an administrative and accountancy consultant to advise and train ACMUV personnel to ensure better administrative practices

Through the project, ACMUV has made significant advances toward its goal of self-sufficiency and sustainability in program funding by 2016. At this point all administrative and financial processes will be brought in-house, and external consultants will no longer be relied upon to help manage individual savings groups.

The Partner Founded: 2006 Coffee Kids partner since: 2007 Successes since working with Coffee Kids: •

2006 – 2013: With the support of Coffee Kids, women participating in microcredit and savings groups grew from 20 (2006) to 792 (2013).

• 2007 – 2013: The group’s capital credit account increased from $4,600 USD (2007) to $ 115,000 (2012). This again increased by 41% to $161,700 USD by the end of 2013. • 2013: Capital generated by interest payments is used to offer loans to other members. As of November 2013, ACMUV had extended $285,215 USD in microcredit loans to participants. Thus, 100% of available funds have been disbursed as microcredit, with 0% of total funds remaining unutilized.


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• By the end of 2014: ACMUV plans to have 1,000 borrowers and will have a diversified funding portfolio so as to grow their capital fund sufficiently to achieve full self-reliance by 2016. With these small loans, the women of ACMUV have managed to diversify their income, and the distribution of activities varies from year to year. The majority of loans are invested in microenterprise such as small shops and poultry rearing for market.

The Need • The region still feels the effects of Guatemala’s 36-year civil war. • The region has some of the highest unemployment and illiteracy rates in Guatemala. • 58% of ACMUV members (all female) neither speak Spanish nor are they able to read or write.1 For many of them, lack of access to education has translated into scarce economic opportunities and low self-confidence. • 84% of the families with whom ACMUV works earn less than the national Guatemalan minimum wage.2 • 50% of the women affiliated with ACMUV do not contribute economically to their households.3

As ACMUV helps improve the quality of life of the women in the cooperative through the microcredit program, they are transforming these circumstances. By improving participants’ capacity to manage their finances and businesses, the microcredit project will have a long-lasting impact at the household level and within the wider community.

Project Participants

Communities TOTAL

1 Source: ACMUV diagnostics 2 Source: ibid. 3 Source: ibid.

13

Participants Women

TOTAL

792

792


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The Results Schedule of activities: Objective (description)

Activity

Training in finance and accounting 80% financial selfsufficiency achieved for ACMUV’s microcredit program by 2013 (Interest generated by ongoing loans will support 80% of next year’s project costs)

Project management consultancy performed Financial methodology consultancy performed Savings and credit facilitation

Scheduled January – December 2013 January – December 2013 January – December 2013 January – December 2013

Current status

Completed

Completed

Completed

Completed

As of December 2013, 84% of operating expenses are paid by the interest generated from loans, exceeding the original goal by 4%

Continued improvement of community microcredit groups

Annual members’ meeting (Not funded by Coffee Kids)

April 2013 *

Completed

10 new community groups established

February – December 2013

Exceeded 12 new groups were created

Loan portfolio monitoring

Completed

January – December 2013

Exceeded Exceeded goal of 80%, with 88% of women completing training

External audit performed

March 2013

Completed

Annual impact assessment performed

May 2013

Business-skills training

Evaluation of project efficacy and efficiency

January – December 2013

Evaluation for improving impact and reach of program prepared

May 2013

Not completed**

Not completed**

* The assembly in the original proposal and mid-year report was scheduled for November 2013. However, the assembly actually took place in April. ** Initially these tasks were to be performed by external consultants, but ACMUV was unable to obtain funding for this. ACMUV intends to simplify their formats for M&E so that impact reports can be completed without external assistance.


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Achievements: • 792 women in 13 communities participated in the microcredit program, exceeding 2013’s original goals of 650 women in 10 communities. By using motorcycles instead of buses to travel between communities, promoters were able to achieve impressive increases in project reach with the same number of staff. • 792 loans (average value $350 – $400) were dispersed. • 192 new women joined the savings and microcredit program, exceeding the 2013 goal of 150 new participants. • 12 new community savings and microcredit groups were formed (exceeding ACMUV’s original goal of 10 new groups by the end of 2013). There are currently 44 groups in total. • $161,700 USD was accumulated for microcredit/small loans. • During 2013, ACMUV generated a total of $29,930 USD in interest, and internal program expenses totalled $35,810 USD. Thus, 84% of operational costs are currently covered by income generated by microcredit activities. It is expected that at the end of 2016, 100% of operational costs will be covered out of interest accrued on loans. • 12 of 12 financial statements were drafted for each group participating in the microcredit and savings project (one for each month of the calendar year). • 4 of 4 reports on loan repayment indicators (one per quarter) were completed. • 88% of participating women received training in basic business skills. Thus, the original goal (80% of women) was exceeded by 8%. • The 2012 external audit took place with satisfactory results, fully meeting the original goal of 1 annual external audit. • Currently, every participant has accumulated an average of $26 USD in savings.

Key indicators for project objective: Improve access to credit Total number of loans:

792

Number of loans repaid fully/in process of being repaid with on-time payments:

780

Number of loans repaid/in process but client was late with one or more payments:

12

Number of loans for which client has defaulted:

0

Loan repayment rate

98.5%

Total revenue of funded enterprises (Classify enterprises according to time in program and size: small, newly assisted enterprises, small enterprises in loan repayment, large newly assisted enterprises, etc.)

This information is not available. ACMUV does not currently have the funding, tools or skills to survey and keep extensive records on loan investment for all 792 borrowers.


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Key indicators for project objective: Increase income Pre-project household income:

Highly variable, ranging from $250 to $320 USD per month

Post-project household income:

Varies from $270 to $425 USD per month Varies from $20 to $120 USD per month depending on the type of business: • Small stores (grocery, shoe, stationery) provide the most consistent and dependable income over the year, generating an average of $75 USD per month. • Crops such as cardamom, banana and cocoa generate an average of $120 USD per month during the production cycle and are the most profitable businesses. However, they are also the riskiest and do not generate a consistent monthly income. • Weaving is the least profitable business, generating an average of $13 - $20 USD per month, yet the vast majority of women learned this skill as children and have this knowledge.

New income generated by project activities:

Gross annual household income:

Between $3,250 – $5,050 USD

Household savings (saved at home/bank):

Between $3 and $10 USD per month

Other outcomes: • ACMUV continues to demonstrate a low rate of default/delinquency on loans: 0% in 2011 and 2012 and .21% (delinquency) at the end of 2013. • The 2012 audit took place in March 2013, and auditors determined that ACMUV has improved professional accounting skills. • According to focus group findings, at least half of the participants have applied their newfound planning and budgeting knowledge to managing their family budget. The majority of the women now formally contribute to their family’s earnings and express an understanding of the importance of savings. • ACMUV has initiated a small fund offering debt forgiveness and $200 USD in financial support to family members of a deceased program participant. A portion of this contingency is funded through interest and the other through accrued capital. • ACMUV has created a video about their organization and their work: www.youtube.com/watch?v=aitU2NPilk • In order to further encourage a culture of savings, ACMUV has put in place regulations under which the amount of credit a woman can receive is linked to the amount of money in her savings account.


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Capacity Building Goals, Challenges & Lessons Learned Goal #1: Continue to develop a culture of savings ACMUV has begun to strengthen a culture of savings at an individual level by directly linking maximum loan amounts to a participant’s current savings (see above section on “Successes since working with Coffee Kids” for more information). Furthermore, Coffee Kids continues to build on the 2010 experience exchange between AUGE and ACMUV, which significantly impacted ACMUV’s model. Both ACMUV and AUGE attended the first Organizational Strengthening and Exchange Series workshop in Oaxaca in October 2013. ACMUV found the financial profitability training particularly timely and indicated that they would like to further develop their microfinance model and increase diversification of microenterprise among borrowers so as to reduce competition. These are all areas in which AUGE has significant experience. After reconnecting face-to-face at the workshop, ACMUV has scheduled additional training with AUGE in the coming months. Goal #2: Increase individual savings groups’ ability to run groups and manage finances without external consultants At the end of 2013, ACMUV’s project coordinator reported that individual savings groups demonstrated improved administrative skills and greater confidence in managing savings and credit. Coffee Kids and ACMUV are also discussing methodologies that will enable them to keep more detailed and extensive records on loan impact. Goal #3: Improve ACMUV’s ability to comply with Coffee Kids’ M&E standards and practices In collaboration with ACMUV’s board, Coffee Kids has worked with ACMUV’s new project coordinator to develop his capacity to assess need at a community level and to develop project proposals and reports that are compliant with Coffee Kids’ standards and practices. These issues were reinforced during the first Organizational Strengthening and Exchange Series workshop. Following the workshop, ACMUV’s project coordinator indicated an increased understanding of proposal construction, needs assessment and monitoring and evaluation practices. He said, “I always thought of writing a proposal as something to be done really quickly. I now see writing a proposal as a whole process, writing it in parts and editing it—more like writing an essay or a book. This is a big change from how I previously viewed and wrote proposals.” Coffee Kids continues to work with program managers to find a way to build literacy and Spanish-speaking skills so that participants can also interact more directly with M&E methodologies such as Most Significant Change stories. Goal #4: Connecting funding streams with impact ACMUV receives support from multiple funding bodies and often faces challenges in showing the exact relation between dollar investments and resulting output. Coffee Kids will continue working with ACMUV in 2014, and our capacity building goal (in addition to improving administrative organization and efficiency) is improving accounting procedures to track impact derived directly from Coffee Kids funding. The impact will be transferrable to other funding streams as well. Additionally, following the first Organizational Strengthening and Exchange Series workshop, ACMUV now better understands the importance and utility of creating and measuring impact indicators, and they feel prepared to create an effective monitoring plan in the coming year. Goal #5: Combat negative perceptions of and experiences with other microcredit organizations in the region Although microcredit organizations are not new in Guatemala, ACMUV was at the vanguard in the Chajul


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area in gaining the trust of potential loan recipients and providing them with business education and training. New microcredit organizations appearing in the region have begun to take advantage of the trust gained and the time, effort and capital that ACMUV has invested over the years. Many of these new organizations, however, fail to follow through on participants’ expectations. In fact, some women have recently joined ACMUV after having negative experiences with other financial organizations that claim to offer one interest rate, yet charge another. Despite their stellar history and reputation, ACMUV is aware that they must continue to maintain stringent oversight and improve community outreach so as to prevent disinvestment.

ACMUV has distinguished themselves from other, less-trustworthy financial organizations in the following four ways: offering the second-lowest interest rate in the region with transparent, honest service; sending microcredit promoters directly to communities; respecting gender boundaries and employing female promoters (since many husbands of borrowers do not like their wives to meet with male promoters); organizing groups and offering supplemental training.

ACMUV:Most Significant Change stories

“With my microloan, our lives have become more stable over the past year.” Name: Elena Cava Rivera Age: 43 Community: Ilom Business: Grocery store “This year I requested 2,000 quetzales ($250 USD) in credit, which I have invested in my grocery store. Although there are a lot of stores in town, I make enough money. Furthermore, I get to save money because I can buy my food from my store at a lower price. “My husband works in his coffee plot and when he has harvested his beans, he sells them to a local coyote. The money he receives goes to household expenses. But with the 6 children we have, it’s not enough—we can’t depend on coffee. With my small business, I help take care of my family and cover expenses. With my microloan, our lives have become more stable over the past year. For example, there are a lot of school expenses this month, but I have been able to cover them with my earnings—and my husband doesn’t have to take out a loan.”


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“Bit by bit, my business is growing.” Name: Maria Asicona Hu Age: 44 Community: Sotzil Business: Stationery, photocopy and print shop “This year I requested 2,400 quetzales ($300 USD) in credit, which I have invested in my stationery shop. I also offer photocopying and photo printing services. At this time, I have sold most of my inventory, but I’ll buy supplies soon. “In my shop, I have a photocopier and printer that are worth 18,000 quetzales ($2,280 USD). My husband sent me these items from the US—he has lived there for the past eight years and works in construction. We began this business together with the idea that he will have a way to earn a living when he comes back to Guatemala. His goal is to return in two years, so we need to work hard to make this business prosper. “My children help me run my shop, since they are more familiar with technology and know how to replace the ink. I earn 1 quetzal ($ .13 USD) per photocopy and 5 quetzales ($ .63 USD) per photo. I get a lot of business, since children always need school supplies and lots of people want to print photos from their cell phones. I’m not having trouble earning money to pay back my credit, and, bit by bit, my business is growing.”

“I enjoy working with ACMUV…because the interest rate is lower and they provide us with training.” Name: Rosa Hu Laynez Age: 54 Community: Ilom Business: General store offering groceries and yarn for weaving “This is my third year in business. In 2013, I borrowed 4,000 quetzales ($500 USD) from ACMUV. My business allows me to pay back 400 quetzales ($50 USD) per month. So in less than a year, I will pay off my loan and ask for a new one the following year. Additionally, I have other businesses that help me supplement my income: I buy and sell vegetables and homemade tamales. I am always thinking about how I can earn more money. “I am familiar with microcredit loans because I was previously in another savings group. But I enjoy working with ACMUV more because the interest rate is lower and they provide us with training. Although I use most of the credit to invest in my store, I use a portion of it for the education of my children. In return, they help me run the store, especially my oldest daughter. We take different shifts because the store hours are from 6:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., and we decide who prepares the food for the day and who attends to the store. I love running the store, because when business is slow, I have the opportunity to knit and sell my handmade textiles. “Two years ago I suffered an accident and had to close my business. But once I recovered, I was able to ask for credit again and reopen my store. Thanks to the loan, my business is now operating smoothly.”


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2013 Final Report

Project: Las Nubes Afterschool and Learning Center Partner: The Association for the Sustainable Development of Paraxaj (ADESPA) Program Area: Education

Please do not hesitate to contact us for further information pertaining to this Coffee Kids project


ADESPA - Las Nubes Afterschool and Learning Center

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Las Nubes Afterschool and Learning Center in Acatenango, Guatemala

Program Partner: The Association for the Sustainable Development of Paraxaj (ADESPA) Program Area: Education Project Participants: 64 participants from 9 communities; 320 beneficiaries in 22 families Project Duration: January 2013 – December 2013

The Project • Improved children’s education, nutrition and development by providing them with a safe environment in which to play, develop their skills, learn about family, environment and social issues, get help with their homework and eat healthy meals • Offered mothers who work outside the home a safe place to leave their children where they received care while developing crucial social and cognitive skills • Provided mothers with educational presentations and workshops, access to health care services and training to improve job skills • Contributed to family development by providing information on

family planning and sexual health to parents, helping them make informed decisions

Las Nubes is based in the town of Acatenango, recently recognized as a unique coffee region in Guatemala. High quality coffee has been cultivated in the shadow of the Acatenango volcano for over 100 years. Las Nubes has now completed its third year of operation, with the number of participating children increasing yearly. Most of these children’s parents are coffee laborers/pickers. In 2013, 2 certified teachers were brought on as program staff to expand and improve the center’s educational components. Sustainability-building activities that will ensure long-term independence for the center will begin in 2014.

The Partner Founded: 2004 Coffee Kids partner since: 2006 About ADESPA: In 2004, a group of six local volunteers created ADESPA to address a lack of health care and educational services in and around Paraxaj and Acatenango, Guatemala. Since then, ADESPA has grown into a valued support system throughout the region for impoverished coffee farmers and their families. ADESPA’s overall goal is to improve socioeconomic conditions through education.


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Successes since working with Coffee Kids: • 2006 – 2009: Coffee Kids’ and ADESPA’s Adult Literacy project reached 35 women and men, all of them coffee laborers/pickers from the area. These women and men continue to apply the skills learned today, and the project coordinator has reported that many of those who learned to read through the project are now helping with administration, undertaking research that will help the region come through the current coffee rust crisis and communicating directly with coffee buyers to develop initiatives to improve coffee quality. These basic literacy skills have made these activities possible. • 2008: A bakery was established by ADESPA with Coffee Kids’ support. This bakery continues to supply fresh bread to the Las Nubes Afterschool and Learning Center. Children have also taken classes in bread making at the bakery. • 2007­– 2009: With the help of Coffee Kids, ADESPA established social enterprises in textile, handicrafts and footwear production that continue today to generate supplemental income for coffee-farming families. • 2010 – present: Coffee Kids connected ADESPA with WINGS, a local health care initiative that has carried out multiple trainings and workshops with Las Nubes Center children and their parents. As a result of this collaboration, there has been a noticeable improvement in children’s health and nutrition as well as more positive interactions between parents and children. Additionally, mothers express a deeper understanding of their bodies and their right to make decisions for themselves. • 2013 – present: Las Nubes Center has offered more than 15 workshops and information sessions to 43 parents, allowing them to develop a better understanding of how best to care for their children, plan a family, prevent commonly treated illnesses, and enhance self-esteem within the family. This work continues throughout 2014. • 2014: ADESPA embarks on a 5-year project to maximize the center’s impact and reduce reliance on external funding.

The Need Providing children opportunities for future success requires more than merely providing access to education. Malnutrition, lack of access to health care and low emphasis on the importance of education within families are contributing factors to continued poverty in coffee-growing communities. •

10% of children from Acatenango do not complete primary school and only 37% of children go on to complete their first years of secondary school. According to data compiled by ADESPA, once children reach 8 years of age, they are regularly expected to help their families earn a living from coffee rather than continuing with their schooling.

In Guatemala, it costs on average $9.33 USD a day to provide basic food for a family of 5, and $17 USD a day to cover food, education, health care, housing and transportation. With 67.7% of the population of Acatenango living in poverty on approximately $1.25 USD a day, most families within the region simply cannot meet their immediate needs, much less invest in a better future for their children.

Many parents from this coffee-growing area must find work outside of the community and are forced to leave the children unattended, which leads to a higher probability that the children will perform poorly in school and may stop attending altogether.

Compounding the issue is the current coffee leaf rust crisis underway across Central America. In Guatemala, one of the worst-hit countries, 1,200,000 people depend on coffee for their livelihood. 2013’s harvest saw a loss of 11 million workdays and at least 100,000 jobs, with negative repercussions for millions more people who rely on coffee to provide for their family. As the majority of the parents of children attending Las Nubes are coffee laborers who will need to expand their search for work as coffee leaf rust reduces employment opportunities, demand for the services offered by the Las Nubes Center is expected to increase. Supplementary income and access to education is crucial if these families are to survive crises such as these.


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Access to health information is very limited, and people often have to travel long distances for medical attention. Furthermore, malnutrition associated with low levels of food security is just one of many barriers to a better future that children in the region face. An ADESPA survey has identified that the majority of children attending the local elementary school in Acatenango eat only 1 or 2 meals each day. By ensuring greater access to general health care and providing nutritious, balanced meals to children most in need, the project removes significant barriers to future success.

Project Participants Communities 91

Participants Boys

Girls

Women

TOTAL

21

21

22

64

1

The Results Schedule of activities: Objective (description)

Provide the children of working mothers a wellrounded education and a safe place to develop important social skills

Activity

Scheduled

Current status

Pay rent for center building for 1 year

January – December 2013

Completed

Hire 2 teachers

January 2013

Completed

Plan recreational and educational activities that best develop children’s skills and abilities

January, February 2013

Completed

Encourage children’s interest and engagement in topics such as peace education, imagination, youth leadership, the environment, gender equality and children’s rights through talks and workshops

January, March, June, November 2013

Completed 42 children attended a total of 27 talks and workshops over the course of 2013

1 11 communities were originally proposed. However, ADESPA’s mission dictates that the neediest families and most at-risk children in the community have priority access to Las Nubes’ services. After conducting socio-economic needs assessments, 42 children from 9 communities met the required profile.


ADESPA - Las Nubes Afterschool and Learning Center

Provide healthy and nutritious food for children attending the Las Nubes Center

Provide mothers and fathers access to sexual health information

Project administration and support

Partially cover the salary of a cook

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Completed January – December 2013

1 mother received a small stipend to cook and volunteered the rest of her time

Invite guest organizations to conduct sexual health workshops and talks

January, February, August, October, December 2013

Hire a program administrator

January 2013

Completed

Program administrator identifies and collects project indicators, creates management and funding reports, updates project website with daily events, and implements initiatives that generate funds to support center operations

January – December 2013

Completed

Completed 11 workshops and talks took place in 2013

Completed Cover cost of transportation for Las Nubes staff

January – December 2013

Staff transportation expenses were covered by project funds each month

Achievements: •

22 mothers enrolled their children in the afterschool center, allowing them to generate supplemental income or continue their studies.

42 children attended the afterschool center (an 11% increase from 2012).

22,593 healthy meals served over the course of 237 working days have lead to improvement in nutritional status of children attending the center (see “Indicators” below).

22 families participated in workshops for parents, covering a variety of themes and encouraging group discussion about breaking the cycle of poverty and improving quality of life.

11 educational talks and workshops held on sexual health for mothers and fathers.

27 educational talks for children on various topics (e.g., peace, education, personal hygiene, friendship) hosted by different community groups.

22 socio-economic needs assessments were conducted to determine which children would be accepted into the center. These profiles ensure that the neediest families and most at-risk children in the community have access to Las Nubes’ services.

Indicators for education and nutritional improvement: Coffee Kids monitors the performance of each project supported, using a set of indicators appropriate to the projects’ particular program area and goals. For education projects with the objective of improving educational access,


ADESPA - Las Nubes Afterschool and Learning Center

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Coffee Kids ideally seeks to collect data from partners on the percentage of eligible children attending school1 as well as performance on end-of-year tests. According to information from ADESPA, out of the 42 children attending the center, 21 are of school age and are currently enrolled in school. In terms of performance on end-of-year tests, of these 21 school-aged children attending school: • 48% of the children (10) had scores averaging 77 – 88 out of 100 • 52% of the children (11) had scores averaging 89 – 91 out of 100 While the Las Nubes project is classified primarily as an education project, it also includes components related to Coffee Kids’ health projects. Specifically, ADESPA seeks to provide medical care and to improve nutrition by providing healthy meals to children attending the center and carrying out nutritional workshops with both children and parents. Since 2011, ADESPA has tracked weight and height of children attending Las Nubes as a measure of nutritional status. In order to show advances made over time, we have used CDC-produced charts regarding average height and size for age in American youths simply as a comparative device.2 Ideally, we would use local/regional data to form the basis for meaningful comparison, but these data are not available. Increase in height and weight in children participating in the Las Nubes project GIRLS NOVEMBER 2011 Sample size: 18 girls Average age: 8 years

MARCH 2012 Sample size: 18 girls Average age: 9 years

MARCH 2013 Sample size: 19 girls Average age: 9 years

Average weight & height

CDC 50th percentile for 8 year olds living in USA

% of CDC average

Average weight & height

CDC 50th percentile for 9 year olds living in USA

% of CDC average

Average weight & height

CDC 50th percentile for 9 year olds living in USA

% of CDC average

Total improvement from Nov 2011 – March 2013

49 lbs. (22.2 kg)

58 lbs. (25.5 kg)

- 15%

57 lbs. (25.8 kg)

61 lbs. (29 kg)

-7%

61 lbs. (29 kg)

61 lbs. (29 kg)

0%

Height meets CDC 50th percentile

118 cm (3.87 ft.)

128 cm (4.17 ft.)

- 8%

124 cm (4.07 ft.)

133 cm (4.25 ft.)

- 7%

126 cm (4.13 ft.)

133 cm (4.25 ft.)

-5%

+ 3% closer to CDC 50th percentile

BOYS NOVEMBER 2011 Sample size: 17 boys Average age: 6 years Average weight & height

CDC 50th percentile for 6 year olds living in USA

39 lbs. (17.6 kg)

46 lbs. (21 kg)

MARCH 2012 Sample size: 17 boys Average age: 7 years % of CDC average

Average weight & height

CDC 50th percentile for 7 year olds living in USA

- 15%

46 lbs. (20.9 kg)

50 lbs. (23 kg)

MARCH 2013 Sample size: 23 boys Average age: 6 years % of CDC average

Average weight & height

CDC 50th percentile for 6 year olds living in USA

-8%

43 lbs. (19.5 kg)

46 lbs. (21 kg)

% of CDC average

- 7%

Total improvement from Nov 2011 – March 2013 Weight is + 8% closer to CDC 50th percentile

1 “Eligible children” should be defined as all children under the age of 18 living in households that are direct participants in the project. (Source: GMCR Monitoring and Evaluation Guide for Supply Chain Outreach Funded Projects, 2012) 2 CDC growth charts developed by the National Center for Health Statistics in collaboration with the National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, http://www.cdc.gov/growthcharts, 2000


ADESPA - Las Nubes Afterschool and Learning Center

105 cm (3.44 ft.)

116 cm (3.88 ft.)

- 9%

133 cm (4.36 ft.)

121 cm (4 ft.)

+ 10%

105 cm (3.44 ft.)

116 cm (3.88 ft.)

- 9%

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Height remains - 9% closer to CDC 50th percentile

Other outcomes: •

42 children received 3 medical visits and 1 dental check-up at the center.

2 girls (12 years old) finished primary school with good grades. 21 school-age children attending the center reported good grades (see Indicators above).

Individual and group assessments concluded that there has been an overall improvement in the participating children’s behavior and educational performance.

WINGS met with and is monitoring 4 children with behavioral issues.

Mothers have expressed higher levels of self-esteem after attending group meetings at the Las Nubes Center. They also express a deeper understanding of their bodies and their right to make decisions for themselves after participating in sexual-education classes.

The Coffee Kids International Program team conducted their annual partner visit to ADESPA in September 2013, and met with staff, parents and children. Photos from the visit: www.flickr.com/photos/coffeekids/ sets/72157638292534586

Capacity Building Goals, Challenges & Lessons Learned Goal #1: Enhance ADESPA’s ability to address external challenges In 2012, ADESPA assisted Coffee Kids in creating and publicizing a video about coffee leaf rust in Guatemala in order to raise international awareness about current and future challenges that coffee laborers and their families face. In creating a wide-ranging conversation about the current crisis, ADESPA and Coffee Kids hope to arrive at long-term, positive coping strategies that will enable farmers to rebound, thrive and more effectively combat crisis situations such as these in the future. Furthermore, starting in 2014, Coffee Kids and ADESPA will embark on a 5-year Strengthening Community Education project that will identify strategic areas where the Las Nubes Center’s impact can be improved and where long-term sustainability measures can be put in place. The project will include the diversification of funding through a variety of means, including developing a robust business model for ADESPAaffiliated enterprises (textile, handicraft and footwear production) so that they eventually generate income to support the operation and upkeep of the center. This plan will reduce dependency on external funding, ensuring that the center will continue to endure well into the future. Goal #2: Improve strategic planning in the short and long term and strategize for sustainability Coffee Kids is also working with ADESPA to develop additional strategies to ensure the sustainability of the Las Nubes Center and to improve long-term strategic planning. This work was initiated at the first Organizational Strengthening and Exchange Series workshop in Oaxaca in October 2013, with 2 representatives from ADESPA attending. During the workshop, the ADESPA team developed a clear understanding of the importance of soliciting input from the beneficiaries of the project. Just 2 weeks after returning to Guatemala, the ADESPA team re-


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ported that they hosted a meeting with the families involved in the project. They conducted a brainstorming exercise, modelled on one carried out during the workshop, to hone in on the most salient problems in the community and to identify potential solutions. The workshop also emphasized the importance of strategic planning for sustainability. As a result of the workshop, ADESPA committed to the development of a 3- to 5-year strategic plan within the next 24 months.

Meet the children of Las Nubes Name: Eulogia Maribel Us García Age: 14 Time with Las Nubes: 3 years Eulogia is a very social girl who has a lot of friends and follows the rules well. Teachers observe that she helps out a lot with team exercises and collaborates well with other children. “I have a lot of friends at Las Nubes. But sometimes I find it hard to make my own decisions, to decide what I like, because my friends want me to go along with them. “I love reading and my teachers tell me I’m really smart and have a lot of good ideas. I also like arts and crafts exercises and making things. The reason I like the handicrafts is because I love being creative. I also get help with my schoolwork at the center. The teachers say I’m responsible in my studies, since I always do my homework.”

Name: Mynor Rodolfo Quino Solís Age: 8 Time with Las Nubes: 3 years Mynor is very social and gets along well with the other children. He is always smiling and is quite talented—especially in art classes. Mynore is a natural leader and cooperates well with others. Although he struggles a bit with memorizing his lessons, he follows instructions well. During his time at Las Nubes his motor skills have improved greatly. When asked what his favorite activity is, he says, “I like to eat a lot of food. When I am at home, I can eat a few plates of food. The food here is really good. ”


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Name: Brahan Wilfredo Lux Ramos Age: 8 Time with Las Nubes: 2 years During his time at the Las Nubes Center, Brahan has improved his fine-motor skills and has become more outgoing and social with other children. He gets along better with the other children and collaborates more than when he first joined the center. Brahan follows instructions well but struggles a bit with learning. He shares well and is very generous, without expecting things in return. Brahan says, “I have lots of friends at Las Nubes. I like to play with them and we learn a lot. The only thing I don’t like is if my older brother isn’t here with me.”

ADESPA: Most Significant Change stories “The [Las Nubes Center] has relieved some of my worries, and I’m very appreciative of this support.” Name: Erika Marroquín Age: 39 Community: Acatenango

to work to provide for my family.

“I’ve been sending my children to Las Nubes for about 9 months. I have 5 children: 4 live with me and my oldest daughter is already married and lives elsewhere. I’ve been separated from my husband for 9 years now. The Las Nubes project helps me a lot since I have

“2 of my youngest children, 8 and 10-years-old, attend Las Nubes. The other 2 children help me out around the house. For work, I go door-to-door selling fried chicken and potatoes. When my 2 youngest children weren’t attending Las Nubes, they would come with me while I was selling food. But this was really inconvenient and not very safe with traffic, and such. I’m so happy now that they’re in a good place, where they are fed well and taken care of. This gives me peace of mind, and it makes my work easier. If my 2 youngest kids were with me while I am out selling food, then I would have to be keeping an eye on them, carrying food and water for them... It would be difficult. “Thanks to this project, I make approximately $4 USD per day. It’s not much, but it helps me cover food for my family. It also helps with the rent, since I don’t have my own house. “These past few months have been especially hard for me. I have been sick all the time, and I haven’t been able to work every single day. My older children have helped me with some of my expenses, including the medicines that I’ve had to take. Fortunately, the ADESPA program has relieved some of my worries, and I’m very appreciative of this support.”


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“I hope that my daughters have more options in life. I do think that their lives will be different, thanks to support from people like those at ADESPA.” Name: Angela Elizabeth Ramos Pichol Age: 27 Community: Acatenango “My 2 daughters Katia and Karla attend the Las Nubes Afterschool and Learning Center. It’s such a blessing to have them at the center, where I know they are looked after and they aren’t at home alone. I’m a single mother, so I don’t have someone else to depend on or to look after them while I’m working. If they didn’t go to Las Nubes, they might be out playing in the street unsupervised, which is dangerous. So I feel secure knowing that they have somewhere safe to go. In terms of giving back to ADESPA for all their help, every Monday, the mothers help out at the learning center, usually providing the cleaning supplies (toilet paper, soap and bleach). “I clean, cook and iron in homes around Acatenango. I make around $40 USD per month, plus I’m given breakfast and lunch. This is the average wage in this region, and it is just enough to cover our basic necessities. “I live with my grandmother, but I don’t have a lot of freedom. We also don’t always get along well, and that makes living together difficult for my children and me, but I don’t have anywhere else to go. I hope that my daughters have more options in life. I do think that their lives will be different, thanks to support from people like those at ADESPA.”

“The Las Nubes project is very important to me. Without it, it would be impossible to have a job… Here at the learning center, my son is safe and receives healthy food and a good education.” Name: Gudelia Jerez Juárez Age: 37 Community: Acatenango “My life is difficult. Being unemployed is not an option for me. Without work, I cannot take care of my son. I am a single mother—the father of my son abandoned us. So now I must carry on and take care of myself and my son. “I work on a plantation in Patzicia, washing and loading vegetables. It’s very hard work. I get up at 3:30 am and my workday ends at 1 or 2 pm. I then go home to take care of my son. I’m paid $3.80 USD per day—this is very little to support a family, but it’s the only option I have. When I have no work at the plantation, I work as a cleaner in other people’s homes, washing and ironing clothes. None of my jobs are secure—sometimes I have work and other times I don’t. “I work in Patzicia because it’s the largest town in the region and it’s easier to find a job. But sometimes there is no work to be found even there, and that’s when I suffer the most because there are days when I literally have no food to


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give my son. I don’t have my own house, and I rent a small room in a neighborhood where other poor families live. “The Las Nubes project is very important to me. Without it, it would be impossible to have a job. Who would look after my son? But here at the learning center, my son is safe and receives healthy food and a good education. “I help with what I can at the center, like all of the women who leave their children there. We have to give back in some way. I bring some vegetable snacks every week, or sometimes I help clean the facilities. The important thing is to support each other: it’s the only way to get ahead when you live in a situation of great need. I am very grateful to Coffee Kids and ADESPA, for caring about the poor and people in need.”


22

2013 Final Report

Project: Microcredit for Emergency Health Care Partner: The San Ignacio Provincial Association of Coffee Producers in Solidarity (APROCASSI) Program Area: Economic Diversification

Please do not hesitate to contact us for further information pertaining to this Coffee Kids project


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Microcredit for Emergency Health Care in San Ignacio, Peru

Program Partner: The San Ignacio Provincial Association of Coffee Producers in Solidarity (APROCASSI) Program Area: Economic Diversification Project Participants: 40 families in 18 communities1; 200 beneficiaries Project Duration: September 2012 – August 2013

The Project • Made small short-term loans available to 40 families to cover emergency health care costs • Helped members and their families meet their emergency medical needs while also building cooperation and mutual assistance with other participating families • Is administered by APROCREDI, APROCASSI’s financial arm, which also manages a fund specifically for this purpose • Offers a low interest rate of 1.2% to participants over a six- to seven- month period • Uses accrued interest to provide more families with microcredit loans for emergency health care Families become members of this fund by contributing an annual participation fee of $18.94 USD. The fee also helps build the fund, thus enabling more families to participate in future years. With interest earned from the 40 original participants in 2013, 2 additional families will be able to receive emergency medical loans in the next loan cycle, thus reaching 42 families in 2014. The project also incorporates a savings component that allows members to set aside small amounts each month so as to create their own fund for future expenses. Long-term sustainability and growth for the project are built on these foundations.

The Partner Founded: 2000 Coffee Kids partner since: 2010 Successes since working with Coffee Kids: • Since 2009: APROCREDI has served as the financial arm responsible for meeting the credit needs of APROCASSI coffee producers and managing loan repayment. APROCASSI projects funded by Coffee Kids are, thus, managed and administered through and with APROCREDI as the financial manager of the project and APROCASSI as the social manager. 1

Exceeds the 16 communities originally proposed


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APROCREDI has developed a four-way credit concept that marries production (coffee plant renovation, improvements in infrastructure, preharvest financing and diversification of production), loans for consumption (basic food acquisition), and purpose-driven microcredit (for emergency health care, education, and so on). 2010 – present: APROCASSI’s Community Grocery Store project, funded by Coffee Kids and based on the successful community grocery store initiative implemented by Coffee Kids’ partner APROVAT, grants community members access, at reasonable prices, to high-quality food on a predictable and sustainable basis. The Community Grocery Store project overlaps significantly with APROCREDI’s microcredit for consumption program, in that members of APROCASSI can receive a loan for emergency consumption needs through the grocery store. Interest paid on these loans funds this and other APROCASSI/APROCREDI projects. • 2011 – 12: Coffee Kids helped initiate APROCASSI’s student loans project. In 2012, the project enabled 24 students from 10 communities to continue their education. Funding for educational expenses has been made available to participants in the form of low-interest loans, repayable in cash or in-kind through an internship with APROCASSI or APROCREDI. Interest accrued feeds into funds available for scholarships, thus increasing the number of loans available from year to year. The project continues to run, funded in part by a portion of Fair Trade premiums along with interest accrued on other loans that APROCREDI manages.

The Need • 95% of APROCASSI’s producers remain dependent upon additional activities to supplement their income, despite selling 90% of their coffee through certified and international markets. • For most producers the coffee harvest months (April through September) are the only period during which they can be assured a steady income. Over the past two years, however, the coffee rust epidemic has hit APROCASSI producers hard. The majority does not have sufficient (if any) savings to help them make ends meet, let alone cover emergency or pending health care costs. • Families involved in the project do not qualify for free government health insurance. • Families regularly pay interest rates of 10 – 20% to private lenders to cover emergency health care costs.

Project Participants

Communities 18  

Participants Men

Women

TOTAL

33

7

40


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The Results Schedule of activities: Objective (description) Project development

Activity

Scheduled

Current status

Campaign to inform APROCASSI members of enrollment opportunity

November 2012

Completed*

Write rules of procedure and bylaws for granting health credits

September 2012

Completed

September 2012 – May 2013

Completed

October 2012 – May 2013

Completed

Receive applications Evaluate applications Grant health care loans to members of APROCASSI according Provide loans for emergency health care to need Collect interest on loans

All loans repaid Project follow-up

Creation of contingency fund

November 2012 – May 2013

Completed All 40 loans have been granted

December 2012 – May 2013

Completed

August 2013

Completed

October 2012, July – August 2013

Completed

* The project activities started in January 2013 because funds were received late.

Achievements: • As of May 13, 2013, 100% of expected loans for health care were awarded. • 40 loans averaging $740 USD each were designated to cover childbirth, medical consultations, lab work and therapy expenses. • 2 additional families will be able to receive emergency medical loans in the next loan cycle due to interest earned from the 2013 loan cycle. The project will expand, encompassing more families from year to year. • 18 communities received emergency health care loans, 2 more than originally planned.

Additional outcomes: • While Coffee Kids funding for the project technically ended in August 2013, APROCASSI continues to offer loans for medical emergencies and continues growing the fund so as to include more families. • Participants express satisfaction in being able to pay off medical expenses quickly, especially since there


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has been a pronounced need for emergency and preventative health care within the community. • Feedback from project assemblies indicates that the program has helped encourage camaraderie among APROCASSI members and has deepened a spirit of community. • Based on the successes of this project, the board of directors will propose a life insurance plan to cooperative members at the upcoming assembly in March 2014. Members would pay $7 USD per year, and in the case of death, any outstanding debt with APROCREDI would be forgiven and their beneficiary would receive $700 USD. APROCREDI will also put into place restrictions to prevent deliberate debt default through the project. This action reflects the development of a culture of forward planning among those within APROCASSI’s network.

Capacity Building Goals, Challenges & Lessons Learned Goal #1: Develop specific credit-management policies for each type of loan managed by APROCREDI/APROCASSI (production, consumption, emergency health care and education) APROCASSI and APROCREDI staff have developed specific policies and procedures for each type of credit offered. These guidelines have been shared with the board of directors, committees and members’ assemblies for discussion and revision and will be voted on at the annual meeting in March 2014.

Goal #2: Develop the capacities of APROCASSI directors to better support and monitor APROCREDI, the credit arm of the organization responsible for administering funds donated by Coffee Kids APROCASSI is developing a microcredit model that is very unique in our experience, with a great potential for growth and organizational strengthening. Their model is based on powerful software and real-time updating across platforms, which allows for more accurate and timely financial controls. This illustrates that tools often used only by larger financial institutions can be easily adapted to microcredit structures. APROCASSI was able to share their model and develop their organizational skills at the first Organizational Strengthening and Exchange Series workshop in Oaxaca in October 2013. During the workshop, APROCASSI was able to share their experiences with other organizations managing microcredit projects in Mexico and Honduras, including AUGE, ACMUV and COMUCAP. Following the workshop, APROCASSI put their learning into practice and carried out an internal evaluation of the organization, allowing them to identify and prioritize problems and to brainstorm solutions. They have also contracted a specialist to carry out financial education workshops with members, with the goal of creating a stronger culture of savings. Finally, APROCASSI is actively working to help members create income-generating microenterprises as they struggle with low production and loss of income due to the coffee rust epidemic.


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APROCASSI: Most Significant Change stories “I don’t know what I would have done if it were not for the help of APROCASSI and for the emergency health care microcredit loan.” Name: Emiliano Sarmiento León Age: 66 Community: Puerto San Antonio

“Last year I harvested 30 bags of coffee per hectare, but this year leaf rust attacked my coffee, and if I’m lucky, I’ll get no more than 5 bags. I did not change to rust-resistant varieties of coffee in time, and now I’m paying the price. My son will help me buy coffee plants to renovate my plot, but it will be a while until the plants start producing enough coffee to support my family. “It has been a couple of hard years lately, not only because of the coffee but in terms of my health. This year, I was up in a tree harvesting oranges when I slipped and fell 10 feet to the ground. My wife had no choice but to take me to Jaén [the main commercial center in the region] for treatment. At the clinic in Jaén, we were told that I probably broke my ribs, but they couldn’t help me because their x-ray machine wasn’t working, and I had to go to Chiclayo [about six hours away from Jaén] to have the x-rays done. I never expected to hurt myself so badly—I always climb trees to harvest oranges. “After 2 broken ribs and a hospital bill of $500 USD, my wife and I returned home. I remembered that APROCASSI had recently set up a low-interest microcredit loan for its producers, so I headed over to their offices in San Ignacio. I qualified for the loan, and I was able to pay the hospital bill. The only problem I had then was that almost 80% of the coffee crop had been affected by leaf rust, and I was only able to harvest about 5 bags of coffee. Considering my situation, the staff from APROCASSI knew I was not going to be able to pay the microcredit loan back in time. We agreed that from the moment I start renovating my coffee plot, I will make low monthly payments until I pay off the loan. “I don’t know what I would have done if it were not for the help of APROCASSI and for the emergency health care microcredit loan. My wife and I are getting older and most of the money we have comes from the coffee we sell. Even though this year we were struck by coffee leaf rust, we will recover. We will never abandon our coffee life.”


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“Thanks to the low-interest microcredit loan from APROCASSI, I was able to pay all the medical bills and did not incur more debt.” Name: María Elena Umbo Pintado Age: 34 Location: Peringos, San Ignacio

“Having medical emergencies is not rare in our coffee-growing community. The rugged terrain makes it really dangerous for us to get to our coffee plots. We have more injuries during harvest because we carry the coffee bags on our shoulders; some of them can weigh up to 50 kilograms. Most of the time when we get hurt and it isn’t a serious injury, we treat ourselves. But if it’s more serious, we have to go to Jaén [about 3 hours away by car] … [which] can be expensive, especially the transportation—up to $70 USD one-way. That is why we prefer to treat ourselves, but sometimes it’s an emergency and we can’t avoid having to go to the clinic. We have asked the local authorities to build a clinic in the community, but so far they’ve told us that it isn’t possible because there are not enough funds. “At the beginning of this year, I came down with a serious stomach infection that required me to go to Jaén to get antibiotics. I postponed going to Jaén for a couple of days, but when the pain was too much, I told my husband that I couldn’t take it anymore. Something as simple as a stomach infection ended up costing close to $300 USD, mainly because we had to pay for a special trip to the clinic, and my husband had to pay for two workers to pick coffee while we were gone. “Thanks to the low-interest microcredit loan from APROCASSI, I was able to pay all the medical bills and did not incur more debt. I was also able to get back in shape and help my husband pick coffee for the remainder of the harvest, which saved us about $50 USD that we would have had to use to pay a worker.”

“Knowing that coffee producers like me can have access to low-interest loans … in case of an emergency is a life saver.” Name: Ciro Rodríguez Age: 39 Location: Peringos, San Ignacio

“Being a coffee producer is hard. There are years when the price of coffee dips so low I think twice about continuing as a coffee producer. Other years, we have been faced with plagues such as coffee leaf rust. We depend on coffee as our main source of income, so you can imagine what happens when in the course of one year you only have half the money you had the previous year. “I’ve had to come up with ways to diversify my income. I didn’t want to stop growing coffee, but I needed to do something different to support my family. My father used to harvest honey when I was a child, and I remembered that he used to make some extra money. I looked for a honey extractor and found one that my uncle’s friend was selling. I got a loan from my father-in-law and purchased it. I was able to pay off the loan within 6 months, right after the first honey harvest. “This past year, however, the money that I made from my coffee and honey was not enough. One of my sons was


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very ill and the local clinic couldn’t accept him because they didn’t have any beds available. The closest clinic we could go to was in Jaén, which is about 3 hours away. We didn’t have the money to pay for transportation since it was during the night and it costs about $70 USD for a special trip. So I had to ask APROCASSI for a microcredit loan for health emergencies. Once we reached the clinic, the doctor told us that my son needed x-rays and probably needed to stay a couple of nights at the clinic for observation. The money we got from APROCASSI (about $440 USD) was barely enough to cover these expenses. “I am very thankful for this loan and for APROCASSI’s commitment to its producers. The low interest rates (1.2%) we pay mean we can repay it without any problems. If I didn’t have access to such a low-interest loan, I would have had to go to a lender that charges me at least 20% interest. “Hopefully, I will not have to ask for another loan for health emergencies from APROCASSI, but knowing that coffee producers like me can have access to low-interest loans from our organization in case of an emergency is a life saver.”


30

2013 Final Report

Project: Food Security through Pig Rearing Partner: The Tabaconas Valley Organic Producers Association (APROVAT) Program Area: Food Security

Please do not hesitate to contact us for further information pertaining to this Coffee Kids project


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Food Security through Pig Rearing in Tabaconas, Peru

Program Partner: The Tabaconas Valley Organic Producers Association (APROVAT) Program Area: Food Security Project Participants: 152 women from 12 communities; 600 beneficiaries Project Duration: January 2013 – December 2013

The Project • Established one community-run demonstrative pig stall for training, implementation of new technologies, and meat production for household and market • Provided the startup cost for 50 small-scale household pens (some of which are shared between households) • Provided participants with training as well as technical and educational support in pig rearing and breeding • Will continue to pass piglets on to new families as the pigs reproduce • Will continue to grow with Phase II in 2014 The increased availability of meat through the rearing of domesticated pigs has not only helped families better meet their nutritional needs, but has begun to supply supplementary income as surplus meat is sold.

The Partner Founded: 1997 Coffee Kids partner since: 2009 Successes since working with Coffee Kids: • 2009 – 10: Coffee Kids worked with APROVAT to establish their first community grocery store. The store continues to improve access to nutritious, reasonably priced food to the wider community and accrues funds that will go toward establishing stores in additional communities. • 2010 – 11: The Organic Garden and Diversification of Production project, funded by Coffee Kids, began to provide participants and the APROVAT community with valuable income and nutritious food. The original 50 participating families continue to produce healthy food for themselves and to sell. Since then, even more women have been inspired to start their own gardens using their own resources. The project is integrated with APROVAT’s community grocery store, which receives surplus produce from APROVAT’s communal plot and buys additional produce from individual members.


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• 2011 – 12: Coffee Kids helped start APROVAT’s microcredit and savings program, the Women’s Microcredit Initiative. The project has grown significantly to incorporate the participation of  335  women  from  10 communities. Individual savings generated through this project helped purchase a portion of the materials necessary to build the pigpens for the Food Security through Pig Rearing project. • 2013 – present: Phase II of the Food Security through Pig Rearing project (2014) builds upon the progress made by Phase I in 2013 by setting up a breeding and artificial insemination center where participants can obtain an improved breed of pig yielding 30 kilograms more (66 pounds or an increase of about 30%), in an 8-month period, which is when a pig is ready to be butchered. The project will reach 140 women and 77 girls from 14 communities and at least 450 additional beneficiary families. • From 2009 to present: The projects carried out by APROVAT and supported by Coffee Kids have increased participants’ access to higher quality, more varied and more affordable food. During this time, APROVAT and Coffee Kids have developed a strong partnership, currently focused on strengthening project sustainability. Future plans include bolstering APROVAT’s planning and sustainability as an organization and potentially working with APROVAT as a strategic ally, assisting in providing training and capacity building to other partners.

The Need • Local diets lack sufficient protein. Integration of animal protein production in the family farm shows strategic potential for reducing malnutrition while also generating income from the sale of surplus meat. • Pig rearing was chosen as pigs are easy to keep and rear and are a good source of both protein and animal fat. Furthermore, there is a strong local preference for pork, so surplus meat will easily find a market. However, people don’t tend to raise pigs because they are thought of as dirty. The project focuses on sanitary means of raising pigs to debunk the myth of the pig as a dirty animal. Project coordinators see potential to expand the project in coming years. • The breeds chosen for this project have a good feed-input to protein-output ratio and, unlike much other livestock, can subsist primarily on organic waste from the kitchen garden and kitchen table and secondary waste from agricultural production. Thus the cost of care is reduced compared to other domesticated animals.

Project Participants

Communities 12

Participants Women

TOTAL

152

152


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The Results Schedule of activities: Objective (description)

Activity

Scheduled

Current status

Construction of demonstrative pig stall

January – February 2013

Completed March 2013 *

January – December 2013

Completed April – July 2013

Purchase dietary supplements for pigs and a first aid veterinary kit

January – February 2013

Completed March 2013 *

54 piglets (2.5 months old) acquired: these will be used for the production of meat and for reproduction

February – March 2013

Exceeded 55 sows and 2 boars acquired

Educational exchange and training for promoters

March 2013

Completed March 2013

Training for 152 women participating in the project (9 workshops in total throughout the year)

January – October 2013

Completed Started April 2013 and completed November 2013

Technical assistance through regularly scheduled visits by technicians

January – December 2013

Completed Started April 2013 and completed December 2013

Distribution of piglets to new project participants

2014

On schedule

50 household-based stalls built **

Project implementation

Project followup

* Late fund transfer put project schedule slightly behind schedule. ** Due to late arrival of funds and an increase in the cost of materials, 46 household pens were constructed. Achievements: • 1 community-run demonstrative pig stall was established. The model stall measures 130 meters² and consists of 10 compartments. 9 of these will serve as nurseries for piglets and are equipped with automatic feeders and water fountains. The final compartment will be used to store supplies and feed. The model stall is built with sufficient drainage, electricity and tanks for water storage and wastewater. • 46 household pig stalls1 were built, measuring 8 meters each. They were made using locally sourced materials (wood and palm) and equipped with water and drainage tanks and two automatic watering systems. • 55 sows and 2 boars were bought and transferred from Jaén (some 4 hours traveling distance from the center of Tamborapa Pueblo, Tabaconas, where the model pens are located). 1 The original plan included the construction of 50 household stalls. However, due to an increase in cost of materials between the the time of the proposal and the (late) receipt of funds, APROVAT was only able to construct 46 pens.


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• 46 women signed agreements to receive 46 piglets. Terms included that 1 resulting piglet would be passed on to a new participating family. • 11 piglets will be raised in the community-run demonstrative pig stall. • In the demonstrative pig stall, 2 male breeding pigs currently provide semen and 55% (5/9) of sows are pregnant. Of the 46 pigs in the household pig stalls, 9 sows are currently pregnant and the remainder are not yet of the age to be inseminated. Thus, the distribution of piglets to new project participants is on track for 2014. • 152 people in total attended 3 workshops on pig rearing and management. • Educational and technical pamphlets covering pig breeds and rearing were produced and distributed among participants.

Key indicators for project objective: Increase food security • Since implementing APROVAT’s community grocery store (2009 – 10) and their Organic Garden and Diversification of Production project (2011 – 12), strong advances in food security have become apparent. • 2 surveys, Months of Adequate Household Food Provisioning (MAHFP) and Dietary Diversity, were conducted with participants in April 2012 and again in April 2013. The following observations were made in comparing results from the two surveys: MAHFP: April 2012 (survey of 80 participants) 100% of participants said they did not have enough food to meet their family’s needs 5 months out of the year: January, February, March, April and May.

April 2013 (survey of 110 participants) 100% of participants said they did not have enough food to meet their family’s needs 4 months out of the year: January, February, March and April.

Observation The number of months in which participants experienced food insecurity was reduced from 5 months in April 2012 to 4 months in April 2013.

Dietary Diversity: Type of food consumed at least once a week

Percentage of participants that have consumed the item at least once during the past 7 days April 2012

April 2013

% change

Any bread, rice, noodles, tortillas, or any other food made from corn, rice, wheat, sorghum, millet, quinoa or any other local grain?

100%

100%

No change

Any potatoes, yams, yucca, manioc, cassava, or any other foods made from roots or tubers?

100%

100%

No change

Any vegetables?

40%

80%

+40%

Any fruits?

70%

70%

No change


APROVAT - Food Security through Pig Rearing

Any chicken, beef, pork, lamb, goat, rabbit, wild game, duck or other birds, liver, kidney, heart, or other organ meats?

15%

15%

No change

Any eggs?

20%

40%

+20%

Any fresh or dried fish or shellfish?

0%

0%

No change

Any foods made from beans, peas, lentils or nuts?

0%

0%

No change

Any cheese, yogurt, milk or other milk products?

15%

25%

+10%

Any foods made with oil, fat or butter?

20%

20%

No change

Any sugar, honey or sweets (cookies, etc.)?

50%

40%

-10%

Any other foods such as condiments, coffee or tea?

100%

100%

No change

35

Consumption of pork produced by project participants will begin in February and March 2014. Thus, any increase in meat consumption will become apparent in the April 2014 survey. Additional information: • Prior to the establishment of the community store in 2009, dairy products were scarce and not consumed very often. After 2009, however, participants reported an increase in dairy consumption, thanks to the store offering canned and powdered milk at an affordable price. • Before 2010, only 10% of participants reported consumption of fresh vegetables. Since 2010, thanks to the Organic Garden and Diversification of Production project, participants began to produce their own fresh vegetables. In April 2012, 40% of participants reported they consumed fresh vegetables and this number further increased to 80% in April 2013.

Additional outcomes: • Participating families have increased both their overall awareness of food security in their community and their social commitment thanks to this project, according to project coordinators. • Women have shown great interest in increasing their knowledge and skills during the project meetings and training sessions. • The community-run pig stall is a demonstration center for training and genetic improvement, encouraging innovations in livestock management to be gestated locally. • Native plant species in danger of extinction are now being cultivated to provide a balanced diet for the pigs. Additionally, secondary agricultural waste and kitchen scraps provide 80 to 100% of the pigs’ diet in the household units.


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Capacity Building Goals, Challenges & Lessons Learned Goal #1: Provide support in the negotiation with local authorities for necessary permits APROVAT was able to secure the interest and participation of local authorities who have helped participating families procure the necessary sanitary permits for the family-run pigpens. This is a significant achievement as it safeguards against unexpected problems. It also paves the way for Phase II of the project in 2014 by setting precedents that will facilitate project expansion. Goal #2: Strengthen teamwork among project participants and APROVAT’s leadership Over the past 5 years, APROVAT, with the support of Coffee Kids, has been active in building members’ capacities and deepening their engagement with staff, directors and projects. Project participants currently serve on 4 permanent APROVAT committees: Microcredit, Community Grocery Store, Pig Rearing, and Oversight. This measure has created greater continuity in project design, implementation and impact and has enabled APROVAT leadership and project participants to work more effectively toward a common goal. For example, señora Carmen Elena Vargas has been a long-time member of APROVAT and began working with the Organic Gardens and Diversification of Production project in 2010. She is now in charge of the project, in addition to serving on the Microcredit Committee along with 4 other female members of APROVAT. In her work, señora Carmen has created internal regulations guiding APROVAT’s diversification of production projects, including the current, multi-phase Food Security though Pig Rearing project. Señora Carmen is a clear example of an APROVAT member and project participant who has gradually taken on more responsibility in the organization, strengthening the projects from within and ensuring their longterm continuance.

Goal #3: Develop the administrative capacity of other APROVAT staff members APROVAT is a well-established organization and is currently carrying out its 4th project with Coffee Kids’ support. However, the organization has relied too much on a single person to guide and administer the projects. Coffee Kids has been active in working to further develop key skills among potential leaders within APROVAT, among both staff and members. APROVAT’s involvement in the Organizational Strengthening and Exchange Series workshop in Oaxaca in October 2013 was essential in helping to develop skills and knowledge among staff and leadership of the organization. Specifically, APROVAT attendees reiterated how the workshop helped them expand their knowledge, get feedback, and reduce uncertainty and risks associated with the management of their projects. APROVAT now reports that they feel they have the tools and knowledge necessary to improve planning and monitoring and evaluation of their projects.


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APROVAT: Most Significant Change stories “After the training with APROVAT … I have learned that in order to raise healthy pigs, they need a clean stall with a concrete floor that is easy to clean.” Name: Delmira Jaimes Meza Age: 49 Community: Yuscapampa “I have always had to work hard to provide food for my family. When my husband started working in Chiclayo [about 8 hours away] during a good part of the year, I had to learn how to grow food for my family. In the past, I bought most of my vegetables. Now, thanks to the organic garden project APROVAT began 3 years ago, I’m growing my own vegetables. I grow enough for my whole family, and I even sell some to neighbors and to APROVAT’s grocery store. “I was glad that APROVAT wanted to do a project with pigs this year. In this region, pork is one of our main protein sources along with guinea pigs. But we call our pigs ‘lard pigs,’ because they don’t grow a lot and don’t provide us with enough meat. For example, the pig that I bought last year should be twice the size he is now because he eats a lot, but he’s still very small. “We’ve raised pigs in this region for many years. But after the training with APROVAT, I see that we were doing things wrong. For example, I’ve learned that in order to raise healthy pigs, they need a clean stall with a concrete floor that is easy to clean. I used to feed my pigs lots of corn, but now I know that they can eat a wider variety of foods, such as banana leaves, fruits, spoiled vegetables from my garden, and a soup made from molasses, corn and grains that APROVAT taught us to make. “I take this project seriously. I know that if I follow all the advice that the APROVAT technicians give me, I should have healthy [grown] pigs in the near future. If everything goes well, I should get 6 to 8 piglets. I plan to sell all but 2 of them. I will use 1 for meat and keep the other so it can reproduce again. I plan to sell the rest of the piglets, and since the piglets are a mix between Duroc and Pietrain breeds, I will be able to sell them for about $65 USD each.”


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“Sometimes you just need a different viewpoint or someone else to show you how to do things differently, for the better.” Name: Elba Luz Peña Mesones Age: 40 Community: Tamborapa “My husband and I used to care for pigs. We had to stop because our daughter who lives in Jaén got sick, and we moved there to care for her. Raising pigs is a good way to earn extra money and have plenty of meat. Pigs are easy to care for and if you want, you can sell them live or process them yourself. We used to go to the city and buy 2 pigs every year, fatten them up, sell one and eat the other one. We used to sell the pigs for about $250 USD. Our pigs sold for more because they were mixed with pure breeds. People in this region prefer the meat from those pigs because they say it tastes better. “I decided to be part of this project because I wanted to raise pigs again. I believe that it is very important to be able to grow our own food, not only because we’ve always done it, but because we spend less money than buying from a store or from a market. Our community is at least 2 or 3 hours away from the closest city, so all the food that arrives here is not very fresh and it is usually expensive. “This project is not just about raising pigs, it’s about raising them correctly. Before the project, our idea of raising pigs was to tie them to a tree and feed them until they were ready to be sold or processed for meat. But since I’ve started this project, I’ve learned that it takes more to raise healthy pigs that will yield plenty of meat. The first thing I had to do was build a stall with a concrete floor. I never thought little changes like this could make such a big difference in the pig’s health. We used to have to give expensive antibiotics to our pigs, but since we have this new stall, the pigs are healthy. “My husband and I will continue raising pigs because we like them and because they provide us with nourishment. If we take good care of them, they will take care of us. I guess sometimes you just need a different viewpoint or someone else to show you how to do things differently, for the better.”


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“[My father] used to tell us that how we treated [pigs] would determine how they would pay us back … Today, I am following in my father’s footsteps.” Name: Teofila Campos Chanta Age: 66 Community: Tabaconas “I have fond childhood memories of my father raising pigs. He used to have a basic stall in our backyard where he would keep the pigs. He would feed them kitchen scraps and feed that he would bring from Jaén (about 5 hours away). I remember that my father cared for the pigs like they were his children. He used to tell us that how we treated them would determine how they would pay us back. My father instilled in me the passion for raising animals, and since then I have always had pigs, chickens and some ducks. I also remember that the best part of having pigs was when the piglets were born—I was just amazed by the gift of life. “Today, I am following in my father’s footsteps, but I am doing it a little bit differently. I no longer keep the pigs in a basic stall. Together with my son, we have built a pen with three stalls and a concrete floor. We currently have 3 pigs, all female. We plan to keep up to 8 adult-size pigs in the pen eventually; we can’t keep more because they would fight for space. “My plan is to sell the piglets to my neighbors or family members and keep the best females for reproducing. I would like to butcher 1 pig a year so that I can keep some of the meat and sell the rest. I have a small restaurant that I run on the weekends. I would use the meat to make 3 or 4 kinds of dishes. My son wants to keep only the male pigs and use them to inseminate other pigs. He says that he could get up to $60 USD for each insemination. “Belonging to this project has made me realize that my dad was ahead of his time by raising pigs in closed stalls and providing them with as much food and water as possible. I also realize that there were things that my dad could have done differently, but lacked the knowledge, such as building a concrete floor to prevent disease.”


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2013 Final Report

Project: Agricultural Innovation through Heritage Seeds and Practices Partner: The Advice and Rural Services Center (ASER MAIZ) Program Area: Food Security

Please do not hesitate to contact us for further information pertaining to this Coffee Kids project


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Agricultural Innovation through Heritage Seeds and Practices in Veracruz, Mexico

Program Partner: The Advice and Rural Services Center (ASER MAIZ) Program Area: Food Security Project Participants: 148 women, 27 men and 35 children (210 direct participants) from 100 families in 10 communities; 1211 beneficiaries from 18 communities Project Duration: January 2013 – December 2013

The Project • Bolstered rural food security by recuperating and protecting native

seeds that have served as a food source for many generations

• Advanced organic techniques of production and ensured more

efficient use of land and water through educational and strategic activities • Promoted long-term sustainability by compiling and documenting traditional forms of milpa* production in order to create a collection of seeds better adapted to the region

The Agricultural Innovation through Heritage Seeds and Practices project continued the efforts of ASER MAIZ to establish food security in rural coffee-growing communities. It also joined Mexico’s Sin Maíz no Hay País—No Corn, No Country—campaign (www.sinmaiznohaypais.org) in promoting heirloom varietals as crucial to maintaining genetic diversity in the country’s corn production. Additionally, the 2013 project further carved out a space for women to express themselves and their concerns about water rights and food sovereignty in the region. Over the course of 2013, the number of female participants was double the original projections, with women playing a key role in driving the daily activities, workshops, exchanges, assessments and, ultimately, the sustainability of the project. *Milpa is the subsistence agricultural system upon which rural populations throughout Mesoamérica have subsisted for hundreds if not thousands of years. At the heart of the milpa triad is corn, which is intercropped with squash and beans.

The Partner Founded: 1996 Coffee Kids Partner since: 2010 About ASER MAIZ: ASER MAIZ promotes community development by improving the economic, social and political conditions within rural communities in Veracruz, Mexico. The organization seeks to build the capacities of rural families in the areas of sustainable agriculture, food security, development and organizational skills. It also works with rural families to improve their advocacy skills and effectively demand public services from the government.


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Successes since working with Coffee Kids: • 2010: Coffee Kids and ASER MAIZ established the Participative Integrated Health project, which continues to improve access to local health care for 9 indigenous coffee-growing communities. The project takes advantage of local knowledge of medicinal plants to mitigate the impact of a lack of health services while at the same time addressing issues of food security through the cultivation of native species, which are better adapted and resistant to disease and blight. • 2011 – 12: The Comprehensive Health and Nutrition project, funded by Coffee Kids, helped nearly 100 participants diversify their production and consumption of food. The project also introduced beekeeping as a means of supplementary nutrition and income. • 2013: The Agricultural Innovation project built upon these previous projects, taking a multidimensional approach to health and nutrition as a response to current regional health and food security issues in 10 coffee-growing communities. • In 2014: ASER MAIZ and Coffee Kids will continue to collaborate on innovative food security projects with our Integrated Food Production project. The project tackles food insecurity in 4 coffee-growing communities in Veracruz, Mexico and will, over the course of 3 years, construct systems for water provisioning and provide training in vegetable and egg production. The project will establish an integrated and self-sustaining food production system that can be replicated throughout the region.

The Need Communities served by ASER MAIZ are facing loss of traditional agricultural practices, water scarcity and increasing pollution. These factors contribute to the loss of corn varieties resistant to disease and pose new risks, even for traditional varieties. • Mexico’s entry into NAFTA in 1994 successfully pushed rural regions toward intensive agricultural production for an export market rather than for local consumption. Mexico’s current food insecurity is due in part to these changes. More than 20 million Mexican citizens find themselves with inadequate access to food, a number that has increased since the early 2000s.1,2 The process has been particularly pronounced in Veracruz, where staple foods such as corn and beans have suffered low yields in recent years due to crop diseases brought about by climate change. • In the municipalities of Filomeno Mata and Mecatlán, where ASER MAIZ works, corn and coffee are the 2 main crops that sustain farmers’ livelihoods. However, these municipalities are some of the worst off in the state, with up to 75% of the population suffering some form of food insecurity and some of the lowest levels of social development and access to services in the state.3 Many people in the region have stopped using the agricultural practices their parents or grandparents once taught them, and in many cases have lost access to native seeds (corn, beans, squash and so on) that both grow well in their specific climate and are more disease resistant than commercial corn. They have lost the genetic diversity that would enhance the adaptability of existing heritage varietals. Furthermore, climate change poses additional challenges. •

Project Participants Communities 10

Participants Men

Women

Children

TOTAL

27

148

35

210

1 Source: 2010. Mileneo Online from FAO/SAGARPA figures http://puebla.milenio.com/cdb/doc/impreso/9044085 2 Source: 2010. National Council for the Evaluation of Social Development Policy (CONEVAL) 3 Source: 2011. Mapa Cartográfico del Observatorio en Seguridad Alimentaria del Estado de Veracruz, Universidad de Veracruz (most recent statistics from 2005)


ASER MAIZ - Agricultural Innovation through Heritage Seeds and Practice

The Results Schedule of activities: Objective (description)

Promote food sovereignty through a participatory community model of organic, sustainable agriculture

Activity

Scheduled

Current Status Ongoing/Rescheduled

4 workshops on the production of organic fertilizer

February – April 2013

4 workshops on the integrated treatment of diseases

March and September 2013

2 workshops completed and 2 workshops rescheduled for March 2014* Completed Reduced

Establish 10 model gardens

February – September 2013

7 gardens were established; the number of gardens was reduced so that more resources could go to workshops and backyard, rooftop and community vegetable gardens Ongoing/Rescheduled

Strengthen milpa agriculture as both an agriculturally integrated unit and a source of healthy food while promoting cultivation of native corn to promote food sovereignty

Promote environmental education and water conservation as core food sovereignty concepts

Document the existing practices and the products of the milpa system 1 nutrition and health workshop featuring milpa produce and amaranth

4 workshops and tours April and September completed; completion and 2013 distribution of educational materials rescheduled until March 2014 June 2013

Exceeded

2 environmental education and water conservation workshops for children

February and April 2013

Promote the planting of fruit and timber trees in 5 communities

March and June 2013

Celebration of World Water Day with a forum for children, adolescents and adults

Completed

3 workshops held (2 on environmental education and 1 about the water cycle) Completed 40 children and families planted 100 trees Completed

March 2013

221 participants from 18 communities attended the forum

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ASER MAIZ - Agricultural Innovation through Heritage Seeds and Practice

Promote backyard and rooftop vegetable gardens

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Exceeded

Host 3 training workshops to establish rooftop vegetable gardens

March – June 2013

Establish backyard vegetable gardens with 20 families

February – June 2013

4 workshops on rooftop gardening held, with an additional 4 workshops on backyard vegetable gardens Completed

*ASER MAIZ reports that cover crop seeds are very difficult to find, as very few organizations or individuals are promoting the growth of cover crops. Achievements: •

• •

• •

• •

At the end of the year, 33 more participants and 3 more communities than originally proposed participated in the project. In particular, the number of women participants doubled from the original estimations. According to ASER MAIZ, this increase in the number of participants demonstrates a high level of engagement and greater community investment in the organization and its projects, which bodes well for long-term sustainability. 51 women and 4 men attended 2 organic fertilizer workshops in 2 communities and applied their learning in creating 200 liters of organic fertilizer for future application. 4 workshops on the integrated treatment of agricultural diseases took place. 30 women and 7 men attended the first workshop, identified 2 diseases and proceeded to monitor them under the guidance of the workshop specialist. Subsequently, 3 tours of 5 plots have taken place to detect, assess and manage disease. 3 more workshops took place in 3 additional communities. 4 workshops and tours to document the existing practices and the products of the milpa system took place. 7 women and 8 men attended a workshop about different corn varieties hosted in the Corn Center in Tlaxcala, Mexico. Participants visited plots with different varieties of corn and learned about the attributes of each variety. 46 children in 2 communities participated in 3 workshops: 2 about environmental education and 1 about the water cycle. As a practical application of learning from these workshops, 40 children and families planted 100 fruit and timber trees in 5 communities. 221 participants from 18 communities attended a water rights and food sovereignty forum, organized by ASER MAIZ, held on World Water Day 2013. 93 participants from 5 communities participated in 4 training workshops on establishing rooftop vegetable gardens. An additional 4 workshops on establishing backyard gardens were held. Participants then applied the new knowledge and skills gained from these workshops in the following ways: 76 participants are currently growing vegetables on rooftop and backyard vegetable gardens and 43 participants helped create and currently care for 5 collective gardens in 5 communities. 12 native seed varieties have been collected for a new seed bank. An organizing committee and regulations guiding the collection, preservation and sharing of seeds have been developed.

Key indicators of project objective: Increase food security • 2 surveys, Months of Adequate Household Food Provisioning (MAHFP)1 and Dietary Diversity,2 were conducted with participants in September 2012 and again in November 2013.

1 The Months of Adequate Household Food Provisioning (MAHFP) survey measures household food access over the course of a year. (Source: GMCR Monitoring and Evaluation Guide for Supply Chain Outreach Funded Projects, 2012) 2 The Dietary Diversity survey measures food access during a designated period of time and is based on the number of food groups that a household or individual consumes. (Source: ibid)


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The following observations were made in comparing results from the 2 surveys: Months of Adequate Household Food Provisioning (MAHFP) Survey: September 2012 (30 participants) 30% of participants said they did not have enough food to meet their family’s needs 4 months out of the year: May, June, July, August

September 2013 (30 participants) 30% of participants said they did not have enough food to meet their family’s needs 4 months out of the year: May, June, July, August

Observation The number of months in which participants experienced food insecurity remained the same.

Dietary Diversity Survey: Type of food consumed at least once a week

Percentage of participants who have consumed the item at least once during the past 7 days Sept 2012

Sep 2013

% change

Any bread, rice, noodles, tortillas, or any other food made from corn, rice, wheat, sorghum, millet, quinoa 100% or any other local grain?

100%

No change

Any potatoes, yams, yucca, manioc, cassava or any other foods made from roots or tubers?

47%

46%

-1%

Any vegetables?

37%

70%

+33%

Any fruits?

62%

50%

-12%

Any chicken, beef, pork, lamb, goat, rabbit, wild game, duck or other birds, liver, kidney, heart or other organ meats?

50%

66%

+16%

Any eggs?

75%

100%

+25%

Any fresh or dried fish or shellfish?

12%

16%

+4%

Any foods made from beans, peas, lentils or nuts?

100%

100%

No change

Any cheese, yogurt, milk or other milk products?

52%

40%

-12%

Any foods made with oil, fat or butter?

100%

100%

No change

Any sugar, honey, or sweets (cookies and so on)?

100%

100%

No change

Any other foods such as condiments, coffee or tea?

100%

100%

No change

Additional observations/information: ��� According to the Dietary Diversity Survey, participants consumed more vegetables in September 2013 than they had one year earlier, before the implementation of this project. • According to a survey done by ASER MAIZ that measured families’ sources of food, home production accounted for 15% of all food consumed in September 2012. By September 2013, this figure had increased to 20%. The increase was attributed to the rooftop, backyard and community vegetable gardens established during the project.


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Other outcomes: People in the communities where the food security project is taking place are gaining interest in recovering their traditional agricultural practices and have started exchanging seeds on their own. • Children of participants have become more deeply involved in the project, accelerating progress with their energy and enthusiasm for learning and knowledge sharing. They also assist with the daily operations of the seed bank, from selecting seeds to assisting with record keeping. This assistance is essential, considering that many of their parents struggle with reading and writing. • Previously unknown diseases appeared during the spring-summer harvest, decimating close to 30% of the corn in the region. A sample was sent to an agronomist at Veracruz University and together, ASER MAIZ and the university will approach government authorities at a scheduled working group discussion in February 2014 about these diseases and the ramifications for corn production. ASER MAIZ has indicated that this is only the beginning of a much larger conversation concerning the Mexican government’s acceptance and promotion of transgenic corn, and the subsequent impact on local varieties, production and food sovereignty. • Unseasonal warm and dry weather and the late arrival of the rains took a toll on many participants’ gardens, as many project participants do not have reservoirs with which to water their vegetables. Between May and October, however, there was too much rain. It is only at the end of the year that participants were harvesting their vegetables. •

Capacity Building Goals, Challenges & Lessons Learned Goal #1: Develop the capacities of ASER MAIZ staff to better monitor and control financial performance. ASER MAIZ attended Coffee Kids’ Construction of Administrative Capacities workshop in 2012 and learned about methodologies and practices for the monitoring and control of their accounting and tax administration. This learning was further strengthened at the Organizational Strengthening and Exchange Series workshop in Oaxaca in October 2013, with workshop sessions focused on writing proposals and clear budgets, project planning, and organizational and financial management. Applying the tools gained in these 2 workshops, ASER MAIZ has reported significant progress in tracking their financial performance. Goal #2: Enhance ASER MAIZ’s ability to address external challenges to organizational efficiency and project sustainability. In recent years, the Mexican government has constructed a number of dams to provide urban areas with water. This has put the livelihoods of people from the Totonacapan region of Veracruz in jeopardy, since they rely on rivers fed from mountain runoff as their primary water supply. In addition to facing this significant water challenge, ASER MAIZ and the communities with whom they work are also dealing with unseasonable temperatures and irregular rain patterns attributed to climate change. ASER MAIZ staff has a deep understanding of these external challenges and are utilizing Coffee Kids’ funds, in part, to implement educational and strategic activities with project participants in the short term (e.g., workshops on water conservation and drought management and the planting of fruit and timber trees to prevent runoff and encourage water retention). Furthermore, in 2014, Coffee Kids and ASER MAIZ will commence the first year of a 3-year integrated food security project designed to help combat these challenges. In year 1, the project will establish Adaptive Rainwater Harvesting Systems (SACALL) that will facilitate year-round access to water for 50 families. The organization will also produce educational materials and guides that will be made widely available within the region.


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Goal #3: Improve ASER MAIZ’s ability to comply with Coffee Kids’ M&E standards and practices. Following the Organizational Strengthening and Exchange Series, ASER MAIZ has expressed a deeper understanding of the value of monitoring and evaluation in enabling the organization and participants to measure progress. Coffee Kids is working closely with ASER MAIZ and all partners in 2014 to further develop their capacities in creating and conducting food security surveys and sharing indicators that generate robust information according to the local context.

ASER MAIZ: Most Significant Change stories “Growing our own food organically and exchanging our seeds is a win-win situation for all of us involved in the project. It gives us control of what we are eating.” Name: Carmen Velázquez Galicia Age: 57 Location: Rancho Alegre “I am no stranger to providing healthy food for my family. My husband, nephews and I breed and care for sheep, chickens, turkeys and pigs. From a young age I started caring for animals, and it’s something I always grew up doing. I now see that a lot of people in my community have stopped producing their own food, and that makes me sad. I work very hard to provide food for my family, and I am very proud of that. When ASER MAIZ asked me to participate in the seed project, I immediately agreed because I wanted people to start growing their own food again. “My husband and I have a piece of land not very far from our home where we grow corn, beans, squash, and about an acre of coffee. We also keep 2 pigs in a corral that we feed kitchen scraps and corn from our plot. As far back as I can remember, my husband has been growing white and yellow corn that he got from his father. The yellow corn is good for making tortillas and the white corn is good for eating fresh. In the past, we have exchanged bean and squash seeds with other family members. “In the seed project, I started exchanging corn and bean seeds with other participants who didn’t have any. In exchange, I received cabbage, radish, cilantro and tomato seeds. I planted these in a small vegetable garden that my husband built for me next to our sheep stall. “Thanks to ASER MAIZ, I’m growing vegetables that I didn’t grow before, and other participants are eating beans and corn that they didn’t have before. Growing our own food organically and exchanging our seeds is a win-win situation for all of us involved in the project. It gives us control of what we are eating.”


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“I can say that growing your own food is one of the best things a family can do. Not only does it provide you with fresh vegetables, but it also gives you a sense of freedom.” Name: Josefa María García Lorenzo Age: 33 Location: Filomeno Mata “In our community, men are typically in charge of growing corn, beans, chilies and greens. There is very little space in the community to grow food, so some men have to walk up to 4 hours to reach their corn plot. Women usually stay at home to attend to the housework and care for the children. So when the staff from ASER MAIZ came to the community 2 years ago and offered the women an opportunity to grow their own vegetables, I was a little bit skeptical. I did not know how to grow anything, and I did not have that much space to do it. My mother, on the other hand, was one of the first people to sign up for the project. “I started participating in this project unofficially about 2 years ago when my mother gave me some squash, bean, chili and tomato seeds. I just threw them into the ground, in a small space I had in front of my house. I had never grown anything from seeds, so I didn’t know what to expect. I was very surprised when about 6 days later, something green started coming up out of the soil. I paid close attention during the following weeks, and after just 6 weeks I was harvesting my first squash—I was very happy. “Once I decided to formally take part in the seed project, the main challenge was to find space where I could set up my vegetable garden. The only solution was to build a terrace in front of my house. It was a very hard job because we had to bring rocks and sand from the river, but we managed to do it somehow. Then I filled the terrace with compost that we received from my mother and my aunt. “Part of the training that ASER MAIZ gave us was in saving and storing seeds so that we have them every year. We have to let 1 or 2 plants go to seed and then dry them in a cool, dark place. During the first year, I was able to save squash, tomato and cilantro seeds, which I used to grow new plants. I also exchanged these seeds for other seeds that I didn’t have, like different varieties of beans, corn and cabbage. “I feel very proud about producing my own cilantro, squash, kale, lettuce, radishes and chilies. I hardly ever go to the market to buy any of these vegetables now. I can say that growing your own food is one of the best things a family can do. Not only does it provide you with fresh vegetables, but it also gives you a sense of freedom.”


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“Along with 3 of my neighbors and my cousin, we made 9 raised beds in my cousin’s backyard. …We figured that we can take turns taking care of the vegetables, and when it’s time to harvest or weed, we do it together.” Name: Adela Hernández García Age: 43 Location: Ricardo Flores Magón “A long time ago, my mother and I used to grow medicinal herbs and some vegetables, like chilies and tomatoes, in clay pots. I remember picking ripe tomatoes, so juicy and sweet. But when my mother passed away, I stopped growing anything. One day, one of my daughters told me that the tomatoes we buy in the market are bland and too acidic. That got me thinking that I should start growing my own tomatoes again, so that my children could taste tomatoes as sweet and juicy as the ones my mother and I used to grow. “My first contact with ASER MAIZ was during a meeting they held in our community about 3 years ago. They wanted to organize a group of women who cared about the health of their families and who could commit their time and energy. In the beginning, I wasn’t sure what it was about, but I’m a very curious person so I signed up for it. “Ever since that first meeting, I have been involved 100% with the projects that ASER MAIZ has presented to us. I even became a community promoter. My job as a promoter is to coordinate the various project activities, as well as answer any questions my fellow partners have. I have 3 sons and 2 daughters, which makes being a promoter a bit much at times, but I love helping people out. “It has been 3 years since I started growing my own tomatoes and chilies again. Now, thanks to this project, I can grow other types of vegetables like radishes, kale, cabbage, squash and, most recently, amaranth [thanks to 3 women who went to Oaxaca to an amaranth workshop]. “I no longer grow in pots. Along with 3 of my neighbors and my cousin, we made 9 raised beds in my cousin’s backyard. We grow tomatoes, radishes, chilies, amaranth, cabbages, cilantro and some medicinal herbs. We figured that we can take turns taking care of the vegetables, and when it’s time to harvest or weed, we do it together. We also make our own compost from kitchen scraps and horse manure.”


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2013 Final Report

Project: Strengthening and Expansion of Kids Saving in Solidarity Groups Partner: Self-Managed Development (AUGE) Program Area: Capacity Building

Please do not hesitate to contact us for further information pertaining to this Coffee Kids project


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Strengthening and Expansion of Kids Saving in Solidarity Groups in Veracruz, Mexico

Program Partner: Self-Managed Development (AUGE) Program Area: Capacity Building Project Participants: 800 children and young people; 685 beneficiary families1 Project Duration: January 2013 – December 2013

The Project • Improved the administrative and accounting capacities of AUGE’s Kids Saving in Solidarity Groups (GNAS) • Trained 8 youth promoters to support other GNAS participants and to lead community projects • Provided promoters with a small scholarship to help them continue their schooling in exchange for their service • Helped GNAS participants better understand the concept of savings, which facilitates the identification of long- and short-term goals, and will help them achieve the aims they have set for themselves • Instilled leadership and citizenship skills and combated the social and psychological effects of violence that rural communities in Veracruz are currently suffering The project expanded the savings groups so as to reach even more young people from additional communities. Reaching a total of 800 children and adolescents (exceeding the original goal of 700 by 100 individuals) in 20 groups (5 more than the 15 groups originally proposed), the project has not only instilled a culture of savings from an early age in its participants, it continues to improve quality of life for them and their families. The project is an extension of AUGE’s mission of self-led, integrated and holistic development for individuals and communities and is, thus, deeply integrated with other social projects currently run by the organization.

The Partner Founded: 1996 Coffee Kids partner since: 1998 Successes working with Coffee Kids: • 1998 – current: In 1998, Coffee Kids helped AUGE establish their first Women Saving in Solidarity (GMAS) microcredit and savings groups. Starting with only 100 women in 1998, AUGE currently oversees the involvement of 2,500 women organized into 64 groups. GMAS groups are the nucleus from which all of AUGE’s projects were generated.

1 Exceeds the original proposal of 700 children and young people, and 600 families as indirect beneficiaries


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• 2005: AUGE constructed an education center with support from Coffee Kids. The space continues to be used for training in microcredit and savings techniques, health education courses and more. • 2006: Children accompanying their mothers to GMAS meetings joined the first Kids Saving in Solidarity Group (GNAS). • 2006 – 12: Coffee Kids developed a variety of interrelated projects with AUGE, including investing in AUGE’s food security and nutritional education program and developing a 2-year Administrative Skills Building project (2010 – 12). Most of these activities are run either through or in conjunction with GMAS/GNAS groups and make strides toward manifesting AUGE’s holistic vision of total well-being, which includes good health, improved self-esteem and economic resilience. • 2012: AUGE and GMAS groups oversaw 12 GNAS groups formed by 279 boys and 280 girls, saving between $.70 and $3 USD each week. • 2013: AUGE’s GNAS groups grew to 800 children and youth, with a combined savings of over $42,000 USD. Most participants also receive training and take part in AUGE’s food security project.

The Need • 53% of young people in the communities where AUGE works do not attend school, and 44% of these have left school in order to find employment, according to AUGE surveys. However, work opportunities for young people are limited. Many of these young people migrate to other countries or cities in search of work (some 70% of those migrating are between the ages of 12 and 24 years old). • Despite this migration, 71.8% of all working youth still do not have a secure job. • Increased violence (a result of organized crime groups) in Veracruz presents social and psychological issues that are new to many of these rural communities. Students report feeling alienated and parents are frightened. This condition of fear further erodes the perception that a better future for young people is possible. In addition to promoting a culture of savings, the GNAS groups incorporate citizenship and business-skills training that present viable and sustainable solutions to the lack of opportunities for young people within the region. As part of AUGE’s vision for total well-being, these activities also increase young people’s self-confidence, ultimately reducing their vulnerability and fomenting their ability to create a better future for themselves. This project has also responded to the fear of immanent violence by conducting seminars on peace and cultural solidarity in order to engender a vision of the future over which young people have more control. There has been an increased focus on this in 2013 due to the political issues at hand.

Project Participants

Groups 20

Participants Girls

Boys

TOTAL

491

309

800


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The Results Schedule of activities: Objective (description) Promote a culture of savings among young people while improving their quality of life

Promote the understanding and exercise of human rights from a gendered perspective

Foster citizenship

Scheduled

Current status

12 training sessions with 8 youth promoters

January – December 2013

Completed

Scholarships granted to youth promoters

January – December 2013

Completed

Weekly workshops and seminars with all 700 GNAS participants

January – December 2013

Exceeded 800 total participants (114%)

3 workshops on peace and nonviolence to 700 participants

January – March 2013

Exceeded 4th workshop held in April

2 workshops on environmental conservation strategies

April – June 2013

Exceeded 4 workshops, with 6 workshops held in total, April – June and October – December 2013

4 garbage collection days: kids learn to identify and separate recyclable materials (in participating communities)

July – September 2013 (Rescheduled for October – December 2013)

Completed

3 workshops on children’s rights with all 700 GNAS participants

October – December 2013

Exceeded 4 workshops in total; 3 of these were carried out ahead of schedule in June, July and September

Design, produce and edit an educational video on rights and citizenship

January – December 2013

Completed

Activity

Achievements: • 800 boys and girls joined the program, 100 more than originally proposed. • 20 GNAS groups were developed, 5 more than the 15 originally proposed. • 800 youth received training in 14 workshops (6 more than originally proposed) about ethics, peace and nonviolence, children’s rights and environmental stewardship. • 8 youth leaders worked with GNAS groups and received a scholarship to continue their studies.


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• 1 educational video on rights and citizenship was completed. • A trash collection campaign planned for July took place in October, November and December. • AUGE offered a program in rural distance-learning high schools (telebachilleratos).2 Teachers and school authorities are eager to further this collaboration. AUGE hopes to expand their outreach through distance learning to the regions of Huatusco and Orizaba, Veracruz, where they do not yet have projects. Key indicators for project objective: Build capacities In this project, 8 AUGE youth promoters received a scholarship to continue their studies and, in return, agreed to share their new knowledge, skills and tools with other GNAS participants and communities in AUGE’s area of influence. The 8 youth promoters completed 1 week of intensive coursework at university each month, and then spent the remaining 3 weeks in their community applying and sharing their new knowledge with: • • • • • • •

GNAS groups Youth in rural distance-learning high schools (telebachilleratos) Children in vegetable garden projects Adults in literacy programs Children in remedial education programs Participants in work-training programs (beekeeping and cosmetology) Temporary employment work groups

While conducting their work in the community, youth promoters kept a journal and recorded their daily activities with AUGE and in the field.

Additional outcomes: • GNAS youth submitted proposals for commercial projects to a competition organized by FEMSA (the largest beverage company in Mexico and Latin America) and attended a series of workshops on project development. 10 GNAS-proposed projects were chosen for funding and 2 GNAS scholarship recipients were selected to serve as workshop trainers. • Parents and teachers were invited by youth participants to take part in workshops on self-esteem, conflict resolution and other themes. The workshops have been well-received, with parents and teachers noting a positive impact in their own lives. • Children in GNAS have taken part in workshops on growing, preparing and selling vegetables and medicinal plants. • Young women in the project organized and led public forums during community and municipal elections in order to encourage accountability and civic responsibility. • There is great demand from teachers for the project to be offered in more schools. Unfortunately, AUGE lacks the resources at this point to be able to further the reach of the project. • Despite persistent social problems and insecurity, participating children are committed to continuing their involvement in the savings and food security groups. This is thanks to the children’s interest and drive and also to their parents’ support.

2  The telebachillerato (distance-learning high school) in Mexico was developed so that young people in rural areas could achieve higher levels of (usually specialized) education than they would otherwise be able to achieve. Many of the students who attend have limited access to resources that would allow them to travel for school. Thus, the schools are often the only post-primary educational option in many of the most impoverished and vulnerable regions throughout the country.


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Capacity Building Goals, Challenges & Lessons Learned Goal #1: Improve accounting practices and incorporate new fiscal procedures required by changes to Mexican nonprofit tax law AUGE has faced significant administrative challenges in recent years due to changes to Mexican tax law, and Coffee Kids has provided them with training and support both through workshops with tax professionals (in collaboration with our graduated partner, CAMPO) and on a one-to-one basis.

Goal #2: Promote and assist with the writing of manuals for internal controls and developing job descriptions for key positions within the organization Coffee Kids is advising AUGE as they work to complete these tasks, though it is taking more time than planned due to changes to Mexican nonprofit tax law. These reforms require that AUGE make changes to previously established administrative roles and procedures for employees. AUGE will take these changes into account and will complete manuals for internal controls and job descriptions in 2014 and the beginning of 2015. Goal #3: Promote mid- and long-term strategic planning AUGE had planned to “graduate” from direct funding from Coffee Kids last year. However, significant changes to Mexican tax law requiring administrative restructuring delayed this goal. Concurrently, AUGE’s role in our Organizational Strengthening and Exchange Series (October 2013) has made even more apparent to us the high amount of respect that the organization commands and the vast stores of knowledge the organization possesses. AUGE attendees were quite popular, with members of other organizations seeking them out for advice and input. Additionally, ACMUV (Guatemala) is planning another experience exchange with AUGE to build upon their 2010 encounter, and CDS (Mexico) will receive training from AUGE in formalizing their savings program in early 2014. Recognition of these strong cross-organizational relationships and the knowledge sharing that has been forged between AUGE, Coffee Kids and other partners has caused Coffee Kids to re-evaluate our graduation plan for AUGE. Rather than graduate the organization, we intend to transform and strengthen our collaboration, continuing funding in the future, but with more of a focus on AUGE as a training partner. For example, we believe that AUGE may serve as an ally in carrying out future phases of our Organizational Strengthening and Exchange Series. As such, we are advancing the regularly scheduled visit to AUGE to February 2014 in order to explore the possibility of such a strategic alliance.


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AUGE: Most Significant Change stories For the Most Significant Change stories, we chose to focus on 3 of the 8 AUGE youth promoters, since they are at the core of the Strengthening and Expansion of Kids Saving in Solidarity Groups project. In exchange for a scholarship to attend university, they provide leadership and hands-on training to GNAS groups and AUGE community projects. As a testament to AUGE’s cross-generational capacity building, all 8 youth promoters are children of AUGE’s Women Saving in Solidarity group members, and many are former members of GNAS.

“When I think about the benefits of this project, I think about my relationship with the kids … I feel that I’m helping to train them for their future.” Name: Diego Israel Aguilar Vásquez Age: 21 Community: Cosautlán Role: Youth Promoter

Promoter] scholarship from AUGE.

“I started working with AUGE 7 years ago, when my mom was involved with the savings group. I joined the training process as a teen. My father is a builder, my mother works at home, and I have 3 sisters. We also have a plot of coffee. During the coffee harvest we enjoy the work that we do, but unfortunately, we have had more difficulties because the price of coffee is not good, and what we earn is not enough to live on. This is the case in many other families growing coffee in our community. I hope that we continue to harvest coffee, because I like working on the land. But I don’t know if this is feasible for making a living in the future. I’m very fortunate to have the opportunity to receive a [GNAS Youth

“I study development planning at a university in Puebla, about 4 hours away from my home. I stay a week at the university for intensive coursework, and then I spend 3 weeks in my community applying what I’ve learned. I receive a scholarship from AUGE and Coffee Kids that allows me to study, and in exchange I work once a week with the young people in my community. We have a small garden, and I teach them how to plant vegetables and take care of the plot. We have been working together for several months on this project. Prior to this, I worked with the kids on a remedial education project, in which I helped them do their homework and reinforced their learning in school. So I know [them well], and we’ve become friends. “When I think about the benefits of this project, I think about my relationship with the kids. The work I do with them allows me to teach, but I also learn from them and have seen how they’ve grown and become more interested in learning. I feel that I’m helping to train them for their future.”


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“I love what I do. I get to work with people that need me, just as I need them, in order to grow personally and professionally.” Name: Ingrid Estefanía Piedra Guzmán Age: 18 Community: Cosautlán Role: Youth Promoter “My family consists of my sister, mother and stepfather. Things have not been easy for my stepfather lately. He is an agronomist and had a good job, but was recently laid off. He has had a hard time finding a new job and only works part-time right now. When the family of my biological father found out that I wanted to study rural development, they did not approve, since they believe a successful person should be a doctor, lawyer or someone who makes a lot of money. Unfortunately, my mom has been influenced by their thinking as well as by my stepfather’s situation and has not supported my plan. But it’s important for me to dedicate myself to something that I enjoy doing and that makes me feel useful. Without support from my family, I have had to find my own way to study. Thankfully, the scholarship from AUGE has made this possible. “As with all my peers who received the same [GNAS Youth Promoter] scholarship, we spend 1 week learning theory at the university and 3 weeks in the field practicing and applying what we’ve learned. During these three weeks, I work in my community with children who have problems at school and also with a group of women in a literacy program. Honestly, this is a lot of work because out of all the other scholarship recipients, I have had the least experience working with groups. At first I struggled a little, because the women I was asked to help saw me as the person who should give them all the answers, and most of them are more than twice my age! They told me that I am the teacher, and I should have all the answers, and this made me feel pressured to the point that I no longer wanted to go. After thinking about it, though, I realized that these women needed me, and that they wanted me to be there for them. Not only do they learn from me, I have learned a lot from them—about their lives, the coffee harvest, how they sell and process the beans, and how they take care of their land. “I believe that my mother is now coming around to the fact that what I’m doing in school has meaning and that it gives my life direction. I know that my mother is proud of me, although she doesn’t say it. She still doesn’t support me economically, but it doesn’t matter. I love what I do. I get to work with people that need me, just as I need them, in order to grow personally and professionally.”


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“Without this scholarship, it would be very difficult to continue my studies and I would most certainly be unable to help support my single mother and sister. I’m very fortunate to be part of this program.” Name: Rubén Martínez Molina Age: 19 Community: Tlaltetela Role: Youth Promoter “I live with my mother and sister, and I haven’t seen my father in a long time because he abandoned us. So in order to move forward, we have to support each other. “I organize and supervise youth in a temporary work program that AUGE developed [initially] with government funds. The program provides work for unemployed or out-of-school youth cleaning green spaces, fountains for drinking water, trails, schools and other public areas. In exchange for coordinating these workers, AUGE and Coffee Kids provide me with a scholarship, which allows me to pay a portion of my university expenses. “I chose to study agronomy in college thanks to the influence of my grandfather, who loved the countryside. I like living in the country and working to protect the environment and local plants. I really like the university where I study, because the students live at the university for a week together, and then we go to our own communities for 3 weeks. This structure allows me to continue helping my family with coffee production. Through the program I have learned a lot about organic agriculture, and with AUGE I have taken part in training in food security, civic responsibility and peace studies. Without this scholarship, it would be very difficult to continue my studies and I would most certainly be unable to help support my single mother and sister. I’m very fortunate to be part of this program.”


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2013 Final Report

Project: Community Participation in Food Security (Stage Two) Partner: San Juan Colorado Sustainable Development Council (CDS) Program Area: Food Security

Please do not hesitate to contact us for further information pertaining to this Coffee Kids project


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Community Participation in Food Security (Stage 2) in San Juan Colorado, Oaxaca, Mexico

Program Partner: San Juan Colorado Sustainable Development Council (CDS) Program Area: Food Security Project Participants: : 24 men and 5 women (29 direct participants) from 29 families from 1 community; 319

beneficiaries

Project Duration: January 2013 – December 2013

The Project • Fostered sustainable agriculture in the community of Nuevo Progreso (in the municipality of San Juan Colorado) and strengthened the existing subsistence farming system • Promoted the production of traditional foods with high nutritional value, such as maize, squash, beans, radishes, lettuce, onions, tomatoes and chilies • Provided training in agroecological practices (e.g., worm compost, water retaining trenches, erosion barriers, diversified vegetable production) that improved yields while maintaining soil fertility and preventing erosion • Spread new agricultural knowledge and practices through farmer-to-farmer training • Educated participants about the importance of midto long-term financial planning and strengthened the existing small-scale savings program (“rural savings group”) • Created a business plan for the development of local vanilla and palm oil micro-industries based on findings from the 2011 feasibility study This project represented stage 2 of CDS’s Community Participation in Food Security project (initiated in 2012), and continued the work with the project participants from stage 1 (21 direct participants, 100 beneficiary families).

The Partner Founded: 2013 Coffee Kids partner since: 2011(as TCPI) About CDS: In 2013, Coffee Kids’ partner Everything as Indigenous People (TCPI) reorganized under the name San Juan Colorado Sustainable Development Council (CDS). Although legally a new entity, CDS is a direct outgrowth of TCPI, works in the same coffee-growing community of Nuevo Progreso, and has adopted the same mission of promoting social, political, environmental and cultural transformation initiatives in the region. Along with the project coordinators,


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the original TCPI members participating in Stage 1 and Stage 2 of this project have become part of the CDS project to strengthen subsistence farming. Successes since working with Coffee Kids: • 2011: Coffee Kids began working with the organization TCPI on the Community Participation in Food Security project. The project improved the food security of 100 families from Nuevo Progreso, teaching techniques in organic cultivation of vegetables and disease prevention and treatment and initiated a feasibility study for the development of local micro-industries. Although TCPI no longer exists, most of the participants have continued working with the new organization, CDS. • 2013: CDS successfully incorporated as an NGO under Mexican tax law, which creates pathways to better fiscal planning, opens new potential funding streams, and improves their position and credibility within their communities, both local and international.

The Need •

• • • •

The population of Mixteca-Sierra Sur, the region where the project is located, is 70% indigenous. 3 out of 10 residents are illiterate, and 400,000 individuals migrate to the north each year in search of economic opportunities.1 While the majority of Nuevo Progreso residents are coffee producers, their production only provides 30% of their income and they must seek other work to cover basic expenses.2 Current agricultural practices in the region have slowly eroded the land’s productivity and polluted the water. People are harvesting fewer vegetables than in the past due to a lack of awareness about practices that ensure proper land management and maintain or increase fertility. Industrialized products with poor nutritional value have slowly replaced traditional staple foods such as maize and vegetables (e.g., squash, beans, tomatoes and lettuce), aggravating undernutrition among the population.3 People in the region have little knowledge about strategies for saving money or financial planning.

Project Participants Communities 1

Participants Men

Women

TOTAL

24

5

294

1 AYU Foundation, 2003 2 CDS survey of Nuevo Progreso. 2010 3 Municipal Development Plan 2008 – 2010, San Juan Colorado, Oaxaca 4 The original proposal included 25 men and 5 women participants from 30 families. However, due to the death of 1 participant, the final number of participants is 24 men and 5 women from 29 families.


CDS - Community Participation in Food Security (Stage 2)

The Results Schedule of activities: Objective (description)

Improve technical capacities and strengthen farming methods to increase food yields

Activity

February – May 2013

Completed

1 workshop on organic vegetable gardening

February 2013

Completed

4 sustainable agriculture workshops

March ­– November 2013

Completed

February 2013 (Rescheduled for May/ early June 2013)

14 irrigation systems set up in 14 maize plots

10 participants attend 1 savings and microcredit workshop in collaboration with a CK partner organization (AUGE)

January 2013

February – March 2013 (Rescheduled for May/ early June 2013)

Only 7 gardens were set up in order to put more resources into irrigation systems 17 producers (3 more than planned) selected to receive irrigation equipment Exceeded 17 irrigation systems (3 more than planned) set up in 17 maize plots Exceeded

February – December 2013

22 vegetable producers (4 more than planned) trained new producers Rescheduled and completed

December 2013

1

1

Reduced

Exceeded 14 producers1 selected to receive irrigation equipment

18 established vegetable producers train 18 new vegetable producers Formalize the existing savings groups and investigate the possibility of developing microcredit opportunities

Current status

3 agroecological practices and landfertility workshops

13 new vegetable gardens set up

Promote the production of local staple foods such as maize and backyard vegetables (e.g., squash, radishes, beans, lettuce and tomatoes)

Scheduled

Participants were selected according to need via a democratically run assembly.

Delayed until January 2014 due to inclement weather

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Achievements: • • • • • • • • • • •

8 workshops took place with a total of 24 producers attending. 9 participants received certificates1 upon completion of the sustainable agriculture course. 7 new vegetable gardens were set up, bringing the total to 25 vegetable gardens. 17 irrigation systems were set up in 17 plots (3 more than originally proposed), allowing producers to plant and produce corn during the dry season for the first time. 1,000 meters of water-retaining trenches were excavated, 77 meters of erosion barriers were created, and 5,125 square meters of compost were applied on 18 plots. 22 participants (4 more than originally proposed) shared their knowledge with new vegetable producers. 11 corn producers reported that they no longer use slash and burn techniques on their plots. 17 farmers planted cover crops. Participants invested $2,310 USD in the small-scale savings program. As a group, participants saved approximately $193 USD per week or $3,850 USD over the course of the year by producing their own vegetables. Participants have doubled their consumption of vegetables, consuming vegetables 4.7 times per week (or 526 meals total) on average during the vegetable harvest, as compared to 2 times per week (216 meals total) outside of the harvest.

Key indicator for project objective: Increase food security • 2 surveys, Months of Adequate Household Food Provisioning (MAHFP) 2 and Dietary Diversity3, were conducted with participants in September of 2012 and 2013.

The following are results of these surveys:

Months of Adequate Household Food Provisioning (MAHFP) Survey: September 2012 (20 participants) 80% of participants said they did not have enough food to meet their family’s needs 4 months out of the year: May, June, July and August

September 2013 (26 participants)

Observations

The number of months in which participants 65% of participants said they experienced food insecurity remain the same. did not have enough food to However, the percentage of families meet their family’s needs 4 experiencing insecurity during these months months out of the year: May, was reduced from 80% in 2012 to 65% in June, July and August 2013.

1 Validated by the Regional Center of Agriculture 2 The Months of Adequate Household Food Provisioning (MAHFP) survey measures household food access over the course of a year. (Source: GMCR Monitoring and Evaluation Guide for Supply Chain Outreach Funded Projects, 2012)


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Dietary Diversity Survey: Type of food consumed at least once a week

Percentage of participants who have consumed the item at least once during the past 7 days Sept 2012

Sept 2013

% change

Any bread, rice, noodles, tortillas, or any other food made from corn, rice, wheat, sorghum, millet, quinoa or any other local grain?

100%

100%

No change

Any potatoes, yams, yucca, manioc, cassava, or any other foods made from roots or tubers?

75%

65%

-10%

Any vegetables?

45%

100%

+55%

Any fruits?

80%

85%

+5%

Any chicken, beef, pork, lamb, goat, rabbit, wild game, duck or other birds, liver, kidney, heart or other organ meats? Any eggs?

60%

62%

+2%

80%

96%

+16%

Any fresh or dried fish or shellfish?

20%

20%

No change

Any foods made from beans, peas, lentils or nuts?

100%

92%

-8%

Any cheese, yogurt, milk or other milk products?

75%

65%

-10%

Any foods made with oil, fat or butter?

90%

100%

+10%

Any sugar, honey, or sweets (cookies, etc.)?

100%

96%

-4%

Any other foods such as condiments, coffee or tea?

100%

100%

No change

Additional observations: • According to the Dietary Diversity Survey, participants consumed 55% more vegetables in September 2013 than they had one year earlier, before the implementation of this project. • According to a survey done by CDS that measured families’ sources of food (including all types of food), home production accounted for 25% of all food consumed in September 2012. By September 2013, this figure had increased to 40%. The increase was attributed to the vegetable gardens established during the project. Other outcomes: • According to reports, participants are increasing their earnings and diversifying their incomes by selling surplus vegetables from their gardens. Data were not collected about how much they are earning, but economic indicators will be incorporated during stage 3 in 2014. • Producers have taken an active interest in diversifying their diets: some are growing corn for the first time and are experimenting with new crops such as bananas, jicama and beets. • Participants have strengthened their gardening skills and commitment to soil conservation by replacing chemical use and slash-and-burn practices with sustainable agriculture techniques, including using compost, bio-fertilizers, cover crops and rainwater-catchment techniques. • 14 people who were not officially project participants attended the workshop on organic vegetable gardening and agreed to set up their own vegetable garden at the end of the workshop. • More women were involved in the project this year, and all of the female participants attended the sustainable agriculture course. • 4 participants continue to attend training in sustainable agriculture techniques and are strengthening their skills in order to serve as promoters who will carry out assessments with other participants and provide


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hands-on guidance on demonstrative plots. • January 23 – 26, 2014, 10 participants attended, with great success, a savings and microcredit workshop in the Education Center of AUGE, a Coffee Kids’ partner organization, in Veracruz Mexico. During the workshop they learned how to manage a savings group that looks at the amount of savings as the main economic indicator of success. • Local vanilla and palm oil micro-industries have been further developed, with steps being taken to formalize a vanilla producers’ cooperative. Already, 3 contracts for the sale of vanilla pods have been arranged for 2014. The group has potential buyers in Canada and Oaxaca city. The group estimates that with good management, the vanilla market can provide them up to $27,000 USD annually.

Capacity Building Goals, Challenges & Lessons Learned Goal #1: Formalize NGO status according to Mexican tax law Mexican tax law can be very confusing, and CDS encountered difficulties in formalizing their status as an NGO in Mexico. Coffee Kids provided CDS with resources and advice to assist them in this endeavor, connecting them with reputable tax lawyers in Mexico who were able to guide them through the process of becoming a recognized NGO. Furthermore, 3 representatives from CDS participated in Coffee Kids’ Building Administrative Capacities workshop in July 2012. The training and knowledge exchange with other Mexican organizations contributed greatly to their eventual success. Goal #2: Diversify funding streams CDS seeks to diversify their funding stream so as to eliminate over-reliance on Coffee Kids and to further expand their project catalog. Coffee Kids has assisted in this endeavor by facilitating connections between CDS and other local and international NGOs.

Goal #3: Improve capacities in microcredit and savings management TCPI/CDS intended to initiate a microcredit project from the moment they began working with Coffee Kids. Although a basic rural savings fund has been established, the group lacks the experience and knowledge of appropriate structures needed to develop the nascent project into a well-functioning microcredit and savings group. This year, Coffee Kids connected CDS with our partner AUGE, whose successful Women Saving in Solidarity Groups (GMAS) and Kids Saving in Solidarity Groups (GNAS) groups have, over the past 15 years, grown to reach 2,500 women and 733 young people within Veracruz, Mexico. CDS planned a workshop with AUGE in order to create a formal savings and microcredit group in Nuevo Progreso, with rules, standards and purpose that will work best in the community. The workshop with AUGE in Veracruz, Mexico, was completed in January 2014.

Goal #4: Develop CDS staff leadership and project planning and management skills CDS relies primarily on a single person to guide and administer the projects. Coffee Kids has been active in working to further develop key skills and knowledge among potential leaders within the organization. In order to further this work, 3 CDS representatives were invited to take part in the Organizational Strengthening and Exchange Series workshop in Oaxaca in October 2013. This workshop helped address CDS’ primary capacity building challenges: understanding and meeting Coffee Kids’ proposal requirements and creating clear budgets. After attending workshop sessions on proposal writing, project planning and organizational and financial management, one representative from CDS appeared significantly more confident: “The presentation [on proposal writing and project planning]


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improved my understanding of objectives, tasks, indicators and goals. I plan to use the project profitability and cost-benefit analysis form to analyze some of CDS’ projects.” After the workshop, the single person guiding and administering the project commented on how the workshop helped to create more ownership among other CDS leaders and participants: “Thanks to Coffee Kids, my co-workers are here [at this workshop]. It is really good that they are learning about all these aspects of a project.” Finally, the workshop helped CDS get a better grasp on the importance of monitoring and evaluation, as well as provided specific tools to accomplish this. According to one representative at the workshop: “I feel like my outlook on this project has grown. I plan to share what I have learned with the project coordinator, so that they also bring this larger vision of the importance of monitoring and evaluation, etc. to the project. I plan to share my learning with everyone in the organization so that we are on the same page.”

CDS: Most Significant Change stories Name: Robert Hernández Heras Age: 23 Community: Nuevo Progreso, Oaxaca Robert is one of the founders of the Community Participation in Food Security project. He grows corn, beans and squash using the intercropping system of milpa on 2 hectares of land that he shares with his father. Due to the heavy rains during the growing season, Robert had a poor harvest. Since then, he has doubled the amount of land for his milpa, in hopes of harvesting in April. He also installed a gravitational drip irrigation system on his plot as part of the project. “I realize that to improve a plot of land, you have to invest a lot of hard work. I now understand why the older generation always told us that there was no point in trying to improve parcelas [plots of land]—it’s a lot of work. I know that it’s tough working as a farmer, but the land gives us what we need if we take care of it and work with it. “Before this project, I didn’t understand how important it was to provide the soil with nutrients and compost. But I understand now. Since I joined this project 3 years ago, I haven’t burned my fields and I haven’t used herbicides. I’ve been growing green cover crops—legumes—that provide nitrogen to the soil. But I have had problems with ants eating my cover crops, so the soil on my plot is still poor. So now I’m going to try growing canavalia [a legume], because the ants will leave it alone. This year, I put 7 truckloads of organic fertilizer on a portion of my plot. I am also planning to make compost from what is on my land. Bit by bit, I’m working toward my goal of putting organic compost and fertilizer on all of my parcela. I’m positive that in the coming years, the soil on my plot will get better, because I am going to continue improving and caring for it.”


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Name: Jonás Heras Age: 63 Community: Nuevo Progreso, Oaxaca Jonás and his wife, Amalia, are from Nuevo Progreso and have been participants in the Community Participation in Food Security project since the very beginning. Despite struggling with Parkinson’s disease, Jonás loves to work the land with his wife. They’ve put a lot of time and effort into their plot, planting and harvesting jicama along the water-retaining trenches. They’re also growing radishes and corn. “The trainings and assessments have been a big help. Look at these jicama! Last week I harvested almost 2 kilos. My wife is very pleased with what we’re growing and producing, because it means we have more food to eat. “I planted radishes in late November, and I hope they don’t rot. I tried planting them 3 times before, but they rotted. The project assistants tell me it’s because of all the rain we’ve been having. But it should be the end of the rainy season, so hopefully we will harvest this time. From January to May there should be good weather and we will hopefully produce radishes every month. I planted corn in early December, so we should harvest that in February or March. “We’re really happy with the work we’re doing and the garden helps provide food for my family.”

Name: Yuridia Heras Hernández Age: 20 Community: Nuevo Progreso, Oaxaca Yuridia was born in Nuevo Progreso and joined the Community Participation in Food Security project this year. She has set up 3 garden beds using organic compost and earth. In late December, she planted radishes, cilantro, chard, lettuce and cabbage. “I’m in the process of setting up my vegetable garden and my father is helping me. I’m really motivated to have my own productive garden. I’ve seen how well the participants from last year’s project have done and how they’ve been able to feed their families with the food they grow. They’re eating better and saving money. So I’m excited to grow my own vegetables, instead of having to buy them. “In this project, I’m learning a lot of interesting and useful techniques, and how to become a good farmer. I also talked my father into growing a little bit of corn on part of his parcela for the first time, and he did it. We also have some land where we weren’t growing anything. Thanks to this project, we are now able to install an irrigation system on this plot and will grow using milpa. Eventually, I would really like to make this plot organic, like other members of the project are doing.”


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2013 Final Report

Project: Community Microcredit and Savings Partner: The Organization of Northern Coffee Cooperatives (CECOCAFEN) Program Area: Economic Diversification, Capacity Building

Please do not hesitate to contact us for further information pertaining to this Coffee Kids project


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Community Microcredit and Savings in Northern Nicaragua

Program Partner: The Organization of Northern Coffee Cooperatives (CECOCAFEN) Program Area: Economic Diversification, Capacity Building Project Participants: 451 individuals from 410 families in 17 communities Project Duration: January 2013 – December 2013

The Project Advanced financial literacy,  business administration and leadership skills, and cooperativism among individuals and families by providing access to low-interest loans and training to start small, communitybased businesses •

Generated supplementary-income activities  that will allow coffeefarming families to survive “the thin months,” when there is no  income between the coffee harvests, and to persist through the current coffee rust crisis •

Boosted the entrepreneurial activities of women whose income will directly benefit and help sustain their families •

Created in partnership with Coffee Kids and modeled on our partner AUGE’s successful microcredit and savings program, CECOCAFEN’s Community Microcredit and Savings project currently incorporates 11 Women Saving in Solidarity groups (GMAS) comprised of 451 participants located within 17 rural communities that CECOCAFEN serves. Over the course of Coffee Kids’ relationship with CECOCAFEN and the GMAS project, Coffee Kids has continually focused on increasing the capacities of project participants, leaders and staff with an eye to future project sustainability and GMAS group autonomy. Beginning in 2008, Coffee Kids promoted and provided funding for trainings for participants and group leaders, as well as CECOCAFEN staff involved in the project. These trainings have been integral to the GMAS project every year. This foresight proved essential in helping GMAS weather profound shifts in CECOCAFEN’s organizational structure and leadership early on in 2012, which required CECOCAFEN to transfer all administrative and operational responsibilities to the GMAS groups themselves. Thus, at the end of 2013, the final year of Coffee Kids’ support, all GMAS groups have gone through a process of training that allows for autonomous management. Over its 15-year history, GMAS has transitioned from an individual model of microcredit to a more entrepreneurial model focused on combining GMAS member efforts to create cooperatives that bring service and product initiatives to fruition and businesses that promote more equitable relationships between male and female entrepreneurs. Beginning in 2014, CECOCAFEN management will transfer GMAS groups’ credit and savings seed funds to the groups themselves as they pursue these cooperative initiatives and continue to provide microcredit to members. Currently, these funds total $140,145 USD, of which 20% can be traced back to savings accumulated and kept in the GMAS account from the very beginning of the project.


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The Partner Founded: 1997 Coffee Kids Partner since: 1998 About CECOCAFEN: Founded in Matagalpa in 1997, CECOCAFEN is the umbrella organization of 12 coffee cooperatives in northern Nicaragua, representing more than 2,500 farmers from various regions. In the past 14 years, the organization has worked to improve the standard of living of its members by enacting numerous quality-improvement projects as well as initiatives that actively encourage women and youth to participate in cooperative work and a variety of social programs. Successes since working with Coffee Kids: • 1998 – 2002: Coffee Kids began their support of CECOCAFEN’s Women Saving in Solidarity group (GMAS) project with only 75 women organized into 5 groups. During these first few years, Coffee Kids worked closely with CECOCAFEN to build a strong relationship based on mutual trust. Building this foundation with the GMAS project made it possible to initiate the successful Community Leadership Scholarship program, which continues to this day (see Additional Successes below). • 2003 – 2006: The GMAS project grew year by year, from 360 women organized in 15 groups to 599 women in 27 groups. • 2007 – 2008: Coffee Kids began promoting and providing funding for trainings for the 660 women organized in 26 GMAS groups. 81 leaders received training in business development and business alternatives and 5 exchanges were organized throughout the year, allowing participants to share and learn from each other’s experiences. • 2008 – 2009: 626 women and 109 men in 28 GMAS groups took part in alternative markets training, which was designed to help GMAS participants with the commercialization of their products. • 2009 – 2010: A reduction in Coffee Kids funding due to the financial crisis led to a reduction in the number of participants (410 women), but the project continued to offer workshops and lessons on business planning, basic accounting, affordable production technologies, marketing and market analysis. • 2010 – 2011: 452 women and 76 men were organized in 27 groups and took part in administrative and financial training that helped them weather difficult economic times. • 2011 – 2012: 465 women from 18 communities were involved in the project and average savings generated by each of the GMAS groups ranged from $2.50 to $3.00 per week, reflecting the creation of a savings culture within subsistence communities previously accustomed to living day-to-day. • 2013: After 15 years of providing support and seed capital for the CECOCAFEN GMAS project, Coffee Kids considers this project graduated. All GMAS groups have gone through training, preparing them for autonomous management and continued disbursement of microcredit. Additionally, the GMAS groups have been trained in Nicaraguan laws and regulations, and have been familiarized with organizations and associations that provide support for the creation and organization of small business initiatives and associations, with a focus on gender. GMAS will continue to promote an entrepreneurial model focused on combining member efforts to create cooperative initiatives and businesses that promote more equitable relationships between male and female entrepreneurs. • Beginning in 2014, CECOCAFEN management will begin transferring GMAS groups’ credit and savings seed funds to the groups themselves. Currently, these funds total $140,145 USD, of which 20% can be traced back to savings accumulated and kept in the GMAS account from the very beginning of the project.


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Additional successes: • 2000 – current: CECOCAFEN’s Community Leadership Scholarship program began with the support of Coffee Kids. The need for increased inputs into education was a direct outcome of Coffee Kids’ involvement in the GMAS groups. 150 scholarships were granted in the first year of the project. Since 2002, 2,546 scholarships have been awarded, reaching as many as 24 communities every year, and dozens of graduates are now working as CECOCAFEN staff.

The Need 46% of Nicaragua’s population lives below the poverty line (less than $1 USD per day). 15% of the population lives in extreme poverty (less than $.5 USD per day). Women throughout the country are poverty’s most invisible victims. They often become heads-of-household when their husbands and sons leave home in search of work, but they frequently lack business skills or access to steady income to ensure their families’ livelihood. • An estimated 30% of coffee crops in Nicaragua have been infected by coffee rust. An estimated 20% of CECOCAFEN members are expected to experience severe rust damage, requiring complete renovation of plots. An additional 10% of members will be faced with partial damage and will need to apply pruning and sanitary management techniques to deal with affected plants, which will result in reduced production. The situation intensifies the need for supplementary-income activities that will allow farming families to weather the crisis and continue producing coffee in the future. • • •

Investment in microcredit and savings projects, such as CECOCAFEN’s, helps women develop supplementaryincome activities that enable coffee-farming families to survive the thin months (los meses flacos), when there is no income between the coffee harvests, and crises such as the current coffee leaf rust epidemic. Such economic empowerment can also contribute to improved self-esteem and standing within one’s family and community, thus leading to self-empowerment in additional social spheres.

Project Participants

Communities 17

Participants Men

Women

TOTAL

47

404

451


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The Results Schedule of activities: Objective (description) Create new and sustainable microenterprise initiatives Promote the entrepreneurial capacities of women through workshops on business and administration, technology, gender issues, education and health Promote economic diversification in coffee-farming communities by assisting women in launching new supplemental business ventures

Activity Microcredit loans to be disbursed to 451 participants

3 workshops on financial literacy and business administration with an estimated 250 participants receiving training

Scheduled

July and November 2013

Current status Completed 427 loans were distributed (not all participants requested a loan)

May, September and November 2013

Completed

2 workshops on food processing and the creation and selling of value-added products with an estimated 100 participants attending

April and October 2013

Completed

2 workshops on growing backyard vegetable gardens

May and December 2013

Completed

Completed Motivate women in GMAS to be more actively involved in the cooperative and to understand their duties and rights

1 workshop on cooperative law with an estimated 400 families attending

Evaluate progress of commercial and supplemental business activities with participation of GMAS women and youth

60% of participants diversifying production will have improved their food security and sources of income

May 2013

Due to conflicting activities in the cooperative and logistical issues, additional sessions were added in August, September and November to include as many families as possible Partially completed

June and December 2013

40% of participants have diversified their production, improved food security and sources of income*

* At the time of the mid-year report, CECOCAFEN estimated that 58% of families would meet this goal by the end of 2013, due to time spent combating harvest losses resulting from coffee leaf rust. At the end of the year, however, losses were even greater, thus further negatively impacting families relying primarily on coffee for income.

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Achievements: •

427 microcredit loans were distributed to participants (not all women requested a loan in 2013).

232 participants attended 3 workshops on financial literacy and business administration. These workshops were key in providing attendees with training and knowledge to operate their GMAS groups autonomously. Specifically, participants defined the role of the board of directors in each group, and were trained in administrative and financial controls. 375 families attended a workshop on cooperative law (4 different sessions were conducted to include as many families as possible). In this workshop, participants learned about the different Nicaraguan associations and entities that assist with the organization and development of female entrepreneurial networks. As a result of this workshop, various women have formed or are in the process of forming their own cooperative business initiatives. The goal of these initiatives is to combine resources, reduce the cost of production, open new opportunities to compete in larger markets, and to create supply chains for the distribution of products and services. Some examples of these initiatives include: • The La Esperanza Cooperative formed a small business that produces “Poli-Cereal,” a mix of highly nutritious cereals that is currently sold regionally. La Esperanza Cooperative is in negotiations with the Nicaraguan government, which has shown interest in distributing the product nationally as part of their school breakfast program. • Members of the La Providencia Cooperative are developing a plan to purchase stock in a supermarket in the municipality of Wiwili. • The Coapante Cooperative is producing honey and fruit jams. • A group of women with Cooperative UCA San Ramón process and package coffee, which they sell in convenience stores and gas stations. • Member of the CUA Cooperative would like to set up the first café in the community of Cúa, and are in the process of carrying out a market feasibility study. Participants attended workshops promoting economic diversification and the creation of supplemental business ventures: • 65 participants attended 2 workshops on growing backyard vegetable gardens. • 76 women attended 2 workshops on food processing and the creation and selling of value-added products. The workshops focused on making preserves from fruit, vegetables and tubers and other products from their gardens. • These participants also took part in 2 regional product fairs and 1 experience exchange, allowing the women to connect their products with potential regional and national markets. 40% of participants have diversified their production and improved food security and work conditions. 2 project evaluations were carried out with CECOCAFEN Board of Directors to analyze the results of strategies implemented between 2012 and 2013 and the process of GMAS decentralization. In general, the Board of Directors was pleased with the progress of the transition and the fact that some of the GMAS small businesses have been legally constituted and others are in the process of doing so in 2014.

• •

Key indicators for project objectives: Improve access to credit Total number of loans disbursed in 2013:

427

Number of loans repaid fully/in process of being repaid with on-time payments:

240 (56.2%)

Number of loans repaid/in process but client was late with one or more payments:

181 (42.4%)

Number of loans for which client has defaulted:

6 (1.4%)

Loan repayment rate:

98.6%


CECOCAFEN - Community Microcredit and Savings

Total revenue of funded enterprises (Classify enterprises according to time in program and size: small, newly assisted enterprises, small enterprises in loan repayment, large newly assisted enterprises, and so on.):

Type of enterprise

74

This information is not available. CECOCAFEN GMAS does not currently keep extensive records on loan investment for all borrowers. However, see the table below for further information on the types of enterprises funded, and the percentage of participants involved.

% of participants

Grocery stores Livestock

8.55 42.74

Agriculture

8.55

Coffee shops

18.80

Food processing

12.82

Cannery Bakeries Restaurants

4.27 2.14 2.14

 TOTAL

100

Key indicators for project objective: Increase income Pre-project household income:

Average $116 USD per month

Post-project household income:

Average $140 USD per month

New income generated by project activities:

From $15 to $80 USD per month (depending on the type of enterprise)

Gross annual household income:

Between $1,400 - $1,850 USD

Household savings (saved at home/ bank):

Between $16.50 and $20 USD per month

Additional outcomes: Participants are sharing what they learn with their children and families, as well as with youth in the cooperative. • Many GMAS groups have allied with CECOCAFEN Community Leadership Scholarship recipients this year. Both projects are becoming more autonomous in their operations. The two groups have decided to join forces in strategic collaboration, with scholarship recipients providing technical knowledge of agronomy, accounting and administration, and the women of GMAS sharing their skills in developing small businesses. For example, one GMAS group is currently working with scholarship recipients to develop a business stamping and selling burlap coffee bags. • Many of the participants have faced large economic losses due to coffee leaf rust this year. At the time of the mid-year report, it was estimated that about 80% of the loans would not be repaid on time and some of these loans were restructured so as to allow women more time to generate income to cover the loan. According to the CECOCAFEN project coordinator, 100% recuperation of loans has been set for May 2014. As of December 2013, 20% of loans had been repaid ahead of schedule. •


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Capacity Building Goals, Challenges & Lessons Learned Goal #1: Strengthen the organization through staff training Early in 2012 and throughout 2013, CECOCAFEN experienced profound shifts in organizational structure and leadership, including multiple changes in general management and the replacement of almost 50% of their staff. Despite this situation, Women Saving in Solidarity groups (GMAS) were able to weather the crisis with almost no external assistance, thanks to the Community Microcredit and Savings project funded by Coffee Kids between 2011 and 2012. At the end of 2013, new CECOCAFEN management demonstrated a stronger commitment to monitoring and supporting the process of decentralizing the GMAS groups. Additionally, an employee has been hired full time to help coordinate and ensure that the goals of 2014 are achieved. Goal #2: Enhance CECOCAFEN’s ability to address pressing external challenges, specifically the coffee leaf rust crisis The escalating coffee leaf rust crisis in Nicaragua has hit CECOCAFEN communities particularly hard. Not only will there be little or no recourse to supplemental income for most families during this time, the shortand long-term risks posed to the cooperative itself are significant. The rust crisis, therefore, is a priority of the highest order for CECOCAFEN, and many of the GMAS workshops have been rescheduled until later dates due to conflicts with CECOCAFEN coffee leaf rust workshops and activities. Coffee Kids continues to coordinate with CECOCAFEN regarding the crisis and is working with them to make sure that the project successfully reaches completion despite the challenges posed by the crisis.

CECOCAFEN: Most Significant Change stories “Through the trainings and experience exchanges that we have taken part in, with CECOCAFEN and Coffee Kids’ support, I have learned things that have helped us improve our business … We are women who never let a good idea get away.” Name: Mayra Gámez Hernández Age: 42 Community: El Roblar “I am part of a women’s cooperative called El Privilegio, and I am one of the founding members. I’ve been part of the GMAS group since it first began more than 15 years ago, and I realize how much I’ve learned and progressed since then. When we began, each of us had to think long and hard about what sort of small business we wanted to start. It was exciting. But honestly, over time, things got more and more difficult. Eventually we realized that we had to combine our money and energy to form one business, and we had to learn to work as a team. We thought about what would be the best business to start when we wrote our business plan. We first thought about doing something with corn. But after some reflection, we realized that coffee would be better. Coffee is consumed everywhere: in the country, the city, at school, at work... There are even people who say they get sick if they don’t drink coffee. So we decided to start a coffee-processing business.


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“We learned how to roast coffee at a workshop with SOLCAFE [CECOCAFEN’s dry mill]. We visited other coffee producers in Managua and shared our experiences. One of the businesses, El Ciprés, taught us how to take a roasting machine apart, how to package and seal coffee using a machine, and how to tell the different colors of coffee beans during the roasting process. They showed us everything involved in processing coffee. “Out of all the things we do in processing coffee, I enjoy roasting the most. We have to pay close attention to the color so that we make sure we give clients the roast they requested. “This year, the price of coffee declined, and we also felt a crunch from the decline in coffee production due to the coffee leaf rust epidemic. However, we’ve been able to keep up with demand for roasted, ground coffee for local sale because we are organized women with a good business. This is how we are able to make a little more money, which, unfortunately, isn’t the case for all women in the community. We are currently selling a good amount of coffee and our brand is almost number one in the local market. We also deliver roasted coffee to various cafes in Matagalpa. “We have made great progress. This success is thanks to our hard work, support from donors, and the investments that we ourselves have made. Through the trainings and experience exchanges that we have taken part in, with CECOCAFEN and Coffee Kids’ support, I have learned things that have helped us improve our business. We are women who are always observing and learning from others. We are women who never let a good idea get away.”

“I have participated in many events organized by CECOCAFEN, with the support of Coffee Kids. For example, I learned how to write a business plan, how to plan a project, and how to work together with other women on a project.” Name: Juana Valle Laos Age: 49 Community: El Coyolar “I started working with GMAS 14 years ago. Every time someone asks me about the project that I’m developing, I have to think a little before I answer—I’ve worked on a lot of projects! Thanks to Coffee Kids and the GMAS CECOCAFEN groups, I’ve been able to diversify my income. I decide what to plant depending on the season and market conditions. I like to observe the market and see which products are most in-demand and will fetch the best price. So over the years I’ve grown various items, including yucca, taro, bananas, achiote, cacao and citrus fruits. “My husband and I have planted coffee and we call ourselves coffee producers, but we can’t depend on coffee for a living. Although we produced 200 bags of coffee in 2012, the reality is that we have to diversify our income in order to survive and pay for our children’s education. This year, for example, we are expanding our plot and have invested approximately $2,000 USD in passion fruit. We think it will do well because we can earn an average of $11.50 USD per bag, and it grows year-round. “My personal and family life has changed a lot since I became part of the GMAS group. In particular, the experience exchange organized by Coffee Kids in Mexico in 2004 had the greatest impact on my life. It changed my way of thinking and taught me how to work toward goals. Since this event, I have participated in many events organized by CECOCAFEN, with the support of Coffee Kids. For example, I learned how to write a business plan, how to plan a project, and how to work together with other women on a project.


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“I believe there will always be coffee in Nicaragua because it is part of our economy and culture. Yet prices are currently falling like they have in other years. It’s no longer possible to make a living on coffee alone. I have taught my children that they have to diversify their income, and now they have their own businesses. For example, my daughters have their own chicken farm. They produce 400 pounds of chicken in six weeks and sell it for $1 USD per pound, or $400 USD total. This may not seem like much, but it is income that allows them to pay their own expenses, and they don’t have to rely on their husbands. I always tell my children to work hard at what they do and plan their projects well, so that their families can eventually reach a level of sustainability.”

“For other people in my community of El Roblar, if there is no work, they have to leave and go somewhere else to find work. Thankfully, this is not the case in my family. Fortunately, I can help my children stay on our land, and in return they help me with the coffee farm.” Name: María Eugenia Rizo Age: 50 Community: El Roblar “My life has changed significantly with this project and I have faith that it will continue to change for the better. Before I was involved in the coffee-processing project, I didn’t have a plan for roasting, packaging and selling my coffee. We didn’t have the knowledge and hope that we have now. Now we know that we have a market for our coffee. We have somewhere to sell it once we roast and package it. This has helped my family’s income a lot. “Before I became a member of CECOCAFEN, I worked on plantations harvesting coffee and preparing food for the field workers. I had no access to any sort of credit. But once I joined the cooperative, I was able to get credit through GMAS, and I was able to work for myself. “For other people in my community of El Roblar, if there is no work, they have to leave and go somewhere else to find work. Thankfully, this is not the case in my family. Fortunately, I can help my children stay on our land, and in return they help me with the coffee farm.”


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2013 Final Report

Project: : Foundations in Microcredit and Savings Partner: Coordinating Association of Rural Women of La Paz (COMUCAP) Program Area: Economic Diversification, Capacity Building

Please do not hesitate to contact us for further information pertaining to this Coffee Kids project


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Foundations in Microcredit and Savings in La Paz, Honduras

Program Partner: Coordinating Association of Rural Women of La Paz (COMUCAP) Program Area: Economic Diversification, Capacity Building Project Participants: 220 women from 15 communities; 1,320 beneficiaries in 220 families Project Duration: January 2013 – December 2013

The Project • Established 15 microcredit and savings groups with the participation

of more than 200 women from coffee-growing communities

• Developed the administrative and accounting capacities for women’s

microcredit and savings groups through intensive training

• Provided sufficient seed capital to microcredit and savings groups to

meet the demand of over 200 future borrowers

• Improved women’s confidence and physical and mental well-being

by providing opportunities for the development of technical, financial, political and business skills, and by encouraging participation in decision-making processes within their communities. In establishing formal microcredit and savings groups with qualified human resources and sufficient funds in 2013, COMUCAP has ensured that members will be able to initiate projects to supplement family income. This represents a significant opportunity for women in coffee growing communities, who have traditionally been dependent economically upon male family members.

The Partner Founded: 1993 Coffee Kids partner since: 2011 About COMUCAP: COMUCAP is an organization made up of 220 Lenca1 women farmers from 4 municipalities in the La Paz department in Honduras, one of the most important coffee-growing regions in the country. The organization was founded in 1993 to raise awareness of women’s rights and to support the marketing and sale of members’ prod­ucts, including organic and fair trade coffee and organic aloe. COMUCAP en­courages its members to participate in decision-mak­ ing processes within their communities and pro­vides opportunities for them to develop their technical, financial and political skills. 1

Lenca are indigenous people of southwestern Honduras and eastern El Salvador.


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Successes since working with Coffee Kids: • 2011 – 2012: Coffee Kids supported COMUCAP’s Recovery of Traditional Medicinal Knowledge project, with 181 women from 16 communities in Marcala, La Paz, receiving training in the impor­tance and use of medicinal plants. The project continues to improve access to complementary medicine and is one of COMUCAP’s cornerstone projects. • 2013: COMUCAP initiated their microcredit and savings project in 2012. In 2013, the project focused on further consolidating savings groups, developing standards and good practice guidelines, providing intensive training in the management of microcredit and savings funds, and ensuring sufficient funds to cover demand. • 2014: COMUCAP’s fair trade coffee social premiums will go toward coordinating and monitoring this microcredit project. Microcredit loans will be made available to members, many of whom will go on to participate in COMUCAP’s food security and value-added production project, supported by Coffee Kids.

The Need Honduras is the second-poorest country in Central America. According to the World Bank, bananas and coffee together make up 50% of the current value of Honduran exports. • 74% of the country’s poor and 86% of the extremely poor live in rural areas, with women overrepresented among the poor.1 • 9% of Honduran small-scale farmers are women. Nonetheless, female-led households earn 30% less than their male-led counterparts.2 This is due, in part, to the very low investment in education for women (70% of female farmers are illiterate) and extreme land fragmentation, which makes it difficult for small-scale farmers to eke out a living from agriculture alone. • Many rural women also suffer from isolation and are confined to the house as they go about their daily work, limiting their social interactions to the immediate family. This, in turn, leads to low levels of self-esteem and confidence in their economic dealings and has a detrimental effect on their physical and mental well-being. •

Project Participants Communities TOTAL

15

Participants Women

TOTAL

220

2203

3

1 Source: IFAD 2011 2 Source: ibid. 3 Due to organizational and membership restructuring mid-2013, the final number of project participants, communities, and COMUCAP members was reduced from the originally proposed 257 women from 16 communities.


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The Results Schedule of activites: Objective (description)

Activity

Scheduled

Current status Completed

Strengthen the administrative and accounting capacities of rural savings groups to ensure efficient and effective management of funds

Strengthen rural savings groups so that they are able to meet members’ needs and finance activities, products and services

Design a training program to develop 16 rural microcredit and savings groups

January 2013

Identify participants for training workshops

February 2013

Implement training program in 4 modules (each 3 days in length, 6.5 hours per day)

March ­– June 2013

Training program developed covering the following 4 themes: organization of microcredit and savings groups; savings; credit and loans; and the creation of financial statements Completed Completed All 4 training modules completed.

Assist board of directors and June – August savings group committees in 2013 monitoring loans and savings

Completed

Assist board of directors and savings group committees in creating financial reports for COMUCAP’s general assembly

August and November 2013

Completed

Organize an assembly each trimester to share financial reports

May, August, November 2013

Completed

Develop credit protocols and June 2013 practices

Completed

Implement control mechanisms to ensure proper administration of the loan portfolio

July – October 2013

Completed

Distribute seed capital for rural savings groups

November 2013

Completed

Achievements: • 27 women and 1 man, representing 15 communities, took part in the 4 training modules (a total of 12 days/78 hours of hands-on training), and now have knowledge of microcredit and savings terminology and organization of groups, savings and interest, credit and loans, and the creation of financial statements. • 15 microcredit and savings groups were set up and are currently prepared to offer microcredit to borrowers. For each group, organizational by-laws, savings and loan policies and regulations, and bookkeeping systems were established. Each microcredit and savings group also created materials for loan applications and put in place systems for loan approval and record keeping. • Each microcredit and savings group has a treasurer who attended the 4 training modules and has the skills necessary to prepare financial statements.


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• $5,205 USD was provided as seed capital to 15 microcredit and savings groups. • 220 women will have access to credit in early 2014 and will be able to begin saving for mid- to long-term financial needs.COMUCAP is prepared to provide information detailing the total number of loans distributed, default rates, rate of repayment, total revenue of funded enterprises, and increase in income and savings in 2014. • COMUCAP’s accountant and project coordinator worked closely with each microcredit and savings group to draft a 1-year work plan, a memorandum of association, a board of directors, a credit and collection committee, and an oversight committee. • The board of directors and savings committees monitored loans and savings and created and shared financial reports at COMUCAP’s general assembly, as well as at quarterly meetings. • Participants were enthusiastic in planning and carrying out activities during 2013 and have positive expectations for the future of the microcredit and savings groups. They continue to brainstorm possibilities for investing microcredit funds in collective projects (e.g., a grocery store, daycare, or organic compost processing facility), in order to create local employment opportunities and to improve incomes and livelihoods.

Capacity Building Goals, Challenges & Lessons Learned Goal #1: Promote training among COMUCAP staff COMUCAP staff members attended the first Organizational Strengthening and Exchange Series workshop in Oaxaca in October 2013. The workshop provided hands-on tools and assisted the 2 COMUCAP representatives and other Coffee Kids’ partners in developing skills for writing proposals, strategic project planning, organizational and financial management, and monitoring and evaluation. The workshop also provided a timely opportunity for COMUCAP to connect with and learn from partners carrying out microcredit projects in Mexico, Guatemala and Peru, specifically AUGE, ACMUV and APROCASSI. Upon returning to Honduras, COMUCAP staff reported that they were replicating workshop exercises to identify problems and needs with microcredit groups, as well as with the organization’s staff, technical team, and board of directors. According to one of the COMUCAP representatives: “The knowledge we acquired in the workshop is essential and will allow us to strengthen our organization. We feel like we can now help communities and families to identify their needs and plan projects well.” Goal #2: Systematize standards and practices for project management and monitoring and evaluation Despite organizational restructuring in mid-2013 and significant changes in membership and staff, COMUCAP worked to maintain progress on all projects and processes while familiarizing themselves with existing standards and practices. Coffee Kids worked closely with the new project coordinator to achieve the proposed 2013 goals for the Foundations in Microcredit and Savings project. Coffee Kid’s international program department scheduled various meetings with COMUCAP staff to familiarize them with Coffee Kids’ methodology and reporting criteria and to offer advice on carrying out interviews and reporting. As Coffee Kids continues to support COMUCAP in 2014, this capacity building work will be strengthened through a program visit to COMUCAP and monthly meetings via Skype.


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COMUCAP: Most Significant Change stories Name: Gloria Hernández García Community: Planes Cabañas, La Paz “I have been a member of COMUCAP for the past 6 years and have been involved in the group here in my town. One of my sisters told me about the group, and I decided to join. “After attending the trainings in 2013, I now know how to organize and administer a microcredit and savings group. Beyond the trainings, though, in working with COMUCAP I have learned to value myself as a person—as a woman. Some community members have said that it’s a waste of time to go to those meetings, that they won’t bring about anything good. But I know that’s not true. Look at everything I’ve learned. “Over the past few years, I have seen the group gain more members and we have grown economically. This is thanks to the help that COMUCAP has given us. Now that we have this microcredit and savings group, this is a big help for me and for other members of the group. We will now have access to credit. I plan to use my credit to cultivate coffee on a plot of land I have.”

Name: Maura Lozano Community: Barrio Nuevo Chinacla, La Paz Señora Maura finished third grade but didn’t continue since her family didn’t have enough money. “It’s sad when one isn’t allowed to continue their studies. I didn’t want to stop, but my mother was poor. I had no choice. I moved to Barrio Nuevo Chinacla after I married and my husband and I had 8 children together, but he is no longer alive. “My mother-in-law invited me to join COMCUAP in 1996, and I helped organize our basic savings group. I also served as president, which is a lot more work now than it was back then. “I haven’t studied much, but I learn quickly. I make homemade vinegar that many women use to make pickles and sell it for 30 lempiras ($1.50 USD) a liter. I also collect honey from the mountains and sell it for 150 lempira ($7.70 USD) a liter. I also work with the COMUCAP soap and natural products project, and we earn a small commission from what we sell. I learned how to do that in trainings years ago with COMUCAP. We started out small, making natural products in our homes. But then, the mayor saw what we were doing and donated some land to us, and we got a loan to build a building to make our products. We are still busy making these products today. “I earn a little bit of money from the products I make, but I don’t have a steady income. I sell some of my son’s woodwork as well. My children also help me out. I hope to be able to get a loan from the microcredit and savings group to be able to build myself a small room in one of my daughter’s houses. My kids have been supportive of my work with COMUCAP.”


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Name: Marcelina Rubio Community: El Mezcalito, La Paz Señora Marcelina was born in in Marcala, La Paz, to a family with scarce resources. She grew up with 6 brothers and sisters and since her family was unable to pay for her to finish primary school, she only completed the second grade. Marcelina married and moved to her husband’s town, El Mezcalito, where they had 6 children together. Unfortunately, Señora Marcelina and her husband did not have sufficient resources to fund their children’s education, but encouraged their children to pursue their education. “My parents didn’t have enough money to send me to school. Plus my parents were from a generation that wasn’t as worried about their children getting a good education, not like today. Unfortunately, my husband and I didn’t have much money, but we encouraged our children to continue their education. Some of them left home to work and earn money to study. One of my daughters got her high school degree and went on to finish technical studies in tourism and hospitality. Another is finishing her bachelor’s degree in Tegucigalpa while teaching in an education center. And two of my sons completed the sixth grade, and another is still finishing his studies. “Thanks to the program, I was able to complete the sixth grade in 1993. Some friends then invited me to take part in COMUCAP trainings and since then I’ve been involved in the El Mezcalito community group. I’ve attended many COMUCAP trainings over the years on leadership, natural medicine, and organic compost and fertilizer production. A few years ago, with help from my husband, I purchased a plot of coffee. I use what I learned in COMUCAP trainings to take care of the plot. In the past few years, I’ve also been able to build my own home. “Thanks to the training I have taken part in over the years, I am now a technical assistant for COMUCAP. I help train other members in preparing organic compost and fertilizers. Now that the El Mezcalito microcredit and savings group is set up, I plan to ask for a microcredit loan to invest some money into managing my coffee plot.”


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2013 Final Report

Project: Productive Investment in Food Security (Stage One: Rainwater Harvesting) Partner: The Association of Rural Development and the Environment (DERMAC) Program Area: Food Security

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Productive Investment in Food Security (Stage One: Rainwater Harvesting) in Chiapas, Mexico

Program Partner: The Association of Rural Development and the Environment (DERMAC) Program Area: Food Security Project Participants: 24 women, 21 men and 47 children (92 individuals) from 33 families from 1 community;

304 beneficiaries

Project Duration: January 2013 – December 2013

The Project • Improved nutrition and well-being and reduced spending by helping participants produce fresh, healthy produce year-round

Advanced environmental protection through the implementation of agroecological and organic agricultural practices for the management of vegetable gardens, treatment of diseases and organic fertilizer production •

• Ensured project sustainability through the construction of a water reservoir system with a capacity of 50,000 liters, allowing participants to harvest rain during the rainy season and store it for use during the dry months • Strengthened a spirit of cooperation, mutual assistance and knowledge-sharing in the community, as participants first worked as a team to create a model garden and then helped each other in creating individual backyard gardens

This first stage of a 3-stage food security project focused on implementing a rainwater collection system to increase access to water for consumption and fresh vegetable production during the dry season. In this first stage, the project provided 4 months’ water supply to 33 families. The water was used for domestic purposes and for watering 24 vegetable gardens that produced 7 different types of vegetables. Funding for stages 2 – 3 of the project will be provided by other sources.

The Partner Founded: 2007 Coffee Kids partner since: 2011 About DERMAC: DERMAC is a relatively new organization founded with the intention of tapping into and utilizing newly graduated university students’ knowledge, skills and energy. DERMAC is committed to social, economic and environmental development and improved living conditions in the indigenous and rural regions in which they work. The organization focuses on making current methods of agriculture and forestry compatible with natu­ral resource conservation while simultaneously improv­ing rural economies and the social environ­ment.


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Successes since working with Coffee Kids: •

2011 – 2012: DERMAC collaborated with Coffee Kids on a dry latrine project in the community of Emilio Rabasa. Soon after the project started, DERMAC staff realized that the community could not offer guarantees to make this project sustainable. DERMAC thus decided to transfer the project to the community of Lázaro Cárdenas, where it successfully installed 12 dry ecological latrines.

2012 – 2013: This first stage of DERMAC’s 3-stage project increased food security in Lázaro Cárdenas and in neighboring communities.

The Need •

18% of households in Lázaro Cárdenas have no access to clean water in or near their homes.1

Residents struggle to maintain vegetable gardens, especially during the dry season (April through June), resulting in an inability to meet their needs for fresh vegetables throughout the year.

Local families spend 30% more than the average Mexican family on food annually due to the distance the food must travel to reach the community.2 Despite paying higher prices, this food is often of low quality.

Project Participants

Participants

1 2

Communities

Boys

Girls

Men

Women

TOTAL

1

19

28

21

24

92

Source: DERMAC baseline survey 2011 Source: ibid.


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Schedule of activities: Objective (description)

Activity

Increase availability of water in the community

Build rain harvest system that will store at least 40,000 liters of water

April – May 2013

Rain harvest system that stores 50,000 liters of water built

A 140-square-meter model vegetable garden established through teamwork

May 2013

Completed

24 backyard vegetable gardens established

May 2013

Completed

Participants produce fresh and nutritious produce year-round

Promote agroecological and organic techniques among project participants

Scheduled

Current Status Completed

Completed 6 to 8 different kinds of vegetables harvested for home consumption

August 2013

Two workshops on treatment of diseases using organic methods with 40 participants

April, August 2013

203 kilograms of 7 different vegetables harvested in 3 harvest cycles

Completed

Achievements: •

Due to increased interest generated in the community, 5 more families than originally proposed participated.

In order to ensure project sustainability, DERMAC produced a legal document outlining project rules, responsibilities and repercussions for noncompliance, which each participant signed.

A rain harvest system with 50,000-liter capacity was built, thus increasing the availability of water in the community.

Working as a team, participants established 1 model vegetable garden measuring 140-square meters and sowed a variety of plants, including onions, cilantro, tomatoes, beans, squash and herbs.

24 backyard vegetable gardens were established, enabling production of fresh and nutritious produce yearround.

203 kilograms of 7 different vegetables (cilantro, radishes, carrots, cucumbers, hound’s berry, squash and chayote) were harvested in 3 cycles in these individual gardens.

More than 40 people attended 2 workshops on the treatment of diseases that commonly affect backyard vegetable gardens.

A manual was created to complement project workshops, documenting how to establish and manage the vegetable gardens.


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Key indicators for project objective: Increase food security

• 2 surveys, Months of Adequate Household Food Provisioning (MAHFP) 1 and Dietary Diversity2, were conducted with participants in December 2012 and again in December 2013.

The following are results of these surveys:

Months of Adequate Household Food Provisioning (MAHFP) Survey: December 2012 (25 participants)

90% of participants said they did not have enough food to meet their family’s needs 3 months out of the year: June, July, August.

December 2013 (25 participants)

Observations

While the number of months in which participants experienced food insecurity remained the same, there was a reduction 85% of participants said they in the number of participants indicating did not have enough food to they experienced food insecurity (90% in meet their family’s needs 3 December 2012 and 85% in December months out of the year: June, 2013). As a result of this project, the July, August. percentage of participants indicating they had enough food to meet their family’s needs increased (from 10% in December 2012 to 15% in December 2013).

Dietary Diversity Survey: Type of food consumed at least once a week

Percentage of participants who have consumed the item at least once during the past 7 days Dec 2012

Dec 2013

% change

Any bread, rice, noodles, tortillas, or any other food made from corn, rice, wheat, sorghum, millet, quinoa or any other local grain?

100%

100%

No change

Any potatoes, yams, yucca, manioc, cassava, or any other foods made from roots or tubers?

47%

66%

+19%

Any vegetables?

37%

50%

+13%

Any fruits?

80%

100%

+20%

Any chicken, beef, pork, lamb, goat, rabbit, wild game, duck or other birds, liver, kidney, heart, or other organ meats? Any eggs?

50%

51%

+1%

75%

80%

+5%

Any fresh or dried fish or shellfish?

12%

10%

-2%

Any foods made from beans, peas, lentils or nuts?

62%

65%

+3%

1 The Months of Adequate Household Food Provisioning (MAHFP) survey measures household food access over the course of a year. (Source: GMCR Monitoring and Evaluation Guide for Supply Chain Outreach Funded Projects, 2012) 2 The Dietary Diversity survey measures food access during a designated period of time and is based on the number of food groups that a household or individual consumes. (Source: ibid)


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Any cheese, yogurt, milk or other milk products?

52%

55%

+3%

Any foods made with oil, fat or butter?

80%

80%

No change

Any sugar, honey, or sweets (cookies, etc.)?

100%

100%

No change

Any other foods such as condiments, coffee or tea?

100%

100%

No change

Additional observations: • According to the Dietary Diversity Survey, participants consumed more vegetables and tubers in December 2013 than they had one year earlier, before the implementation of this project. • According to a survey done by DERMAC that measured families’ sources of food, home production accounted for 50% of all food consumed in December 2012. By December 2013, this figure had increased to 60%. The increase was attributed to the vegetable gardens established during the project. Additional outcomes: •

Women became increasingly more involved in the project over the course of the year. At the beginning of the project, women were in a more passive role, usually relegated to attending meetings with their husbands. By the end of the project, however, significant advances were seen as women began to organize themselves and participated more in trainings.

Thanks to the current project, DERMAC was connected with other organizations and potential funding sources that focus on environmental conservation and will be able to expand the successful dry latrine project in the community.

Capacity Building Goals, Challenges & Lessons Learned Goal #1: Improve capacity in monitoring, evaluation and communication of impact Coffee Kids has supported DERMAC over the past few years to improve project monitoring and evaluation and storytelling. During the annual visit to the project, Coffee Kids demonstrated how to interview participants, provided instruction on how to take meaningful photographs, and then advised DERMAC on how to put these components together to demonstrate project impact. This training was of value to DERMAC, as they are now better able to communicate positive impact to potential donors and to community members. In 2013, DERMAC also created a Facebook page, which they continue to update regularly. They have also shared regular project updates and photographs with Coffee Kids. Goal #2: Improve relationship building and project methodology As part of our capacity building methodology, Coffee Kids commits to an initial 3-year relationshipbuilding stage in order to plan and implement well-planned projects based on community input and goals and to establish trust and open communication. Despite DERMAC’s successful project implementation, over the past 3 years Coffee Kids has experienced challenges in maintaining open communication with the organization. Furthermore, at this time DERMAC’s methodology and philosophy deviate from Coffee Kids’ in that they do not put the same emphasis on community input and shared decision-making. Coffee Kids has, thus, decided to postpone partnership. We have confirmed that, due to their location within a protected natural area, communities participating in the current project have the option of requesting funding from a variety of sources, including government institutions, to continue with project stages 2 and 3. Despite the postponement of our partnership for 2014, Coffee Kids invited DERMAC to attend the first


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Organizational Strengthening and Exchange Series workshop in Oaxaca in October 2013. Immediately following the workshop, DERMAC reported that they had applied new proposal-writing skills in submitting a proposal to another donor in Mexico. DERMAC also began their new work cycle by utilizing tools and knowledge gained during the workshop. They conducted an internal assessment with their technical and administrative teams, compiled their ideas and concerns, and conducted sessions on project design and management. These initial sessions form part of a new 3-month training series aimed at strengthening the capacity of the DERMAC team and placing idea analysis and discussion at the center of project design and management. Thus, following the workshop, DERMAC has demonstrated enthusiasm in applying methodological tools from the workshop, with an eye to reapplying for Coffee Kids’ funding in 2015.

DERMAC: Most Significant Change stories Name: Bella Luz Clemente Camacho Age: 48 Community: Lázaro Cárdenas “Growing your own food is something that I think everyone in the family should do. Traditionally, however, it has been the men’s responsibility to grow corn, beans and coffee. Women would stay home to take care of the children and to make food. The only time we women would go to our plot was during the coffee harvest and to collect wood for the stove. “Now things have changed for the families that are participating in this project. In my case, being able to contribute to my family’s well-being by growing food has given me a feeling of empowerment. My husband and I now share equal responsibility for our family’s well-being. I also get to decide what kind of vegetables we should plant. It’s very important to learn how to plant and care for vegetables, as well as to prevent and manage diseases. What would I do if my husband left to work in the capital, Tuxtla Gutiérrez? I need to know how to care for the plants and grow our own food in case of an emergency, or if my husband is gone. “However, I don’t feel that this should be a job only for the adults. I think that children should be involved, too. That is why I let my daughters and grandchildren help us grow vegetables in the garden. I want them to follow my example and start growing their own food at home. “If we all work to grow our own food, I believe that we can provide more quality food for our families. Men would have more time to work on the coffee plots and we would depend less on food coming from outside the community.”


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Name: Gloria Vera Ruiz Age: 23 Community: Lázaro Cárdenas “I have childhood memories of my mother growing garlic, basil, tomato plants, and 3 or 4 types of chilies. She always liked to have these things available because she used them a lot to cook. She also grew other vegetables like lettuce, kale and cabbage, but somehow she didn’t manage to harvest much, or they didn’t grow so well. “With this project that DERMAC initiated, I’ve started to see a big difference in the community. I’ve attended all the workshops and I’ve put into practice all the techniques and tips we’ve been offered. For example, I’ve learned that by applying worm compost to my vegetables at certain periods while the plant is growing, the plants will grow bigger and stronger than without any compost. My mother used to do it like this when I was child. If my mother knew what I’m doing now, she would be extremely happy. “What has really changed for me after participating in this project is the way that I see growing food—I now see it as an experiment. Before, we would plant everything that our parents or grandparents used to plant, because that was the way it had always been done. But now, the agronomists from DERMAC have given us seeds of new types of vegetables and different kinds of corn, beans and herbs that can be planted and adapt well. It isn’t easy to accept that what we have grown in the past was perhaps not the best thing to grow, but that may explain why my mother’s vegetables didn’t always grow very well. Now we’re experimenting with seeds that DERMAC has given us and we’re seeing good results. We’re growing radishes, cilantro, lettuce, tomatoes and chilies. They seem to have adapted very well to the climate. “It’s up to us to continue experimenting with other types of vegetables and growing techniques. We can’t always depend on DERMAC to tell us what to plant and how to grow our food. We need to have confidence in experimenting, even if we fail, because we are the ones living on this land and we need to learn what works best for the land.”

Name: José Galvez Cruz Age: 51 Location: Lázaro Cárdenas “One of the biggest differences I’ve seen since this project started is in my family’s income. Before we used to have to go to the community of Cintalapa (about an hour away) to buy vegetables and fruit for my family. Since we don’t have a car, we used to pay $7 USD per trip to take us there and back. We used to go there once a month to buy our necessities, but it was taking too much time and money away from my family. It would take us the whole day to go there and back, and we were losing a day of weeding and harvesting on our farm. “Now, we grow close to half of our vegetables and we make our own compost that we use for the vegetables. We’re still going to Cintalapa to buy some vegetables, but in the past 6 months we only went twice. “We have also started to harvest the fertilizer from our dry latrines and applied it to our sugar cane plants and lemon trees.”


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2013 Final Report

Project: Youth Development Scholarships Partner: Society for Small-Scale Coffee Producers and Exporters (SOPPEXCCA) Program Area: Education

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Youth Development Scholarships in Jinotega, Nicaragua

Program Partner: Society for Small-Scale Coffee Producers and Exporters (SOPPEXCCA) Program Area: Education Project Participants: 43 students1 from 13 communities; 132 beneficiaries (includes participants in workshops and entrepreneurial training) Project Duration: January 2013 – December 2013

The Project • Allowed 40 students in need to continue their university studies and receive training in cooperative business • Continues to nurture a generation of citizens who have the education, confidence and leadership skills to improve their own quality of life and contribute to their communities • Continues to protect the local environment and natural resources through community education • Contributed to the establishment of microenterprise in the community through training in founding and running small businesses

The Partner Founded in: 1997 Coffee Kids partner since: 2006 Successes since working with Coffee Kids: • 2006: Coffee Kids began working with SOPPEXCCA, supporting their Muchachitos del café (Coffee Children) project. The program, which continues today, takes a holistic approach to early education, instilling in young people the self-esteem, confidence and leadership skills necessary to improve their own quality of life and that of their communities. • 2007 – 2009: Coffee Kids expanded its support to include the Jóvenes ambientalistas (Young Environmentalists) project. The project continues to nurture a new generation of leaders and consists of an additional series of forums and trainings on topics including community service, environmental health, leadership, communication skills and teamwork. • 2009 – 2010: Coffee Kids supported an experience exchange between SOPPEXCCA, CECOCAFEN (another of our Nicaraguan partners), and Fundación Hijos del Campo (FHC) in Costa Rica. The purpose of the exchange was for the Nicaraguan organizations to learn about FHC’s very successful scholarship program and strategies for project sustainability. 1

3 more students than originally proposed


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• 2009 – present: Coffee Kids supports SOPPEXCCA’s Youth Development Scholarship project based on the very successful scholarship program developed by Coffee Kids in conjunction with Fundación Hijos del Campo (FHC) in Costa Rica. To date 123 scholarships have been granted, benefitting 14 communities.

The Need • School attendance in Nicaragua is mandatory but not enforced. In a country where 42% of the population works in the agricultural sector and more than 45,000 families depend on coffee for their survival, young adults tend to see no added value in continuing their education and often opt for quitting school and migrating or searching out other economic activities that will provide them with the short-term income needed to support their families. • In rural areas, which are some of Nicaragua’s poorest, scholarships from private or governmental sources are scarce. This means that those students most in need do not have access to educational assistance.

SOPPEXCCA created the scholarship program to address the educational situation in Nicaragua and to provide rural youth with the opportunity to improve their livelihoods and that of their families. The program offers rural youth much-needed and otherwise unavailable financial assistance to continue their technical or university studies. Additionally, as part of the program, scholarship recipients start and run a small business, gaining important work experience and income during and following the scholarship. This project is also important for all cooperatives, because it invests in the human potential that is necessary to ensure their long-term survival and efficacy.

Project Participants

Communities 13

Participants Men

Women

TOTAL

24

19

43


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The Results Schedule of activities: Activity

Current status

Scholarships Design scholarships disbursement calendar Scholarships disbursement

Completed January – February 2013 Completed January – December 2013

Training sessions (Marketing focused on client satisfaction)

Completed June – July 2013

Monitor scholarship recipients’ performance

Completed June – November 2013

Business Initiatives Selection of new business initiatives

Completed March – April 2013

Marketing campaigns (Participation in commercial agro expos)

Completed May, September, December 2013

Monitor business initiatives’ performance

Completed June 2013 – January 2014

Internal and external audit

Completed December 2013 – January 2014

Achievements: Scholarships and students • In 2013, 43 sons and daughters (24 males and 19 females) of SOPPEXCCA cooperative members received scholarships. Thus, 3 more students than originally proposed (40) were provided with the opportunity to continue their studies in 10 different academic areas:


Academic area of study English Agricultural Engineering Information Technology Business Administration Banking and Finance Social Development Education Pharmacology Civil Engineering Nursing Total

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Number of scholarships 5 19 6 3 1 1 2 1 2 3 43

• In 2013, 6 scholarship recipients graduated from university with their degrees in Agricultural Engineering, Banking and Finance, Pharmacology, Education and Nursing. Workshops and training: • 14 scholarship recipients participated in a business-training workshop covering marketing and customer service skills in 2013. • 9 scholarship recipients participated in customer service training over the course of a two-day workshop, organized and conducted by the National Technological Institute of Nicaragua (INATEC). • 14 scholarship recipients participated in training on management of chickens for egg production. Specific topics covered included disease management, diet and feeding, proper hygiene and administrative controls. • 4 scholarship recipients took part in training on beekeeping and elaboration of related products. • Students attended 2 workshops on basic techniques for macramé and jewelry making. • The Boris Vega women’s cooperative in Estelí hosted an experience exchange and paper-making training with scholarship recipients. • Student-run small businesses • Student-run businesses continue to grow, providing scholarship recipients with business skills and future employment opportunities. The following businesses are currently operating: • Quetzalcoatl Chocolate • Mosaic Jewelry • Datanlí Restaurant • Egg production • Delicias de la Naturaleza Restaurant • Dulce Tentación Bakery • Paper recycling workshop • Trinket/bric-a-brac shop • Production of Hibiscus flower products • Honey production


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• Scholarship recipients developed marketing strategies for 3 of their small businesses: Quetzalcoatl Chocolate, Mosaic Jewelry and Datanlí Restaurant. • Quetzalcoatl Chocolate currently offers 55- and 120-gram bars of chocolate for sale in 40 locations in Jinotega, Matagalpa, Estelí and Managua. Chocolate sales have increased 5-fold since the mid-year report (from 100 bars per month to 500 at present), generating a net profit of $1,500 USD. • Over the course of 2 months, 6 youth managing the Datanlí Restaurant received training from a specialist in menu creation and food preparation and are currently applying their new skills to improve the restaurant’s offerings. • Datanlí Restaurant generated $460 USD in earnings between September 2013 and January 2014, or 45% of their projected sales. The youth managing the restaurant are working to increase sales and visibility by distributing flyers and making radio announcements. • The small business Mosaic Jewelry has generated 5 indirect employees in the communities of Santa Isabel, La Perla and Jinotega. • Between July and December 2013, 519 boxes (each containing 360 eggs) were produced and sold, generating a net profit of $736 USD. The fresh, hormone-free eggs are sold in a major grocery store in La Perla and 25 small retail stores. Key indicators for project objective: Improve educational access According to a survey completed by Coffee Kids in 2011, among members of SOPPEXCCA only 8.7% had graduated from middle or high school, 2.3% had graduated from technical studies, and 3.3% had completed some studies at the university level. This year alone, 6.3% of SOPPEXCA members have a child pursuing technical or university studies with a scholarship through this program, an improvement over their parents’ attendance (5.5%). There is a particularly marked difference in terms of university attendance, with 3.3% of SOPPEXCCA members having attended university, and 4.6% of members’ children attending university with this scholarship. While we recognize that this is not equivalent data, we did not collect data specific to the number of total children of SOPPEXCCA members attending high school, technical studies, or university prior to the implementation of this project. Optional indicator: Performance on end-of-year tests: • 31% of scholarship recipients received grades of 80-84 out of 100. • 59% of scholarship recipients received grades of 85-89 out of 100. • 10% of scholarship recipients received grades of 90-100 out of 100.

Additional outcomes: • According to a survey among scholarship recipients, only 30% would be able to continue their studies without a scholarship. • Scholarship recipients have acquired new knowledge and strengthened their skills through participation in the various training workshops offered. • SOPPEXCCA has submitted an application for the student-run small-business program to be part of the National Small Business program (MyPIMES), administered by the Nicaraguan Ministry of Family, Community and Cooperative Economic Affairs (MEFCCA). This affiliation with a state-sponsored program would allow SOPPEXCCA to strengthen the program, providing students with greater access to markets and credit, ultimately allowing them to grow their small businesses. • Through participation in 5 local and national fairs, scholarship recipients involved in chocolate making, paper recycling and jewelry making have:


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Achieved greater visibility for their small business in Jinotega Improved their marketing and networking skills in approaching other businesses and individuals to sell their products Connected with specialists interested in donating their time and expertise to help improve production Increased the sales volume of their products

Capacity Building Goals, Challenges & Lessons Learned Goal #1: Improve SOPPEXCCA’s system of calculating the profitability of business initiatives connected to the scholarship project, including calculating return on investment and assessing the breakeven point of businesses Unfortunately, the expected advances in this specific area have not been realized. This is directly related to the fact that the project’s program coordinator lacked the skills, knowledge and drive to guide the initiative, and thereby limited progress. Acting upon Coffee Kids’ recommendation, SOPPEXCCA will contract a new program coordinator in 2014 who has the necessary technical and administrative skills to guide participating youth in developing their small businesses.

Goal #2: Improve young people’s participation in the decision-making processes Between December 2013 and January 2014, the SOPPEXCCA Education Committee conducted a number of meetings and evaluations of the scholarship and small-business program, in coordination with the board of directors. During this time, an internal audit also took place in which 100% of all scholarship recipients and small-business participants were interviewed. This audit was conducted to assess firsthand how recipients utilize their scholarships and perform academically and to solicit their input and suggestions for improving the sustainability of the program. By employing more personalized monitoring and evaluation methods, the SOPPEXCCA Education Committee seeks to continue strengthening their relationship with scholarship recipients.


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SOPPEXCCA: Most Significant Change stories Name: Damaris de los Ángeles Arauz Montenegro Age: 18 Community: San Antonio de Buculmay “My parents are members of the Unidad cooperative and I’m the 4th child in my family. I have participated in this project for 3 years. When I finished 9th grade, I wanted to start a 3-year English course. Around this time, a SOPPEXCCA representative visited our cooperative and invited the youth to apply for a continuing education scholarship. This scholarship program helped me do well in my first 2 years of study and now I’m about to finish successfully. Without this scholarship, I wouldn’t have been able to study English. The coffee leaf rust crisis has really affected my parents, and they would not have had the money to pay for my studies. “In addition to coffee, my parents have a small hostel. Studying English has allowed me to help my mom with our business, which caters to international tourists and groups. When a non-Spanish-speaking international group came to my town this year, I was able to communicate with them and practice my English. In the future, I see myself working as a translator or English teacher. I like the English language a lot and hope to continue studying to be a professional guide for my community. Tourism is growing here, and I know my community and the natural reserve around us well. “Through this project, I have also had the opportunity to take part in training in internal inspection, accounting, gender equity, farm management and marketing. This training has been very useful because I now apply the knowledge I gained in my cooperative, community and my daily life. “I hope with time to have a better quality of life, which for me means living comfortably without economic limitations and being able to develop socially, intellectually and culturally. In order to get there, I study, help my parents on our farm and work in my community. My family and community believe that participating in this project will prepare me for the future. They want me to make the most of this scholarship, because opportunities like this are rare.”

Name: Jodic Roxana Hernández Age: 22 Community: Yankee “I am the 5th child in my family and live in a beautiful community around Lake Apanas. I have participated in the scholarship program since 2011. This year, I am about to finish my degree in business administration. For me, this is an important achievement. “This project has allowed me to continue my degree and has been a great support for my parents. They can now put what they would have had to spend on my education toward producing coffee. If I hadn’t received a scholarship, I might have been able to continue my degree—but it would have been with more economic struggle, since my parents have limited resources and also have to provide for my siblings’ education. The scholarship has helped me cover educational


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expenses, such as school materials, a room in Matagalpa, transportation to the university and other basic needs. This scholarship has opened doors for me, allowing me to one day be a professional. “Through this project, I have also learned very important tools in diverse subjects such as customer service, marketing, working with cooperatives and administration—all of which I have applied to my daily life, to support my family on our farm and my coworkers in our microenterprise. “In the near future, I see myself as a professional serving my country and applying what I have learned. I am a worthy woman and I am confident I will get what I strive for. My family and community are happy to see a young person from their community become a professional. They insist that I continue as a successful woman.”

Name: María Auxiliadora Úbeda Age: 23 Community: Jiguina “I live with my parents and sisters in my community of Jiguina, located 16 km from the city of Jinotega. In my community, people always emphasize the importance of being organized as a cooperative. As children of coffee farmers, we benefit from different programs in our cooperative, and we learn to live together and share experiences with other groups. “I have been a SOPPEXCCA scholarship recipient since 2011. I first got involved in the scholarship program as a member of the Jóvenes ambientalistas group in my cooperative. I was also involved in helping out the board of directors with their activities. I was invited to apply for the scholarship, applied and was selected. “Thanks to this scholarship, I am now in my final year of university and I have been able to cover my monthly expenses. Now all I have left to complete is my thesis. Without this scholarship, I would have had to leave my community to find a job in the city, in order to have enough money to cover my studies and personal expenses. “Being part of this project has allowed me to take part in workshops and strengthen my knowledge of gender equity, cooperatives, personal development, business administration and customer service. The workshops provided motivation to start microenterprises and helped me better understand my rights as a woman. I am currently applying what I learned in my work with customers and staff development. These are tools that I will use throughout my life. “In the future, I see myself employed in a place where I receive a fair salary that allows me to continue supporting the microenterprise I started, and to pay off a long-term loan that I have. I hope to have a good quality of life, which to me means that I have economic, professional, personal and social stability.”


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2013 Final Report

Project: Productive Investment in Coffee (Stage Two) Partner: The Association for Agroecological Development in Coffee (VIDA) Program Area: Capacity Building

Please do not hesitate to contact us for further information pertaining to this Coffee Kids project


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Productive Investment in Coffee (Stage Two) in Veracruz, Mexico

Program Partner: The Association for Agroecological Development in Coffee (VIDA) Program Area: Capacity Building Project Participants: 65 coffee producers from 3 communities, renovating 77 coffee plots; 130 beneficiary families

Project Duration: January 2013 – December 2013

The Project • Developed coffee farmers’ ability to manage their coffee plots in an agroecological and sustainable manner • Guaranteed healthier crops through focus on seed selection and crop renovation • Improved soil quality to improve crop yields • Reduced exposure to chemical fertilizers and pesticides • Provided participants with skills that can be used in other areas of agricultural production Participating coffee farmers received training in sustainable coffee cultivation specific to their region and plot location and undertook diagnostics regarding the composition and status of their soil. Through access to these new technologies and practices, producers are able to make informed decisions regarding the best interventions to employ to ensure quality and quantity in both their coffee and food crop production, with the added benefit of preserving their environment.

The Partner Founded in: 2009 Coffee Kids partner since: 2010 VIDA promotes food security initiatives for families that live in rural areas. The organization blends sustainable farming practices with new technologies to reduce the negative impact that monocrops have on the environment. Their projects also sustain a local supply of fresh and nutritious food, thereby decreasing the amount of processed and junk foods that people incorporate into their diets and thus lowering their overall annual food costs. Successes since working with Coffee Kids: • 2010 – 11: VIDA’s Food Sovereignty Initiative promoted the development of local, organic agriculture across 3 different communities. The initial 54 participating families continue to act as community catalysts, working toward effecting positive change in the farming and consumption habits of other area residents.


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• 2011 – 12: Building on the sustainable farming practices introduced in the Food Sovereignty Initiative, Coffee Kids and VIDA began stage 1 of their Productive Investment in Coffee project. The project established the foundations for stage 2 (2013) by providing training in sustainable coffee-farming practices, establishing nurseries and initiating a crop renewal program for the organization’s members. • 2013: As of the end of 2013, the Productive Investment in Coffee project was successfully implemented. Organic certification is expected to be complete by 2015. In 2014, rather than building the technical capacities of farmers as they have in past projects, VIDA is developing projects directly aimed at the processing and commercialization of coffee. Because this is not within Coffee Kids’ scope, we will continue to collaborate with VIDA but will not, in 2014, be able to fund them. Should VIDA propose projects that fit Coffee Kids’ criteria, we would gladly work with them again in the future.

The Need • Coffee productivity in the region is severely reduced due to climate change, soil degradation and lack of resources to renovate plots. • Because producers are dependent on coffee for around 40% of their income, their diminishing yields present critical issues for their livelihoods and well-being. • Participating communities have limited access to the training and assistance programs offered by the Mexican government. • 15.6% of citizens in the region are illiterate. • 53.5% of households in the region are food insecure.

To address these issues, VIDA is transitioning all 130 producers with whom they work to organic production, which will result in a better price for their coffee and also help conserve the environment. In the short-term, however, organic production can result in lowered productivity per plot due to the prohibition of agrochemicals and fertilizers. The Productive Investment in Coffee project enabled participants to develop sustainable agricultural practices that not only conserve the environment but also help improve yields, thus ensuring a better coffee future for them and their families.

Project Participants


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The Results Schedule of activities: Objective (description)

Activity 2 workshops on soil management and fertility

Instill technical knowledge and increase capabilities

Project monitoring and evaluation

Current status

April 2013 (Rescheduled June 2013) *

Completed

4 workshops on the production of compost and organic fertilizer

May 2013

Completed 80 participants trained

2 workshops on agroecological practices in coffee production

June 2013

Completed

4 workshops on agroecological diagnosis

March – April 2013

Completed

March – June 2013

Completed 3 nurseries constructed

Start 23,100 coffee seedlings Project execution

Scheduled

1 agroecological and soil composition diagnosis of each of the 77 remaining coffee plots Training and support of project coordinator and agricultural technician

March – April 2013 (Rescheduled for May – July 2013) * January – December 2013

Completed

Completed

August 2013 Project evaluation

(Rescheduled for December 2013)

Completed

* Rescheduled due to late arrival of funds

Achievements: • 4 workshops took place to train project participants and coordinators to carry out agroecological profiles of coffee plots. • 16 field technicians were selected and conducted agroecological and soil composition diagnostics on all 77 coffee plots. • 80 participants (34 women, or 42.5% of total attendees) took part in 4 compost and organic fertilizer workshops. • 65 project participants applied knowledge from the compost workshop, producing 3.5 tons of organic compost and 20 liters of fertilizer. • 16 seedbeds were constructed in 3 nurseries to produce 23,100 coffee plants, which will be shared among project’s 77 coffee plots (300 plants per plot).


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• Monthly monitoring of existing nurseries took place. • 2 workshops on soil management, fertility, agroecological practices in coffee production and detection of coffee leaf rust took place in 2 communities, with 76 producers in attendance. • Over the course of the year, VIDA field technicians and the board of directors took part in 12 project monitoring and evaluation meetings. In December, a final evaluation meeting took place with all project participants in attendance. Key indicators for project objective: Capacity building Continued use of new knowledge: Over the course of the past two years, participants have learned various techniques for: the sampling and analysis of soil, taking surveys of plant and animal species on their land, preparation of concentrated organic fertilizers, establishing coffee nurseries, and so on. This knowledge has been conveyed to other members of the cooperative and will be applied each year. • Participants are already producing organic fertilizer and carrying out agroecological profiles of their coffee plots. Through this practical application of training, producers now understand and recognize the value of organic agriculture. • With the knowledge and skills gained from the trainings, many participants now intend to create their own nurseries. Coffee Kids looks forward to remaining in contact with VIDA to learn how the knowledge is further applied as time progresses. Additional outcomes: • After conducting the agroecological profiles, producers expressed a deeper understanding of their coffee plots and are now motivated to preserve their region’s biodiversity. • Participants have encouraged their children to participate in trainings, giving the next generation the opportunity to learn about agroecological production and reintroducing the idea of coffee as a viable livelihood. • Male and female participants now recognize the importance of mutual respect, participation and gender equality. • Collecting agroecological profile data for individual coffee plots has encouraged cooperation, information sharing and camaraderie among project coordinators. • Based on research conducted by Chapingo University agronomists, management plans resulting from the project provide a realistic means by which to improve productivity and conserve biodiversity on participants’ coffee farms.

Project Participants Participants Communities

Men

Women

TOTAL

3

43

22

65


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Capacity Building Goals, Challenges & Lessons Learned Goal #1: Improve strategic planning in the short- and long-term VIDA’s strategic planning focuses on coffee quality and organic certification. The board of directors and assembly of members (coffee producers) are preparing policies and procedures to first improve the quality of coffee for export and then achieve organic certification (2015). VIDA and participants see this as the appropriate route to improving the quality of life of coffee-farming families. Goal #2: Help VIDA define priorities for future development and to learn to delegate functions internally Representatives from VIDA attended the first Organizational Strengthening and Exchange Series workshop in Oaxaca in October 2013 and learned about writing proposals, prioritizing problems and strategic planning. Bolstered with this knowledge, VIDA plans to host a strategic planning meeting with stakeholders in the near future to further define their 2017 vision.

Goal #3: Improve VIDA’s ability to assess and tell stories about impact, particularly using the Most Significant Change methodology This capacity building goal comes out of VIDA’s experiences participating in our FarmViews project, which used photos and text to provide insight into participants’ everyday activities, experiences and concerns. We intended to next help participants better communicate impact in additional ways. As Coffee Kids is unable to fund VIDA in 2014, we are unable to continue pursuing this goal with the organization at this time.

VIDA: Most Significant Change stories “Even though coffee rust is a problem in this region, my plants have resisted the disease because they are healthy and strong.” Name: Pablo Sánchez Gonzáles Community: Cruz de los Naranjos “I was born in the community of Cruz de los Naranjos, where I’ve lived practically all my life. I’m a coffee producer, and my community considers me an enthusiastic leader. I’m interested in trying new things, and I’ve always liked participating in diverse productive activities. “I migrated to another country when I was young, but returned to Mexico because my wife and children asked me to. Now, I will never leave my country, and I have hope that we can improve our quality of life without having to look elsewhere. “Through working with VIDA, we have learned that if we want a better market for our coffee, we need young plants in our plots, so I am currently renovating my farm. Even though coffee rust is a problem in this region, my plants have resisted the disease because they are healthy and strong.


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“Throughout the project I have learned many things. We were trained, for example, in how to prepare highly nutritious compost using mainly local materials. As a result, we now have adequate compost. Additionally, we learned how to take an agroecological inventory, counting all the trees, shrubs and herbs that grow on our coffee farm. We also identified wild animals that live here. These trainings have been very useful, allowing me and my peers to work and learn together.”

“I want to continue striving, learning and working with my husband to make a good living from our coffee.” Name: María Montiel Juárez Community: Plan de Ayala María is originally from Chocamán near Córdoba, but she married and now lives in Plan de Ayala. She has been participating in VIDA projects for 3 years, has been in charge of the CONASUPO food cooperative, and has been a health promoter. She enjoys living in the country and plants corn, beans and vegetables. She also has chickens and a pig, and her husband likes to plant bananas, which he sells by the kilogram. “I enjoy serving the community and participating in VIDA. My friend Angelino invited me to join the project, and I now make my own compost and we’re renovating our coffee plot. The community likes the work that we do with the organization, and some doctors who came to our town told us that we as a community are doing well. Knowing this makes me feel content and at peace. “I water my vegetables in my backyard garden, and I take care of my animals. I spend time planting out in the fields, which I really enjoy. I do a little bit of everything. Now that I know that all [chemical] fertilizers are poisonous, my husband and I avoid using them. “In the future, I would like to have new coffee plants on my farm and to continue learning more. My first priority is my family, especially my young children. I want to make sure they get plenty to eat and don’t get sick. I want to continue striving, learning and working with my husband in order to make a good living from our coffee.”

“If I hadn’t joined this project, I would still be buying everything I need for the farm.” Name: Sebastiana Alberta Hernández Puga Community: Plan de Ayala Sebastiana owns land with her husband, who is currently a migrant worker in Canada. With the money that he makes, they were able to build their home and open a small convenience store on their property. Sebastiana has participated in the VIDA coffee renovation project over the past 3 years. She is invested in being part of this project so that her husband does not have to continue working abroad—so that they can make a living from their coffee together.


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“This is my third year participating in the project,1 but I have been with VIDA for many years. I feel I have learned a great deal. Before, I had to buy expensive fertilizers, but now I can make my own compost. The nursery also provides us with plants for renovating our coffee plots. “If I hadn’t joined this project, I would still be buying everything I need for the farm. Now I know that I can make fertilizer with what I have on site. I separate my garbage and all the organic waste goes into the compost. A lot of people like what we’re doing, but you have to put time into the workshops and trainings. “In the future, I want my son to study. I also want my husband to be here and not so far away anymore. I want him to be here with his family, for us to eat well, and to continue taking care of our land. Together, we can work with what little we have and try to earn a better living from our coffee.”

1 Coffee Kids has supported the project for 2 of these 3 years.


Coffee Kids 2013 Project Reports