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USA Staffers Ellen and Kathy in the Coffeelands

Coffee has been an essential part of Grounds for Health since our beginning over 20 years ago. Our co-founder, Dan Cox, is a renowned coffee guy and most of our major supporters hail from specialty coffee.

And here we are once again in the coffeelands, shoulder-to-shoulder with the women we serve!

So while it seems that everyone who knows Grounds for Health, knows about this connection, it’s a good time to highlight this relationship once again and acknowledge our debt to our coffee supporters.

Dagmawi inspecting cherries with the co-op manager

The other day Ellen and I, together with Africa Program Manager Dagmawi, visited the Rumukia co-op in Nyeri County, Kenya, and followed the journey of the coffee cherry from hybridized coffee shrub to the familiar burlap bag we see in coffee shops. We climbed a red dirt path to the hilltop farm accompanied by two co-op managers—both women. We picked up handfuls of drying beans, watched the beans settle into their sorting bags and stepped into the field to view the buds about to bloom for the next crop. We discussed Grounds for Health’s mission and the importance of early screening. By the end of our visit, Ellen and I knew more about coffee and the co-op managers resolved to come for a cervical cancer screening.

Once we reached Hawassa in Ethiopia, we enjoyed the traditional coffee ritual of roasting, grinding, brewing, and sipping. These moments allowed us to better appreciate that we as consumers often overlook the fact that coffee is an agricultural process involving the labor and love of many hands. These are the hands of the women we serve.

Enjoying a traditional cup.

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