Power of Partnerships
JNP Coffee leverages our efforts to empower the coffee growers of Burundi by partnering with organizations that support inclusive economic growth programs. Each partnership in its unique way contributes to the primary sustainable development goal to end poverty.
Project Concern International
Education is empowerment anywhere, but particularly in developing countries. Financial literacy training brings knowledge directly to women coffee farmers. In partnership with Project Concern International (PCI) and Burundi Friends International (BFI), the Village Savings & Loan Association Program began in 2017 to teach women how to save money in groups and make microloans to other women. Meeting weekly, women in these local training groups learn other aspects of money management, and how to support one another through personal challenges.
“You’re not training us fast enough!” This is what the members of the Burundi chapter of the International Women’s Coffee Alliance (IWCA) tell PCI, BFI and JNP Coffee staff about the program for Women’s Empowerment called the WE Project.
It’s true. Organizers can’t keep up with the demand for this savings and loan program that develops leaders and builds group cohesion, now taught in four provinces in Burundi.
After the initial phase of this pilot project, the impact is clear. Participants have improved self-esteem, increased access to information and resources, and greater capacity for community organizing. More visibly, they are saving money from the premiums they earn from JNP Coffee, learning financial literacy, making microfinance loans to one another, and contributing to the Burundi economy.
Burundi Friends International (BFI) was founded in 2008 by JNP Coffee’s founder Jeanine Niyonzima-Aroian with the mission of empowering women, youth and families to build self-sustaining communities. In the early days, in addition to teaching English Communications classes at Light University, they also started an English class with 35 students in Bujumbura for youth that didn’t have the money to attend college.
The program has scaled up to reach previously unimaginable numbers. Today, BFI serves over 75,000 students across all provinces in Burundi. They have six container-libraries, 79 smaller libraries (mostly in schools) and 1,000 English Clubs that meet in small classrooms. BFI also supports higher education by paying college tuition, fees and living costs for 42 students in Burundi.
JNP Coffee is a proud financial supporter of BFI, and Jeanine continues to lead their advisory board.
All images ©JNP Coffee. For image use please contact us.