Suke Quto is a progressive and large coffee growing farm where many of the inhabitants of Kumure village work. The livelihoods of many people who work here rely on the coffee production, therefore the future of this wonderful coffee lies with them. This is why we have been working together with Suke Quto farm to build a fully equipped school for the children in this community.
The Suke Quto farm is located in Oromia Region, one of the largest coffee producing regions in Ethiopia. It is an optimal coffee growing area, producing very floral coffee with a true Guji flavor. However, rapid population growth has led to low incomes for the farmers. This low salary combined with the great distance between schools in the region has made it impossible for many children to attend school. Government initiatives to aid in the construction of schools and provide teachers have not reached the village of Kumure, where Suke Quto is located.
The community constructed their own school, but funds were soon exhausted and the building and sanitation are in bad shape. Over 1200 children in the area are in need of education, however, the capacity of the current school building is so small, it has to rotate the 300 children currently attending. They sit on the floor, learning in extremely dusty classrooms during the dry season and very muddy ones during the rainy season. This became the starting point to provide a new school with seats and tables, and a toilet block.
With the future of the children in mind, the aim is to build enough new buildings to accommodate the capacity of all the children in the area. Important to a project like this is cultural sensitivity and thorough research to ensure that it is carried out in a way which truely benefits the people it is for. This meant the development of a formal project proposal and after an array of challenges, formal approval from the government was issued to build a school for the community.
The first building is now complete and is currently being finalized to open. It is a building with 4 classrooms, which will more than double the current capacity. The second phase is to build a toilet block to provide healthy sanitation facilities. The vision we are working towards is that each child can go to school with proper facilities and without rotation. This means it is an ongoing project and will require more funding for continuation.
We asked organizations we work with if they would like to contribute to this project. This resulted in many organizations contributing to over $90,000 to fund the project.
Taking the whole picture into account, the welfare of the people at the start of the chain is essential to the enjoyment and transparency of the end product.