Unitarian Universalist Service Committee

Started in 2001, the UUSC Coffee Project is a collaboration between Equal Exchange and the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee to involve more Unitarians in supporting small farmers around the world.

For each pound of fairly traded coffee, chocolate, tea, and foods Unitarians purchase through the UUSC Coffee Project, 20 cents per pound goes to the UUSC's Small Farmer Fund. That Fund amounted to $14,309.28 in 2014 alone!

The UUSC Coffee Project Small Farmer Funds for 2014 benefited Muungano and the Soil Farm Multi Culture Group.

Muungano, which means "togetherness” in Kiswahili, provides livelihood support to vulnerable youth at risk for forced labor, trafficking, and prostitution. This group of youth on the Kenya-Uganda border is trained in planting organic traditional crops, cooking, and building sustainable businesses. Seminars are also held to educate communities about nutrition and the potential risks of genetically modified foods. Food grown by the youth is sold to the community at an affordable price. Many program participants are young female entrepreneurs who grow organic crops and incorporate them in their catering businesses.

Soil Farm Multi Culture Group (SFMG) is a community-led mitigation project that involves the following: planting native species; forest watershed restoration; climate change adaptation/ mitigation; livelihoods; food security; and education of the next generation on environmental principles. Located in Kakamega, Kenya, SFMG has a membership of 300 families, mostly led by widows. SFMG's programs provide alternative livelihoods to women in the community who were previously practicing female genital mutilation. Participation in the project also creates alternative “rites of passage” for young girls.

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Unitarian Universalist Service Committee

The Unitarian Universalist Service Committee (UUSC) is an independent human-rights organization. Through its Economic Justice Program, UUSC embraces a vision of economic human rights, supporting workers’ right to organize and earn a living wage – including through strategies like fair trade. Along with its 40,000 members and supporters, UUSC recognizes that economic justice is essential for securing basic human rights, alleviating local and global poverty, and achieving a more peaceful and just world.

Equal Exchange is a Fair Trade organization that buys directly from small-scale farmer cooperatives, owned and run by the farmers themselves. Because our farmer partners are paid above market prices for their crops, they are able to make investments in community projects, educational programs, and technical trainings. These cooperative organizations also help keep rural communities healthy and strong, and keep local cultures vibrant. Equal Exchange is also committed to supporting sustainable farming methods that help green the earth through reforestation, natural resource conservation and organic practices.

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