March 10, 2016
This morning's guest blogger is an amazing friend and partner of CARE for AIDS- Founder and Director of the Kula Project, Sarah Buchanan. Sarah recently partnered with Duncan and his family to bring clean water to his rural hometown of Nakuru. We are so grateful for her and Kula's work and partnership! Learn more about the Kula Project here.
In October of 2014, I met Duncan Kimani, the CARE for AIDS Country Director, at the Catalyst Conference in Atlanta, GA. After telling him I started an organization called Kula Project that invests in coffee farmers, his eyes lit up. He told me that his parents are coffee farmers in Kenya, and then invited me to meet them next time I was in Kenya, so I happily agreed.
A few months later, Duncan and Jessica picked us up at house in Nairobi and we headed out to meet his family and the members of their coffee cooperative, but we had no concrete expectations or the day, and we definitely didn’t plan on making any commitments.
After talking with the cooperative’s leadership team, we learned that the coffee washing station (and the rest of the entire community) had been without clean water for more than four years. Nothing affects the quality of coffee like the quality of the water that is used to process it, and this was their greatest struggle. The borehole at their coffee processing center was broken, and the community couldn’t afford to fix it nor could they get any help from the government.
That’s when we decided we wanted to be a part of this story, and this became our first project outside of Rwanda.
We knew that this coffee cooperative of 435 families would never get a good and fair price for their coffee if they were washing it with filthy water. We also knew that the borehole that fed the coffee center was the only water source for the community, including the primary school and the health clinic.
Over the next few months, we worked with Duncan and Patrick, one of CARE for AIDS' Regional Coordinators, to coordinate the repair of the borehole. In November of 2015, we returned to Nakuru to celebrate clean water with the team and the community.
Now, the 2,000 families in Nakuru are drinking clean water. The coffee washing station is using clean water, which will directly translate to higher coffee prices, meaning higher wages. The children in primary school are drinking clean water and the health clinic is using clean water. The Kula team has a deep sense of gratitude for the CARE for AIDS family and the people of Nakuru for the invitation to be a part of their story.
During this season of lent we want to invite you to join us in prayer around specific topics. We have created a prayer guide that you can access here.