NPR's Morning Edition has been highlighting coffee week with some excellent reporting! Allison Aubrey reported this morning on the International Women in Coffee Alliance (IWCA), http://www.womenincoffee.org/, an organization I have been supporting with my volunteer hours over the past year. Click here and listen to this great short story.
I've been supporting IWCA in spirit since 2007, when I first went to their fund-raising breakfast, and finally this year "I got involved." Contrary to what you might guess, IWCA is much more than a bunch of women sitting around drinking coffee! The NPR story does a good job of describing the organization's purpose - to help women working in coffee around the world to organize and develop leadership skills, thereby finding strength and voice to make changes.
One example of what IWCA has done so far (it's only 10 years old) is a leadership training conference held in Nairobi for about 15 women from 3 or 4 African nations. All the trainers' donated their time and travel costs. Once they were done in Nairobi, they brought 4 or 5 of the women to the U.S., including a visit to Washington D.C. and then they attended an International Trade Commission (part of the United Nations) meeting in Mexico City, which included a trade show of women's businesses. Not surprisingly, these women in coffee now have much bigger and more solid ideas of what their coffee businesses can be.
To support my business, (which is a woman-owned coffee importing business) go to www.ArtisanCoffeeImports.com and ask your favorite roaster to check us out!