Coffee Lifeline was founded upon the belief that access to information can be one of the most powerful aspects of any development initiative. This is especially true in coffee producing areas that often rely on isolated groups of people working together toward a common goal, whether it be quality improvement, health initiatives, education, food security, environmental protection or cooperative development.
Access to accurate, reliable and consistent sources of information is key to the success of any project. CL offers the entire coffee value chain, as well as the family of NGO’s working within the coffee communities of our broadcast regions, the opportunity to increase the impact of their individual projects and outreach efforts through strategic collaboration via the most accessible form of communication in the developing world - radio.
The Coffee Lifeline project is designed to address issues stemming from information poverty in a world that is witnessing accelerated change both within its environment and through its technologies. In a global culture of instant communication, information has become one of the world’s most powerful forms of international currency. We believe that farmers are most able to make decisions that reflect the values and needs of their families and communities when they have access to reliable, consistent information from a variety of sources that help to address their economic as well as social development needs.
The goal of the Coffee Lifeline project is to provide farmers, their families and their communities with access to information that can improve the quality of their crops as well as the quality of their lives. Our weekly radio broadcasts include information pertaining to agronomic best practices, cooperative development and sustainability, climate change, food security, early childhood and maternal health, HIV/AIDS education, nutrition, economic diversification and financial literacy as well as a series of children’s stories, gathered from different cultures around the world.
Since 2005, CL has broadcast over 425 radio programs to the coffee producing communities of Rwanda, while also reaching into parts of Uganda, Burundi and the DRC. In 2013 we initiated the first phase of our expansion through a partnership the Kenya Meteorological Department and its community radio station, Kangema FM, located in the Muranga District. Our Thahabu Iitu (Our Gold) are also broadcast through the facilities of Rware FM, based in Nyeri.
Through a series of strategic partnerships with industry stakeholders, universities, research institutions and other NGO’s, CL broadcasts have increased the reach of their individual outreach and education efforts and have contributed to increased incomes, stronger cooperative structures, greater access to health and family planning information as well as a decrease in malnutrition and infant mortality. With the recent project expansion, farming communities in Kenya and Rwanda are now able to share information across geographic and national borders, providing a model for future expansion into other producing countries.
The Coffee Lifeline project was the 2010 recipient of the annual Sustainability Award from the Specialty Coffee Association of America, citing its “leadership and innovation in sustainable project design.”