9/04/2014

Project Alianza

Hey Guys I wanted to share with you a special little challenge for yourself as well as a great way to help out a good cause. Please take the time to watch the video. A beautiful friend of mine, Jessica Holly has created some gorgeous works of art that will be given to those who donate 100 or more.

I absolutely love these originals she created for the cause...



CLICK HERE TO GO DIRECTLY TO THE WEBSITE FOR ALL INFORMATION


For the next 24 HOURS, a generous donor has agreed to match the donation of anyone who skips their coffee and instead donates $4 
(or more) to Project Alianza! 

#myemptymug

Imagine a world where a farmer who once subsisted on an income of less than $2 per day is now on the path to self-sufficiency.
Imagine a world where families earn enough income to no longer be at risk of losing farmland that has nurtured shade-grown coffee for over 30 years.
Consider the joy a farmer feels when he is able to send his daughter to school so she can pursue her dreams.
At Project Alianza, this is not only our vision.  It's our business plan. 

We are asking for your support in launching Project Alianza, a program that offers agricultural education and access to fair markets for coffee farming families in underserved communities, beginning in Jinotega, Nicaragua. 
Enrique is pictured standing on his family-run farm situated in Nicaragua’s most desirable coffee-growing region, referred to as ‘the coffee triangle.’ He has the potential to produce specialty-grade coffee and nearly double his coffee production. Like many farmers, he has not received formal agricultural training and sells his coffee through middlemen who offer only the lowest wholesale prices. As a result, Enrique  is not able to invest in his farm to improve his productivity.
Enrique is eager to learn how to improve his coffee farm and begin growing other fruits to diversify his income. With increased sales, he would pay school fees so his three daughters can attend school.

What will we create?

We want every coffee farmer like Enrique to have access to the knowledge and the resources to maximize the productivity of their land, and the opportunity to partner with ethical buyers so they can turn their efforts into income. We want them to reach their own goals: to maintain ownership of their land, educate their children, and control their own futures. To make this possible we will use the $8500 from this campaign to build partnerships with farmers and implement the Project Alianza pilot in Jinotega, Nicaragua.
Here is our plan:
  • Develop a mobile education program for up to 25 farmers, with a team of agricultural technicians that will visit each individual farm, teaching better ways to plant, tend, and market their coffee.
  • Improve access to farming technologies and promote bio-construction techniques with structures such as rainwater catchment and compost bins. 
  • Establish a sourcing plan with ecologically and socially conscious coffee companies. We have established a partnership with Ethical Coffee Chain, to connect farmers to international markets that bring our coffee to you, the consumer.
  • Gather information and disseminate best practices through networking and round-table discussions with industry leaders, cooperatives and experienced farmers, about topics such as new technology, diversification techniques, and strategies for improving quality control.
  • Continuously measure and evaluate our impact on farming families and communities, and systematically assess our successes and challenges as we move forward.
  • Document stories of farmers through photo essays and short videos.

Jesus invited us to his home in northwest Nicaragua, where he candidly shared his story of starting his career as a coffee picker, before eventually improving his own coffee farm enough to earn a livable wage from his own land. In 2012, his crop was devastated by a preventable coffee fungus, and as a result, he lost access to credible buyers and returned to life as a coffee picker.

Why invest in Project Alianza?


We change lives:

Alianza will build a community safety net to create access to agricultural knowledge and resources so farmers like Jesus are less vulnerable to environmental threats.

We go further:

While small farmer cooperatives and FairTrade certifications have made good progress in improving access to markets, we recognize the limitations of these programs: they can require expensive investments to join, they may be poorly regulated, and they are difficult to access for many of the smallest farmers. In addition, these efforts generally stop short of providing the knowledge and resources necessary to address the long-term challenges of farming families.That's where Alianza comes in: we partner directly with farmers who are in under-served areas and are the most vulnerable to threats such as pest or weather-related productivity loss, or corrupt microlending practices.

We're innovative:

We build stronger communities by promoting partnerships among small farmers and larger more established farms, who often already have the certifications to appeal to conscientious consumers and the distribution channels to reach them. As small farmers develop the resources and know-how to produce coffee at the highest standards of quality, they are also able to gain access to these preferred markets.

We believe in an evidenced-based approach:

Our program is based on research of what techniques are most likely to succeed within the local contexts of the communities we serve. We don't simply provide a higher price or teach a single skill, like better planting techniques. We provide a multi-faceted approach that improves living standards through education, farming resources and access to better markets.

We recognize the challenges ahead:

Like any new initiative, there can be unpredictable challenges along the way. We will work hard and our farming partners will have to take a leap a faith, putting in more hours and investing a proportion of their incomes to increase their long-term yields. Building local collaborations and listening to the concerns of our partners will be critical to ensuring program engagement.

Kristin, Project Alianza's Cofounder, is pictured above visiting Jesus's coffee and fruit farm in Northern Nicaragua. 
Kristin was so inspired by the potential of this project to improve the lives of farming families, she applied for and received a Fulbright Fellowship to support her efforts. She recently left her job at a global policy research institute in Boston, MA to build Alianza from the ground up in Jinotega, Nicaragua.
Project Alianza has sustained our work through the generosity and efforts of a small but passionate army of volunteers, and now we are turning to Indiegogo to take Alianza to the next level.

San Benito flashes a heartwarming smile after a day harvesting coffee. 

Your funds put into action.
 
Your dollar is an investment in education and sustainability efforts facilitated by our on-the-ground partners. 100% of our earnings go directly to our farming partners. The portion of our funds we don’t raise on indiegogo will have to be raised by other means to support critical programming to change the lives of these farmers.
  • $25 supports a plot of five coffee plants for up to five years. The coffee plant produces an average of 2 lbs of coffee for up to 30 years!
  • $100 provides a loan in the form of seed and fertilizer to a family who lacks access to the financing needed to support a small-scale farm.
  • $950 supports a year of tuition for a coffee farming family to participate in an agricultural education program. Farmers learn about sustainability and experiment with growing techniques which allow them to become rooted in their community.
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Please feel free to contact us at info@projectalianza.org.

Project Alianza is a pending 501(c)(3). All donations are tax deductible. 

Thank you for your support.

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