By Steve Helm, Founder of Share Collective, Inc.
This is a sobering morning for me today in the tiny, East African country of Burundi.
Raindrops fall gently on the banana leaves while the sounds of children walking to school, motorbikes passing by, goats and rooster sounds fill the air. In simple, undefiled moments like this it is hard for me to imagine the daily undercurrent of violence against women and children that defies reason and leaves lives broken. Many have fled to neighboring Tanzania, but with no promise that displaced life would be any better. Most have chosen to stay in the villages of their birth, knowing the prospect of suffering unspeakable tragedies.
Can coffee change anything in a world that seems so distant and chaotic? Absolutely!
Agriculture, truly the world’s oldest profession, is the primary means of earning a living in all of the third world. When those who have lived for generations in abject poverty can learn how to achieve unprecedented harvests, how to co-op with others for a larger voice, and finally have a way their coffee can be purchased on global markets, those lives change in every way.
Share Collective features coffees from our families in Burundi, Honduras, Ethiopia, Guatemala, Peru, Kenyan, Tanzania, and Rwanda, making it possible for you to be part of an unfolding story of hope:
- We use “beans not bullets” to serve, mentor, teach and ultimately emancipate scores of people who have been trapped for generations in systems and cycles of poverty, where the top 1 percent prosper, and the bottom 99 percent suffer.
- We seek freedom for little girls and young women whose vulnerability financially and educationally often lead to their falling victim to the sex trade and other abuses.
- We see future hope in the eyes of children, who once were not permitted to go to school, but now find the dignity of dressing in new uniforms and attending classes --with their stomachs full!
We are passionately standing upon Jeremiah 29:11-13, unlocking prosperity in difficult places, where people finally discover “they DO matter” to God, who surely hears and is answering their prayers.
This is the heart of Share Collective- a “business as mission” model for the new millennium, helping like-minded people, churches, businesses engage and beat down poverty with sustainable solutions, truly at the ground level, one cup at a time.
Share Collective, Inc. (tm)