San Jose, Costa Rica: On Saturday, June 29, Bean Voyage officially launched their Care Fellowship Program in Costa Rica in order to support 13 young change makers from different coffee producing regions to promote sustainable development and gender equality in their communities in a six-month training program.
Historically, Bean Voyage has primarily worked with one of the most vulnerable demographics in the coffee industry, smallholder womxn coffee producers. However, in addition to their work with smallholder womxn, Bean Voyage has decided to work with another vulnerable group, the youth.
Above: Members of the Care Fellowship/ F. Carrillo
“After running the Care Trade program for smallholder women coffee producers for the past couple of years, we collected feedback from smallholder women on how we can continue to support their communities,” said Abhinav Khanal, Executive Director at Bean Voyage. “A majority of them expressed their desire to engage their children in our efforts”.
The coffee industry currently finds itself in a crisis. With a new generation of coffee growers turning to the city to find better economic opportunities, the future of coffee is in jeopardy. Bean Voyage is making it their mission to educate the youth on the numerous opportunities the coffee industry has to offer.
The mission of the new program is to develop youth leadership and open opportunities in the coffee sector for gender equality by developing community leadership skills among young people in coffee-growing communities.
Furthermore, Bean Voyage wants to deepen the understanding of the potential of the coffee sector as well as inspire the youth to become more involved in the coffee industry with a focus on gender within their projects.
“We received 47 applications from all over the country and went through an extensive selection process to choose the 13 fellows who come from coffee producing regions and are inspired to bring about change in their communities,” said Adriana Vasquez, Country Manager at Bean Voyage.
Above: Adriana Vasquez (Country Manager) during the Care Mentors Orientation/ F. Carrillo
The fellows met for the first time on Saturday, June 29th during orientation. They learned that there is a three-step part to the Care Fellowship; training, mentorship and the project itself.
The comprehensive training program facilitates the learning of good leadership practices during the training sessions. Additionally, the training serves to teach the fellows about the opportunities in the coffee sector and hear stories from leaders in the coffee industry.
Each fellow will be connected to a mentor who will provide professional and personal support during the six-month fellowship. The mentors will help them overcome challenges and become their main facilitator.
Above: Care Mentors during the Mentors Orientation/ A. Romano
Finally, during the six months, the Care Fellows will develop their own projects in their communities related to coffee and gender. Their main objective is to find a way to use coffee to ensure gender equality in the communities.
When the fellows met each other for the first time on Saturday during orientation, they were met with a warm welcome. They were introduced to the Bean Voyage staff and learned about the organization's mission.
Above: Care Fellows engaging in team building activities/ F. Carrillo
In order to get the fellows comfortable, various activities were done throughout the day. These activities included the rejection therapy where fellows visited the Lincoln Plaza and purposely got rejected in order to boost their confidence. Furthermore, fellows actively engaged in many different team building and leadership activities.
The next activity will be a three-day boot camp and is set to take place from July 12 to July 14.
Bean Voyage is a non-profit social enterprise that provides training and market access to small coffee producers so they can take their communities to a sustainable future.
Visit www.beanvoyage.com to learn more.
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