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Colombia

Anatoli School, La Mesa, Cundinamarca

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Completed in January 2008 this school building replaced an old school damaged by an earthquake in 2005. The Costa Foundation has provided six classrooms, a computer room, a library, a canteen, a playground and kindergarten facilities.

277 children and 12 teachers benefit from these facilities and the community has developed a farm project on a plot of land about half a mile away from the school, where food is grown for school meals. This ensures that children are eating nutritious food and helps them to concentrate during their lessons. Some of the ten year old children are responsible for each element of the farm; vegetable plot, fish farm, chicken farm and a small coffee plantation.

In addition to the Costa Foundation’s investment in Anatoli School, Intel has provided the children with small “Casebook” laptops for use at the school which has also provided a fantastic learning resource for the teachers.

La Mesa is a town located on top of a plateau in the department of Cundinamarca, 62 kms from Bogota. It has a population of 27,500 of which 46% are under the age of 20. Most are farmers owning less than a hectare of land and coffee is the principle crop grown here.

Colombia

La Esperanza School, Vergara

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This development started in November 2008 and opened in January 2010, benefiting 248 children and 15 teachers.

The previous school buildings were so badly damaged by earthquake that most of the structures were demolished to make way for the new "seismically approved" facilities. One of the first challenges was to ensure clean water and safe electricity supplies, but now the school, which is perched on top of a mountain in a remote rural area some 238 kms away from Bogota, proudly boasts seven classrooms, four laboratories, a cafeteria, a library and a playground.

A new child nutrition programme has been introduced to ensure all children can enjoy nutritious meals and following the success of their pilot scheme at Anatoli School, Intel have donated Casebook laptops for the children here. The community has linked with Bogota University to introduce a "Tele-Medicine" scheme enabling remote diagnosis of illnesses in Vergara by specialists in Bogota. The scheme has been so successful that Bogota University has provided two full time GPs plus all equipment and medicines to enable treatment as well as diagnosis, potentially saving four journeys of 112 kms to Bogota for sick people within the community.

The Colombian Minister of Education attended the official opening of the school and declared that rural schools built to this model were "a true solution for peace in Colombia" enabling children to seek an education rather than becoming involved in the drugs and violence so rife in the regions.

The municipality of Vergara is 112 kms north of Bogotá with a population of 15.400 of which 89% live in rural areas. La Esperanza School is situated 1,450 feet above sea level in the district of Chonte Grande with a population of 1,120 people.

Colombia

Rainforest Alliance Certification Case Study

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Key facts

  • Around 12% of the world’s coffee is produced in Colombia.
  • Colombia is the world’s 2nd largest coffee provider and the number one producer of Arabica coffee.
  • There are over 500,000 coffee farmers (called cafeteros) in Colombia.
  • The two main coffee-producing regions are Medellin, Armenia, and Manizales (MAM) in the central region and Bogotá and Bucaramanga in the eastern mountainous region.
  • The average size of a coffee farm in Colombia is 1.6 hectares (or about 2 acres).

Colombia’s ecosystems are increasingly threatened, despite the fact that more than one-tenth of the land has been designated as protected. The Andes Mountains contain all of the country's major cities and half of its rural population. At the same time, they are home to a wealth of biodiversity, including many species of plants and animals that can't be found anywhere else. Due to a growing population, the Andes' ecosystems have deteriorated, and many flora and fauna species are threatened or endangered.

To help address this problem, the Rainforest Alliance awarded its first Colombian coffee farm certification in 2004 through its local partner organization, Fundación Natura. By the end of 2009, more than 2,100 farms in Colombia, covering 12,400 hectares, had achieved certification—many of them concentrated in the Santander and Cundinamarca regions. This rapid growth, combined with the longevity of many of the certificates and the presence of an accessible non-certified control group, created an opportunity for the Rainforest Alliance to examine the outcomes and impacts of its work in this region.

Researchers visited 72 certified and 72 non-certified farms an average of eight times each, recording data on farm demographics, rate of application of Best management Practices (BmPs), and costs and benefits related to certification.

  • Colombia’s Rainforest Alliance Certified™ coffee farms were found to have consistently higher richness and diversity of soil arthropods than noncertified farms. These species – including spiders, mites and ticks – are sensitive to the texture, structure and fertility of soil and their presence is an indicator of soil health.
  • Rainforest Alliance Certified coffee farms scored significantly higher than non-certified farms on a stream-health index, demonstrating higher levels of dissolved oxygen and larger numbers of sensitive macroinvertibrates such as mayflies, stoneflies and caddisflies – species whose presence indicates ecosystem health.
  • In a 2012 comparison of certified and non-certified coffee farms in Colombia, certified farms had significantly higher rates of: protective-equipment usage for chemical applications; specialized warehouses dedicated to chemical storage; employee training in first aid and pesticide application; septic-tank use; and solid-waste collection.

Source: Table 9, Page 14 http://www.rainforest-alliance.org/publications/cenicafe-report

Uganda

Mushasha Primary School, Ntungamo

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Mushasha Primary School in Ntungamo, Uganda was one of the first schools to benefit from Costa Foundation funding during 2008. Built originally for the 120 children in the village, it opened in September 2008 only to receive an additional 180 children from nearby villages keen to benefit from the new facilities. Additional classrooms were built in 2009 to cope with the increase in numbers.

As well as the classrooms, the school benefited from water harvesting tanks, teachers’ accommodation, an office for the headteacher and text books.

The school performance has been very good enhanced by the new text books and the professional attitude of the teachers. In 2012, the school boasted a 100% pass rate for all 26 students that sat their PLE exams, with 7 students achieving division 1 scores and 19 scoring division 2.

Ntungamo is situated in Western Uganda 61 kms south west of the town of Mbarara. It has a population of 16,500, primarily farmers with coffee as the major cash crop. Mushasha is a small village within Ntungamo region with a population of circa 2,650. It is an impoverished area and was much in need of support in 2008 as the previous school had been condemned as structurally unsound.

Uganda

Rwemigango Primary School, Bushenyi

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In 2008 Rwemigango School was severely under-funded and over-subscribed with 130 children to a class, a lack of qualified teachers, insufficient teachers’ accommodation and no access to clean and drinkable water. Rwemigango is a very remote community and this remoteness was a major factor in the school’s inability to recruit good teachers. Building additional classroom space and providing teachers’ accommodation became a priority.

In 2008 the Costa Foundation built and furnished a new classroom block consisting of two classrooms which were opened in March 2008. They also provided improved sanitation and enabled access to clean water through the provision of water harvesting tanks.

Phase two of the project was completed in March 2009 with the construction of teachers’ accommodation enabling teachers having to travel long distances to stay in Bushenyi during the week as well as providing rooms for local teachers in need of a roof over their heads.

Bushenyi District is located in Western Uganda and has a population of approximately 275,000. It lies 75 kms north west of Mbarara. The economy of the district depends mainly on agriculture with the primary crops being coffee, bananas and tea. Rwemigango village is a small community with a population of circa 3,800 which depends almost entirely on coffee for income.

Uganda

Hibiscus High School, Ntungamo

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This is the first high school the Costa Foundation funded in partnership with PEAS (Promoting Equality in African Schools). PEAS is a UK based charity that builds and runs high schools in Uganda (see www.peas.org.uk).

Having built Mushasha Primary School in 2008, the Costa Foundation learnt that there were no high schools within a 40 km radius of the school and therefore it became a priority to build a new high school for the benefit not only of Mushasha but of 13 other feeder schools within the region.

Construction commenced in August 2010 and the school welcomed its first group of students in February 2011. This has been a very successful school with the number of students currently at 620. The initial project delivered six classrooms and two boarding house blocks but the subsequent growth in numbers of children attending has resulted in further investment from the Costa Foundation to install a further six classrooms, science laboratories and additional boarding accommodation.

Exam results have been encouraging and 2013 saw the first influx of students from Mushasha Primary School who had achieved top scores and were keen to continue their success at secondary school level.

The school is situated 400 km from Kampala in Western Uganda. Ntungamo region has a population of 447,000 of which more than 50% are under the age of 15. 82% of local employment is in agriculture of which coffee accounts for 65% of all cash crops. 90% of children in this region attend primary school but only 18.3% attend a secondary school due to lack of facilities within walking distance.

Uganda

Pioneer High School, Mityana

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The second Costa Foundation funded PEAS school in Uganda, Pioneer High School is located in Namongo sub-county, Mityana District, a major coffee growing area in central Uganda.

The project started in September 2010 and was open in time for the start of the new school term in February 2011 when it enrolled 112 students. The numbers have now grown to 320 and further good news is that the school is meeting its gender equality targets with female enrolment now at 51%.

Of all the children enrolled at Pioneer, only 17% of their parents completed secondary school due to lack of school facilities; thankfully now the secondary-educated population will be much higher for future generations.

The school has eight classrooms, an administrative block, two boarding houses and a fresh water bore hole was installed at the beginning of the project to save the children a 4 km walk to the nearest well.

Mityana District is located 80 kms west of Kampala and approximately 350,000 people live in the district. Agriculture is the main source of income with coffee, bananas, cassava and cotton as the main crops.

The sub-county of Namongo has 11 primary schools and prior to the construction of Pioneer many children in Namongo had to travel over 20 kms to attend an over-subscribed secondary school in an adjacent sub-county.

Uganda

Kigarama High School, Sheema

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This is the third Costa Foundationfunded PEAS school in Uganda. PEAS is a UK based charity that builds and runs high schools in Uganda (see www.peas.org.uk). PEAS builds high schools in areas of extreme need, where at least 250 children are leaving primary school every year with nowhere to continue their education.

The school is situated in Sheema District, 33 kms north of Mbarara and 290 kms west of Kampala. Sheema District consists of nine sub-counties and three town councils and has a population of 22,300 with 91.4% being rural and 56.3% being under the age of 18. The major economic activities include semi-intensive agriculture and fishing. The most widely grown crops in the district are coffee, tea, pineapples and matoke.

Initially the school was provided with six classrooms, an admin block, two boarding blocks, sanitation and water but the enrolment at this school is the highest ever recorded in a PEAS school with 611 students joining in the first few weeks. The Costa Foundation immediately invested more funds into the school which resulted in the construction of a further 6 classrooms, two more boarding blocks and additional sanitation.

Before the school was built there was just one high school in Kigarama sub-county leaving 381 children graduating primary school with nowhere to continue their education. This is a success story within the region and during a recent visit by a Costa Foundation Trustee it was clear to see that the new school is much loved by the community, children and teachers.

Uganda

Bridge High School, Mitooma

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This is the fourth Costa Foundation funded PEAS school in Uganda, a country where just one in four children enrols in secondary education due to a severe lack of affordable secondary schools. PEAS is a UK based charity that builds and runs high schools in Uganda (see www.peas.org.uk).

The school is located in Bushenyi District in south west Uganda some 200 miles west of Kampala. Bushenyi District consists of nine sub-counties and has a population of 242,000 of which a staggering 60% are under the age of 18. The district has the tenth highest area under coffee with approx. 7,600 hectares with secondary crops such as matoke, pineapples and tea being widely grown in the area.

Lying within the Nyabubaare sub-county, the school will not be short of students keen to acquire a secondary education as the sub-county performs well at primary level with students getting good grades but struggling to find a secondary school nearby.

To emphasise this point, there are 131 primary schools in the district but just 11 secondary schools. While there is huge support for education, early marriage is still an issue which prevents girls from getting a secondary education. The gender awareness extracurricular activities held at the school will undoubtedly improve this situation over the coming years.

The school has been provided with six classrooms, an admin block and two boarding blocks along with fresh water on the site.

A recent visit from a Costa Foundation trustee gave a clear impression that the school will be well attended and that the local communities are pleased to have new facilities for their children.

Uganda

Rainforest Alliance Certification Case Study

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Key facts

  • South-western Uganda’s rural Bushenyi District features a vast array of crops, including, banana, corn, coffee, sugarcane, and sweet potato plants.
  • Vegetation not only provides habitat for wildlife, but it is also essential as it helps to absorb carbon gasses that lead to climate change.
  • One of the key challenges for coffee farmers right now is climate change. Over the past few years farmers in the Mount Elgon region have experienced increased levels of coffee pests and disease because of the rise in temperature.
  • The high quality Arabica coffee bean only grows under certain conditions and it is ideal coffee farming territory because of the rich volcanic soil, high altitude & good rainfall, but due to climate change and poor farming practices, farmers are not growing as high a yield as they potentially could.

Southwestern Uganda's rural Bushenyi District features a pastoral patchwork of banana, corn, coffee, sugarcane and sweet potato plants. Missing, however, is much of the tropical vegetation that once provided habitat for local wildlife.

With the help of a project developed by The Environmental Conservation Trust of Uganda (ECOTRUST) and validated by the Rainforest Alliance, native vegetation is gradually returning to the region. This vegetation not only provides habitat for wildlife, but helps to absorb carbon gasses that lead to climate change.

Over its 20-year lifetime, the Trees for Global Benefit project is expected to reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) by more than 50,000 tons, providing significant economic and environmental benefits to the smallholder farmer community, local wildlife and ecosystems.

Participating farmers are organized and evaluated according to a standard called Plan Vivo, which is designed to encourage farmers in developing countries to manage their lands responsibly by paying them for the ecosystem services their farms provide. Farmers are paid by ECOTRUST based on their progress toward individual goals, including the percentage of trees they have planted.

By measuring its diameter and recognizing its species, a farmer can estimate a tree's volume and, therefore, its carbon content. These measurements are crucial to determining the amount of carbon offset by a project. Farmers cannot accurately estimate this until it's about five years of age.

Farmers in the region rely on ecosystem service payments – like those generated from the Trees for Global Benefit project – to improve their quality of life. Many use the supplementary income to pay for their children's schooling.

Costa Rica

Paraiso de Changuena School, Puntarenas

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Work started in January 2009 at the Costa Foundation’s first Costa Rican project, in Santa Domingo community, Agua Buena district in Puntarenas province, a remote indigenous Indian community in the north of the country. The previous school structure was built 38 years ago but suffered serious damage resulting in a loss of electricity, unstable roofs and broken floors. The new school facilities opened in December 2009, providing two classrooms including the first computer facilities in the region which are used by children and adults alike. Previously, children from this region who were lucky enough to make it to high school had never even seen a computer before, much less learned how to use one.

This is a very small community of indigenous Indians and indeed this project is the smallest ever carried out by the Costa Foundation. Nonetheless 70 children and two teachers benefit from the school facilities which include an electricity supply, storage facilities and complete renovation of the toilets. The community is in an extremely remote part of Costa Rica and are still attempting to recover from damage caused by Hurricane Stan which devastated much of their infrastructure.

Puntarenas province is on the North West coast of Costa Rica and has a population in excess of 100,000. The community of Santa Domingo lies 1,350 feet above sea level and is an extremely remote coffee growing community made up entirely of indigenous Indians.

Costa Rica

Rainforest Alliance Certification Case Study

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Key facts

  • Costa Rica's volcanic soils, mountainous terrain and plentiful rainfall provide ideal conditions for the cultivation of high-quality coffee beans.
  • Tree cover, giving shade, is one of the most important factors in growing high-quality coffee beans in Costa Rica.

By working with Rainforest Alliance to become more sustainable, the cooperative Coopedota R.L. (Cooperativa de Caficultores de Dota Responsabilidad Limitada), located in the Tarrazu coffee region of Costa Rica, has now earned a top score at the Rainforest Alliance’s Cupping for Quality coffee tasting competition. The coop has always paid great attention to sustainability and its impact on the environment. In 2007, over 100 of its member farmers earned the Rainforest Alliance Certified seal. Four years ago, the coop began a recycling program to encourage members to keep their farms clean and not litter the environment. After initially resisting, farmers now embrace the programme both on their farms and at the mill. The recycling programme has since expanded from the coop to the community. Santa Maria de Dota’s 5,000 residents have learned how to best segregate waste and all participate in the program. Coop workers and their families have access to free healthcare and education in Costa Rica. Both the clinic and the school are located in the town’s central plaza. Safety signs have been placed around the coffee mill and workers wear protective clothing. The coop owns a café in the town, where a variety of coffee-based drinks are sold to locals and to tourists passing through. With a solid marketing system in place, the farmers have increased their sales.

On the farms, workers and farmers are taking greater care of their plants, focusing on soil management, water conservation and increased shade. Miguel Badilla owns a 25-acre (10-hectare) farm 5200 feet (1600m) above sea level which is shaded by cedar, dama and poro trees.

“Tree cover and the resulting shade is now the most important factors for my productivity and coffee quality. It brings several benefits for me – shade for the beans, increased productivity, less soil erosion and more wildlife.” explains Miguel Badilla.

Not only does the tree cover reduce soil erosion, but Badilla has also seen a reduction in diseases on his coffee plants. He says the increased shade has also vastly reduced plant defects.

Source: http://www.rainforest-alliance.org/multimedia/coopedota-rl-costa-rica

Ethiopia

Kilenso Rasa High School, Kilenso Oromia

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Before this school was built, 99% of the children in Kilenso Oromia were unable to go to secondary school as the nearest facilities were a three hour walk away. The school opened in May 2008. The Costa Foundation provided eight classrooms for 960 children, four sanitation blocks, a fresh water supply and a library complete with text books. The school now has 12 full time and six part time teachers.

Our high school projects in Ethiopia all operate a two-shift lesson system whereby half of the students attend lessons in the morning and help their parents on the farm in the afternoon and the other half attend afternoon lessons having helped their parents on the farm in the morning. This is how the schools are able to educate up to 960 children per year.

Kilenso Rasa High School provides facilities for fourteen feeder schools in twelve parishes within the region and benefits a total population of over 100,000. As a result of the Costa Foundation’s investment, electricity was provided locally for the first time and the Government have funded eight flat screen TVs which are being used for “remote education” using DVDs to show lesson content being delivered by teachers in Addis Ababa.

Since building the school the Costa Foundation Trustees have been made aware of the need for sports equipment and murals on the school walls and have subsequently provided these items in all of their high schools in Ethiopia.

Kilenso Rasa High School now boasts the Costa Foundation’s first graduate to have been accepted in a university; a true measure of the impact that giving access to education in remote coffee growing communities can provide.

Kilenso Oromia is a remote farming community within the Oromia Region lying 467 kms south west of Addis Ababa. It is famous for its high quality Arabica coffee.

Ethiopia

Dimtu Hambela High School, Hambela Warana

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Following the successful completion of Kilenso Rasa High School, the Costa Foundation started work on its second Ethiopian project in November 2008 and the school opened its doors to over 900 students in February 2010.

Dimtu Hambela was the first ever high school in this region and, thanks to the Costa Foundation, it now boasts two classroom blocks with a total of eight fully furnished classrooms and sanitation blocks, all of which have positively changed the lives and aided the learning of all its pupils and the 14 full time and four part time teachers.

Our high school projects in Ethiopia all operate a two-shift lesson system whereby half of the students attend lessons in the morning and help their parents on the farm in the afternoon and the other half attend afternoon lessons having helped their parents on the farm in the morning. This is why the schools are able to educate up to 960 children per year.

The pupils attending Dimtu Hambela High School come from 16 different feeder schools within a 35km radius. For many of the parents living within this community, their children can now enjoy opportunities that they themselves never had and as a result many parents have attended adult evening classes to make up for lost time.

Hambela Warana lies 447 kms south west of Addis Ababa within the Oromia Region. With a population of circa 2,300 it is a coffee growing region producing fine Arabica coffee supplemented by bananas, maize and inset. All of the farmers within this community own less than one hectare of land.

Ethiopia

Yadeno Elishu Beriso High School, Kilenso Mekonisa

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The Costa Foundation's third high school in Ethiopia, Yadeno Elishu Beriso High School began construction in June 2010 and was opened to 900 children in March 2011. The school now has eight full time and five part time teachers. The community were so keen to get a new high school that they purchased the land for $37,000 back in 2010. Now the school receives over 960 students a year from eight feeder schools, benefiting a total population of over 86,000.

Within a month of opening, the students had formed extra-curricular activities in AIDS/HIV awareness, gender equality and environmental issues.

The Costa Foundation has provided eight fully furnished classrooms, a library block complete with text books, sanitation, fresh water supply and sports equipment, all of which are put to good use by the students during the two shifts of lessons per day.

On a recent visit to the school, the Costa Foundation Trustees were delighted to see small nurseries of plants and crops around the school organised by the team leaders of the environment club further verifying the benefit of extra-curricular activities within this community.

The Costa Foundation provides its high schools in Ethiopia with sports equipment including football and volleyball kits and the first football and volleyball matches between Kilenso Rasa and Dimtu Hambela were held in March 2013. Despite the distance between these two schools, further inter-school matches are planned.

Kilenso Mekonisa is situated 489 kms away from Addis Ababa in South Ethiopia. It is a rural agricultural area with coffee, bananas and inset the main crops grown. Before the high school was built; 97% of primary school children dropped out of the education system because of lack of secondary school facilities within walking distance.

Ethiopia

Adame Yirgachefe 1st and 2nd Cycle School, Yirgachefe

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This was an existing school building in very poor condition with cramped classrooms with 80 children per room, mud floors, leaking roofs, no access to sanitation and no furniture. The Costa Foundation demolished the old buildings in April 2011 and built high quality concrete learning blocks, a library, new sanitation and provided new furniture and books. The school opened in October 2011 and is now educating 675 children in decent and healthy surroundings. The school now has eight full time and five part time teachers.

Fresh water was provided to the school via water harvesting tanks and since the Costa Foundation’s investment here, the school now has electricity for the first time.

In early 2011, prior to the new build, Adame Yirgachefe School’s performance in the regional school league table was poor with them coming 54th out of 57 schools. In 2012 and after the new school construction, the school came 2nd out of 57 schools.

This is a fantastic achievement made possible by the enrolment of new, highly motivated and well trained teachers and by a new attitude from the children and the whole community.

The school now holds extra-curricular lessons on the topics of HIV/AIDS awareness, gender equality and the environment as well as having an active sports club. The lessons are run by teachers on a voluntary basis and attended by adults as well as the children.

Yirgachefe is one of 77 districts in the Southern Nations Nationalities and Peoples Region of Ethiopia and has a population of circa 198,000 people. 89% of the people here live in rural areas of which 72% depend on agriculture for income, primarily growing coffee, maize, cassava and beans.

Ethiopia

Gew Gew Dingente High School, Gemechis

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The Costa Foundation’s fourth high school in Ethiopia, Gew Gew Dingente High School is the most remote project ever tackled by the Costa Foundation. Situated in the Oromia Regional State, West Hararghe Zone, this school has been built on top of a remote mountain in an isolated village some 354 kms south west of Addis Ababa.

The village is so remote that the road leading up to the new school was built by hand by the communities surrounding it in order for the materials to be delivered. Indeed the rainy season was so severe here during building that most of the materials had to be delivered by donkey.

Construction started in April 2011 and was completed in October 2011 enabling 480 children to access a secondary education for the first time in the community’s 600 year history. The school has eight classrooms, sanitation, fresh water and a fully stocked library.

Before this school was built the children faced a 47 km walk (including the mountain path) in order to reach the nearest high school and understandably the dropout rate after 2nd Cycle school was at 97%. With the new school in place, dropout rate has fallen to 12% and indeed many adults are attending lessons here with their children; something that they simply could not do before the school was built.

The school now holds extra-curricular lessons on the topics of HIV/AIDS awareness, gender equality and the environment. The lessons are run by teachers on a voluntary basis and attended by adults as well as the children.

The population of the District is circa 220,000 with the average family size being five persons per household. Farming is the main source of income here with coffee being the primary cash crop.

Ethiopia

Bedesa High School, Kercha

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The Costa Foundation’s sixth school in Ethiopia, Bedesa High school is situated in Guji Zone within the Oromia Region 492 kms south west of Addis Ababa. The District is divided into 34 rural Peasant Administrations and 4 small rural towns without any social services. Currently, the District has a population of about 229,755. The total number of households is 30,794.

The Costa Foundation has provided eight fully furnished classrooms, a library block complete with text books, sanitation, fresh water supply and sports equipment, all of which are put to good use by the students during the two shifts of lessons per day.

The school now holds extra-curricular lessons on the topics of HIV/AIDS awareness, gender equality and the environment as well as having an active sports club. The lessons are run by teachers on a voluntary basis and attended by adults as well as the children.

Prior to this school being built, the children would have had to walk between 20 and 30 kms a day in order to have access to a secondary education. The dropout rate after 2nd Cycle education was previously at 91%; a figure which has now fallen to 21% since the school was constructed.

As with other parts of Ethiopia, the communities surrounding this school are agrarian and rely heavily on traditional and undeveloped agricultural production systems. Coffee is the main cash crop supported by bananas, maize and beans as secondary crops.

Ethiopia

Choche High School, Goma

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The Costa Foundation’s seventh school in Ethiopia, Choche High School is located in Goma District within Jima Zone in the Oromia Region 381 kms west of Addis Ababa. The District is divided into 36 Peasant Administrations and three small rural towns. The District has a population of 24,700 people. 62% of the entire population are aged below 20 which emphasises the need for decent educational infrastructure within this Region.

The Costa Foundation has provided eight fully furnished classrooms, a library block complete with text books, sanitation, fresh water supply and sports equipment, all of which are put to good use by the students during the two shifts of lessons per day.

The school now holds extra-curricular lessons on the topics of HIV/AIDS awareness, gender equality and the environment as well as having an active sports club. The lessons are run by teachers on a voluntary basis and attended by adults as well as the children.

Before this school was built, Goma District had one preparatory school, one high school, 42 2nd Cycle schools and 21 1st Cycle schools and there was an urgent need for additional high school facilities. The teacher to student ratio was 1:95, a figure which has dropped to 1:60 since the construction of Choche High School.

As with all schools built by the Costa Foundation, education is embedded throughout the community in rural Ethiopia, with not only the students and those who had previously not continued with their schooling now attending school, but also the parents and elders. While students are being educated, an entire community benefits from clean water, improved health and hygiene, and sustainable income-generating models that they can emulate in their own lives.

Ethiopia

Rainforest Alliance Certification Case Study

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Key facts

  • Ethiopia is recognised as the world’s “birthplace of coffee” – the first Arabica coffee plants were grown centuries ago in the country’s south-western Kaffa region.
  • It is the leading coffee producer in Africa.
  • Moss-covered mahogany trees provide a shade-canopy for coffee plants and roosts for birds and wild animals including monkeys, baboons, leopards, antelopes, hyenas, white-tailed swallows and the Prince Ruspoli’s Turaco, a colourful bird on the endangered species list.

By working with Rainforest Alliance to become more sustainable, the cooperative Coopedota R.L. (Cooperativa de Caficultores de Dota Responsabilidad Limitada), located in the Tarrazu coffee region of Costa Rica has now earned a top score at the Rainforest Alliance’s Cupping for Quality coffee tasting competition. The coop has always paid great attention to sustainability and its impact on the environment. In 2007, over 100 of its member farmers earned the Rainforest Alliance Certified seal. Four years ago, the coop began a recycling program to encourage members to keep their farms clean and not litter the environment. After initially resisting, farmers now embrace the program both on their farms and at the mill. The recycling program has since expanded from the coop to the community. Santa Maria de Dota’s 5,000 residents have learned how to best segregate waste and all participate in the program. Coop workers and their families have access to free healthcare and education in Costa Rica. Both the clinic and the school are located in the town’s central plaza. Safety signs have been placed around the coffee mill and workers wear protecting clothing. The coop owns a café in the town, where a variety of coffee-based drinks are sold to locals and to tourists passing through. With a solid marketing system in place, the farmers have increased their sales.

On the farms, workers and farmers are taking greater care of their plants, focusing on soil management, water conservation and increased shade. Miguel Badilla owns a 25-acre (10-hectare) farm 5200 feet (1600m) above sea level that is shaded by cedar, dama and poro trees.

Tree cover and the resulting shade is now the most important factor for my productivity and coffee quality. It brings several benefits for me – shade for the beans, increased productivity, less soil erosion and more wildlife,” explains Miguel Badilla.

Not only does the tree cover reduce soil erosion, but Badilla has also seen a reduction in diseases on his coffee plants. He says the increased shade has also vastly reduced plant defects.

Guatemala

Las Brisas School, Pueblo Viejo School and El Sillon School, Yupiltepeque

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Work started in July 2008 to build and furnish eight new classrooms in three schools in the Yupiltepeque region of Guatemala; Las Brisas, Pueblo Viejo and El Sillon. These were existing schools but due to an increase in the population there were insufficient facilities for the children with up to 80 children cramped in each classroom.

The new classrooms opened in February 2009 and included an innovative 3 classroom structure at Las Brisas, complete with sliding partition walls enabling the structure to be used as a community centre during the evenings. In all three schools, much-needed sanitation and clean water were provided, whilst kitchens were refurbished and security such as flood protection walls added, all ensuring a life-changing environment for teachers and students alike.

And in conjunction with the Ulrich Gurtner Kappeler Foundation, teachers have now been placed on a cultural development program to help develop a range of skills including waste management and garden work, skills which they will ultimately teach the community during evening classes.

Due to severe drought in the region during 2009, the Costa Foundation made a further donation towards setting up a child nutrition programme which provided severely malnourished children with a highly nutritious breakfast to eat before lessons commence. This donation also provided land for growing staple crops and evening classes on health and nutrition. The project success resulted in the community building a tuck shop in the grounds of each school enabling the children to sell surplus crops to generate income for the school.

Yupiltepeque is an impoverished farming community within the Department of Jutiapa lying 175 kms south east of Guatemala City. The town has a population of 13,000; is surrounded by forest and the farmers within it depend primarily on coffee supported by sugar cane, bananas, cotton and cardamom

Guatemala

Santa Teresa School, Tucuru

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March 2009 saw the start of work at Santa Teresa's Primary School in Tucuru, Guatemala. This is an indigenous Mayan Indian community, steeped in over 650 years of history and very much at the heart of coffee growing. Historically, there have never been any school facilities in Tucuru, with children having to take lessons in a local community house using temporary furniture and taught by a teacher travelling from the nearest school, some 25 kms away. The Costa Foundation provided six fully furnished classrooms, a communal activity room, new sanitation and fresh water. The building was officially opened in March 2010, much to the delight of the 280 children and eight teachers using the facilities.

Santa Teresa School now offers the only secondary education facilities in the area and is a much needed facility to help combat the high levels of illiteracy which were at 75% and generally poor school attendance driven by the lack of nearby school facilities.

Also, working in conjunction with Solidaridad, the Costa Foundation funded a social worker's salary for 3 years who ran a "life skills" programme for the entire community to foster the social, cultural and professional development of youngsters and adults, especially women, in the region. This included "ABC" lessons for the community’s women, the first ever access to education for the adult women of Tucuru.

Tucuru is situated 165 kms north east of Guatemala City in the region of Alta Verapaz. The local population is of the Q´eqchi tribe of non-Spanish speaking farmers. The need for a school here was underpinned by the fact that over 50% of the population is 14 years of age or younger.

Guatemala

Santa Clara School, Santa Catarina School and Renacimiento School, Solola

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Prior to building these schools the education infrastructure was inadequate with up to 100 children crammed into poor standard classrooms with dirt floors and leaking roofs. Demolition of the old buildings started in March 2009 and all three schools were opened in May 2010.

Two of the Costa Foundation trustees witnessed first-hand the real need for classrooms in these extremely remote areas some four hours’ drive west of Guatemala City. Now, thanks to our work with the Neumann Foundation, three fully furnished schools opened on time and within budget, much to the delight of the communities.

Santa Clara in Paquib boasts two brand new classrooms, complete with computer equipment and a new playground. Meanwhile the children at Santa Catarina School in Paquilá are benefiting from three new fully furnished classrooms, sanitation, books and even an upgraded kitchen to ensure that they eat a good lunch every day.

Finally, the Costa Foundation has converted a disused building in the heart of the Xojolá village into Renacimiento School. Xojolá (pronounced Chocolat) now has two new fully utilised classrooms, one of which is being used by the community as a computer learning centre complete with 12 new computers.

In light of learnings from Yupiltepeque in 2009, there has been further investment into a child nutrition programme. All three communities now have access to demonstration gardens and evening classes on food production and nourishment for parents and children.

The schools are situated in rural villages within the region of Solola 195 kms west of Guatemala City. It is an impoverished area with 71% of the population below the poverty line and 40% of the population being below 18 years of age. Over 90% of the population is of indigenous origin producing coffee on small farms with less than a hectare of land.

Guatemala

Santa Ana Candelaria School, Senahú

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Work began in June 2011 on an ambitious project on the side of a mountain in a remote rural area of Alta Verapaz in Guatemala. With the help of their delivery partners The Neumann foundation, the Costa Foundation identified the need for school facilities for the farmer organisations of Candelaria Senahú (100 families), St Nicholas (100 families) and Canguacha (300 families).

School facilities for these families were woefully inadequate and unable to cope with the growing number of children in the region. The indigenous tribes the school is servicing are of Queqchi origin and the school provides a bilingual education teaching in both Queqchi and Spanish.

The school also operates a “Teach a Man to Fish” form of education enabling the children to work with agricultural training integrated into the curriculum and connecting them to the work and objectives of their farming parents. This concept also enables the children to provide food for their school meals as well as to sell surplus crops to help make the school a self-financing and sustainable model.

The initial Costa Foundation investment resulted in three classrooms, an admin block, sanitation and a school canteen but due to the remoteness of the school there has been further investment to build two boarding blocks, a computer lab and two science labs.

Senahú lies 257 kms north east of Guatemala City; it is a Municipality founded by the Queqchi Mayan Indians in the 18th Century and has a population of circa 29,000. It was a major supplier of coffee to the European markets in the 1970s when the farms were owned by German farmers; however it is now farmed by indigenous individuals on small plots of land producing coffee, pepper, cardamom, cocoa and wood.

Guatemala

Canton Villa Nueva School, Guantan School & Rancho Viejo School, Huehuetenango

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Three small school projects were carried out by the Costa Foundation in February 2012 and completed in September 2012 in the Department of Huehuetenango in the Huista Region of Guatemala.

Located an eight hour drive west of Guatemala City the projects were specifically at the communities of Canton Villa Nueva (70 families), Guantan (320 families) and Rancho Viejo (600 families).

Canton Villa Nueva was lacking in school facilities so the Costa Foundation invested in a three classroom block enabling children to have a decent education within their own community. At Guantan and Rancho Viejo, the Costa Foundation invested in computer labs at two existing schools in order to give the teachers better access to teaching materials and the children the ability to learn IT skills and access a wider base of learning materials. The Local Education Authority provided trained IT teachers and the adults from both communities are now using the facilities during the evenings.

Huehuetenango is the second most populated Department in Guatemala after Guatemala City. Over 70% of the population lives in poverty and the ethnicity is amongst the most diverse in Guatemala with an estimated 65% belonging to an indigenous Maya group. Coffee is a major source of income for these people with maize and cassava as secondary crops.

An amazing 58% of the Huehuetenango population is under the age of 20 which highlights the need for educational infrastructure and support.

Guatemala

Rainforest Alliance Certification Case Study

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Key facts

  • There are three main growing regions in Guatemala: Antigua, Coban and Heuhuetanango.
  • Guatemala is the second highest producer of coffee in South America.
  • The best temperature for the healthy growth and abundant production of coffee in Guatemala is between 15.5°C and 32°C.

The Maya Forest is the most biologically diverse ecosystem in Central America, extending from Guatemala through Belize and into Mexico. It is the largest uninterrupted tropical forest north of the Amazon. The flora and fauna are threatened by deforestation, hunting and fires.

In 1990 Guatemala’s government established the Maya Biosphere Reserve (Northern Guatemala) to protect Guatemala’s precious piece of the Maya Forest. The 2.1 million hectare Maya Biosphere Reserve is divided into national protected areas, a buffer zone and multiple use zones.

The communities that lie within the 1.9 million acres designated as “multiple use” zones are able to sustainably harvest wood and other non-timber forest products, but in order to do so they are required by law to be certified.

Researchers found that the deforestation rate was 20 times higher in the reserve’s protected areas than in FSC/Rainforest Alliance Certified concessions, and the incidence of forest fires was 104 times higher in protected areas – 10.4% of land burned versus 0.1 per cent in certified concessions.

After receiving technical assistance from the Rainforest Alliance and local partners, a group of community forestry enterprises within Guatemala’s Maya Biosphere Reserve tripled its sales by selling decking, flooring and guitar parts instead of coarsely sawn lumber. Though the volume of product increased by just five per cent overall, the group’s income more than doubled, and more than 400 permanent jobs were generated annually. The growth benefited more than 10,500 people directly and 70,000 indirectly.

Vietnam

Eatar Nursery School & Cudliemnong Nursery School, Cu M’gar

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Eatar and Cudliemnong Nursery Schools are situated in the Central Highlands coffee growing region and are the first Costa Foundation projects in Vietnam. In response to Vietnamese Government legislation introduced in 2010 stating that no child can attend formal school unless they can speak Vietnamese, the Costa Foundation is building nursery schools for indigenous tribes that cannot speak Vietnamese.

The Vietnamese Government are providing the teachers for these schools to teach the national language to children aged from 3 to 6 years old, giving them a much better start at primary school in their later years.

Construction at both schools commenced in April 2011 and was completed in October 2011 providing each of the communities with three classrooms, an admin block for the teachers, sanitation, fresh water, electricity, a playground and kitchen facilities. Between both schools they are now currently educating 240 children.

Costa Foundation trustees have visited the schools and witnessed first-hand the children learning Vietnamese through poetry, song and dance and there are primary schools within walking distance for the children to attend once they leave nursery education.

Eatar School is in Drao Hamlet in the Cu M’gar district which has a population of 2,950 people of which 80% are of ethnic minority and 70% are coffee farmers.

Cudliemnong School is in Tonglea Hamlet in the Cu M’gar district which has a population of 3,250 people of which 83% are of ethnic minority and 72% are coffee farmers.

Cu M’gar is one of 13 districts of Daklak Province and is 30 km outside of Buon Ma Thuot, the capital city of Daklak Province.

Vietnam

Rainforest Alliance Certification Case Study

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Key facts

  • Robusta coffee is grown in Southern Vietnam as it is well suited to the hot and humid weather conditions. It is mostly grown on small, family-run farms of two to five acres.
  • Due to Vietnam experiencing remarkable growth in its coffee industry during a relatively short period of time it has had serious environmental impacts, highlighting the need to make the industry’s agricultural practices more sustainable.
  • The coffee harvest season runs from late October to early January in Vietnam’s central highlands.

Coffee was first introduced to Vietnam by French colonists in 1857. In 1980, Vietnam had about 22,500 hectares planted with coffee of which only half was productive and its total production was only 8,400 tonnes. The 1990s saw phenomenal growth in the area planted with coffee, export driven by the high coffee prices that prevailed until 2000, making Vietnam the world’s second largest producer country after Brazil. Coffee has seen a dramatic rise in production, with coffee now one of Vietnam’s key export commodities, generating an income of over $1.5 billion (US).

However, the proliferation of poorly managed coffee farms, where beans are cultivated with disregard for the environment, has given rise to pollution, habitat destruction and soil and water degradation as well as a significant loss of biodiversity. To counter these problems, the Rainforest Alliance has been working with some of Vietnam’s leading coffee exporters, helping them transform the crop’s production and ensure that it is being managed sustainably, benefiting both workers and the environment.

In accordance with Vietnamese law and the SAN standard, workers and farmers must be well paid, but certified coffee commands an even higher price than what these farmers had been receiving previously. Now these communities are able to invest further in the education of their children as well as provide them with up-to-date books and better quality school supplies.

Previously, wildlife conservation efforts in the area were very poor; any birds or reptiles spotted on coffee farms would have been eaten or ended up in cages. Now, as a result of becoming certified and learning about sustainability, farmers understand the importance of looking after the wildlife that surrounds them; birds help control harmful pests, and snakes consume rats that might otherwise eat the coffee berries before they can be picked.

Rainforest Alliance Certified™ coffee farms cover 4,000 acres (1,600 hectares) and are owned by 559 farmers in Vietnam. The farmers have reduced their use of agrochemicals, are separating their farm waste rather than burning it or letting it pile up around the edges of their properties, and they’ve learned about the benefits of local wildlife. Workers and their families have access to decent housing and health care, and children are able to attend school.

Peru

Rainforest Alliance Certification Case Study

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Key facts

  • Coffee is grown in lush forests, primarily by small farmers who live in remote communities scattered along the eastern slope of the Andes.
  • The region's forests are home to an astonishing array of wildlife that ranges from the spectacular cock of the rock to the spectacled bear.
  • The region's remarkable biodiversity is threatened, as farmers destroy invaluable ecosystems for subsistence agriculture. Responsible farming is essential to get farmers to adopt sustainable agriculture methods, whilst helping them to improve their standard of living.
  • To ensure the highest quality crop, members now harvest only ripe coffee fruit. They also utilize soil conservation measures, organic fertilizer and prune coffee plants every three years – all of which have helped to increase production.

With support from the United States Agency for International Development, Ensemble and other donors, Rainforest Alliance agronomists have trained hundreds of agricultural technicians from cooperatives and companies to improve coffee farm productivity. These technicians have in turn helped thousands of small holders to grow more coffee, and thereby increase their incomes, while protecting wildlife and conserving vital natural resources for future generations.

This work has resulted in thousands of Rainforest Alliance Certified™ farms, hundreds of streams and rivers that now run clean after years of being polluted; vast expanses of forest that have been spared logging and hunting; and cleaner, healthier communities where farmers have more money to invest in their children's health and education, home improvements and other amenities.

Certification has had a comparably positive impact on the environment. Farmers used to plant coffee next to streams, but now they conserve the natural vegetation along these waterways. They’ve also reduced hunting in the area, planted more than 30,000 trees, and begun composting and recycling waste. And thanks to an environmental education program at the local school, children are increasingly aware of ecological issues.

Improvements such as latrines and garbage collection have created a healthier environment for children, and the construction of chimneys for wood stoves – a requirement for certification – has resulted in fewer respiratory illnesses.

Honduras

Rainforest Alliance Certification Case Study

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Key facts

  • The economy is based on agriculture and farming is a way of life for many Honduran families.
  • Coffee and bananas are the two main crops grown and exported.
  • The high elevations and abundant rainfall of the interior mountains of Honduras provide good conditions for growing coffee, and there are many coffee farms or fincas found in these areas.
  • Many farmers have chosen to grow their coffee in the shade of trees, so that they can grow and sell high-quality coffee beans whilst also protecting the rainforest.

Rainforest Alliance certification of coffee farms in Honduras has helped farmers and farm workers sell their coffee beans. It has also created a safer environment for the children on the farm because they use little to no chemicals.

One of the biggest threats to farming of coffee and other crop in Honduras is deforestation, which is occurring at a rate of 3,000 square kilometres per year – if deforestation continues at this rate, Honduras will be left treeless within the next 20 years.

Erosion is just one of the many negative impacts that deforestation has on the environment. Without trees and other plant growth to hold the nutrient-rich topsoil in place, heavy rains easily wash away the soil, leaving behind earth that cannot easily regenerate the lost trees and plant life.

The rainforests of Honduras are home to a wealth of biodiversity. Scarlet macaws, tapirs, butterflies, white-tailed deer, jaguars, toucans, sloths, and armadillos are just some of the many animals that depend on the rainforests here for food and shelter.

In the Río Plátano Biosphere Reserve of Honduras, the Rainforest Alliance and local partners have worked with 12 community forestry cooperatives to provide technical assistance, training and access to new markets.

A 2010 study determined that even though the volume of their output increased by only 33%, their income rose by 128% - largely due to the improved quality of the sawn timber.