Growing trees – and computer skills

Each year, we invite the people who supply our coffee (and our tea) to apply for the Taylors Grant Scheme. It’s a way to fund social and environmental improvements on farms and co-operatives. Our supplier comes up with an idea, and we each fund half the cost – up to £2,000 in each case.

Last year, there were so many good ideas that we made the scope of grants scheme became quite a bit bigger – and we funded around 50 projects in total. They’re all now in progress or completed, so we thought we’d bring you up to date on a few of them.

Nandi Tea, Kenya

Kenya - Nandi classroom 2

What has been achieved?
Nandi Tea, one of our suppliers from West of the Rift Valley in Kenya, have constructed a classroom for grade one and two pupils on their site. Nandi Tea previously had an Early Childhood Development Centre on site which is managed by the factory, but the nearest primary school was located 8km away. Before this grant, young children in grade one and two (aged 6-8) had to make the journey to school mainly on foot along a busy main road. This resulted in many parents keeping their children at the Early Childhood Development Centre at Nandi Tea when they should have made the move to primary school, due to fears for their safety on this long walk.

How much did we donate?
Just over £2,100, which Nandi Tea are match funding themselves.

Who has benefited?
The two new classrooms which this grant has helped to build will mean that the children of the tea factory workers and others from the local community can continue their learning at the correct level for their age, without having to risk a dangerous journey to and from school. In 2014, 120 children will benefit from the new classrooms, with many more set to benefit in years to come. In early 2014 the foundations were laid for the new classrooms, which are now fully constructed.

How will this be maintained?
Nandi Tea have expressed their commitment to continuing to fund the construction of more classrooms, with a grade three classroom next on their list.

Eastern Outgrowers Trust, Malawi

Malawi - trees 1

What has been achieved?
With the help of a grant, Eastern Outgrowers Trust in Malawi have planted 50,000 indigenous tree seedlings

How much did we donate?
Just over £1,600.

Who has benefited?
The project aims to benefit the wider community through contributing towards the mitigating effects of climate change. In addition, the project will work directly with smallholder tea growers to plant trees on their own land.

How will the project be maintained?
Of the 50,000 tree seedlings which have been propogated, 20,000 will be planted on a 7 acre plot of land at Kangaza tea block close to the foot of Mulanje mountain, while the remaining 30,000 will be distributed to Eastern Outgrowers Trust farmers to be planted on their own land.

Sorwathe Tea Factory, Rwanda

Rwanda - Kinihira computers students

What has been achieved?
Through our grant we helped build a dedicated computer laboratory at Kinihira Secondary School, which is situated close to Sorwathe Tea Factory in Rwanda. Most children of the factory’s employees attend the school. Before Sorwathe applied to the Taylors Social and Environmental Support Grant Scheme 2013, the school had 500 students but only five computers, which were very old and not in good condition. Through this project, a new computer lab has been built, which has now been filled with computers and furniture.

How much did we donate?
£2,000 which Sorwathe match funded, as well as fundraising through other grants.

Who has benefited?
The laboratory was opened in April 2014 at a special ceremony involving students and the local community, and is now in use daily. All students at the school can use the lab to learn computer skills, and the lab will be available to students for many years in the future.

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