The Kahawa Foundation was founded in November 2016 by Angie, Carol and Davide following an inspiring and life changing journey to the Kagera Region of rural Tanzania near the shores of Lake Victoria.
On this journey, Kahawa's founders visited and worked with local health care leaders to identify needs and solutions to reduce the burden of cervical cancer in the area. Cervical cancer is the number one cancer killer for women in Tanzania, even though these deaths would be preventable with the proper screening and treatment available in other developed countries. During the long hours they spent traveling to remote health facilities, and the countless coffee farms they passed, help spawned an idea: What if we were able to import coffee beans to financially support the local farmers and use the proceeds from coffee sales to improve cervical cancer education, screening and treatment for women in the region?
The three returned energized and committed to improving the lives of women and their families and began to explore how to bring their idea to life. Grown out of their passion to make a difference as well as their diverse professional experience in health care, life sciences, procurement and people development, the Kahawa Foundation became a reality.
WHY CERVICAL CANCER?
In Tanzania, cervical cancer is the 1st most common female cancer in women aged 15 to 44 years old and the 1st leading cause of cancer-related deaths among Tanzanian women. However, cervical cancer is preventable through regular screening and treatment.
The Coffee Connection
In its first year of operation, the Kahawa Foundation ("Kahawa" means coffee in Swahili), created partnerships with Mountanos Family Coffee and Tea in Petaluma, California as well Pepal, based in the U.K. They imported 3,000 pounds of choice arabica beans from the Muleba district, and with the help of Mountanos, developed their signature Muleba Blend. Bon Appétit also partnered with Kahawa to sponsor coffee sales in local campus cafeterias and coffee shops. By the end of 2017, Kahawa had raised more than $40,000.