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Full Time, Full Beans

By Hannah Nunn

Full Time, Full Beans

Two weeks ago I stepped down after 20 years as a Paediatric nurse to focus on Kickstart Coffee. I am delighted with the impact we have already had and looking forward to what we can achieve now it's my primary focus. Looking forward to learning new skills and seeing how much we can achieve.

The impact of Covid in Uganda has been devastating therefore we have focused on providing food to the local community. Weekly food parcels have been made which includes posho, beans, eggs, mushrooms, silverfish, motoke and soap. Supporting the local community is one of our key purposes and we feel grateful to be able to support so many during this difficult time.  

From the current subscriptions we are now able to cover Andrew and Joshua’s teachers salaries. With your help our ambition is to support all of the 15 teachers at the school. 

We were recently featured in Velvet magazine which gives you more information on Kickstart Coffee and our story so far.

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More Kickstart beans coming!

By Hannah Nunn

More Kickstart beans coming!

This month we’re delighted to report that Stewart has continued to recover from his heart operation that took place in May. Agnes this week shared that Stewart is enjoying singing for the first time without being out of breath. His operation and recovery has been life changing and we look forward to watching him grow and develop.

In addition to funding Stewart’s operation, Kickstart Coffee has paid for two teacher’s salaries. It’s a privilege to support the teachers that are working hard to deliver education to the children attending the school. Schools in Uganda are still not fully opened due to another Covid surge but the children that live at the school have been able to continue their education during this difficult time. Supporting the teachers means that they will remain in a paid job and do not need to look for other incomes to support their families. 

We have just placed an order for a tonne of green beans from Mount Elgon, Uganda. Since August we will have imported 2.1 tonnes! The green beans are AA grade which is a premium quality. The farmers are preparing to start the drying and pulping process before shipping to the UK. We expect the beans to arrive at the beginning of August. Buying direct means we can ensure the hundreds of farmers that grow the coffee plants are able to support their families.. Fun fact: Did you know that the coffee beans are called cherries before they are pulped?

Kickstart goes wholesale! We are delighted  to have secured our first wholesale deal. We’ll be delivering Kickstart beans in 5kg reusable tubs minimising packaging costs. Please do get in touch if you know of any local business that use coffee beans and would like to support our project. We are also preparing to attend farmers markets in the coming months which will help spread the Kickstart story as well as increase our sales. We are always grateful for your support and love of coffee. 

For fathers day, there is free shipping in the UK until Wednesday 16th June using discount code: FATHERSDAY

 

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Celebrating Stewart's Recovery

By Hannah Nunn

Celebrating Stewart's Recovery

We are delighted that Stewart is recovering well from his heart operation which took place as planned on Friday.

Agnes and Christine stayed with Stewart for the past week supporting and caring for him during his hospital stay. On the day of his surgery he woke up early excited for the day ahead. The operation took around three hours followed by three hours of recovery in intensive care. Later that day Stewart moved back to the general ward. The nurses visited regularly to give him pain relief, antibiotics and to check his pulse. Yesterday Stewart was in some pain, finding it hard to move and walk. This is to be expected for any major operation and we’re grateful Stewart had Agnes and Christine to provide all his care and help him eat.

Today Stewart has woken up with his usual smile and looks healthy and happy. We have attached a small video of him in hospital with Christine.

Stewart has an echo scan tomorrow before being discharged into Agnes’ care to continue his recovery at her home.

We are very grateful for the skilled surgeons and nurses that have given Stewart the chance of a better life. This has all been achieved by your support.

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Operation Heart Update

By Hannah Nunn

Operation Heart Update

We are delighted to have reached our target of £1,500 for Stewart's heart operation. The funds have come from coffee sales as well as the GoFundMe campaign. Stewart’s two cardiac conditions that require surgery are a large patent ductus arteriosus (PDA) and a moderate sized ventricular septal defect (VSD) causing high blood pressure in his lungs (pulmonary hypertension).

Stewart will be admitted to the Uganda Heart Institute on Tuesday in preparation for his surgery. We are unsure of when his surgery will but it could be as early as Wednesday. Because Stewart is an orphan he will have Agnes  with him in the hospital until he is discharged. 

We were delighted to hear Christine, a recently qualified nurse and ex-pupil of The Early Learning School has been allowed to move wards and nurse Stewart in his post operative recovery. It's wonderful to know that someone will be caring for Stewart and will be able to quickly identify any issues with his recovery. We will continue to raise money in case there are complications and if additional tests are required.

If you fancy trying something a little different, we currently have a limited edition honey processed coffee available on the website. Honey process is a method in which coffee cherries are picked and sorted, have their skins and pulps removed —but are then dried without washing off the sticky-sweet outer layer of the fruit. The coffee has an extra sweetness and is delicious.

The children at the school have made a special video promoting Kickstart Coffee. Hope you enjoy watching and please let us know what you think.

As always, thank you for all your support and we will keep you updated on Stuart’s progress.

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Operation Heart

By Hannah Nunn

Operation Heart

Stewart (7) has lived at the Early Learning School in Entebbe since he was orphaned at one. Stewart’s energy and passion for life is bounding.  He particularly loves riding his bike and sweeping! There has been ongoing concerns about his fast breathing and poor weight gain. As Stewart says himself his heart is ‘banging’. Stewart had an appointment at a local hospital in Kampala in early April that diagnosed him with two heart conditions.  The first is a large patent ductus arteriosus (PDA) and the second a moderate sized ventricular septal defect (VSD) causing high blood pressure in his lungs (pulmonary hypertension).

Stewart is booked in for surgery at the Uganda Heart Institute in Kampala on 11th May for an operation on the 14th May.  Until then he will be taking cardiac medications to support his heart and to help his breathing.

Stuart's operation, like the majority of medical treatments in Uganda, has to be funded privately. To raise the £1,500 needed we have launched ‘Operation Heart’.

All profits from coffee sales over the next few weeks will help fund Stewart’s operation so please do continue to refer friends and post on social media. If you’re already stocked up on coffee you can also donate here.

As always, thank you for all your support and we will keep you updated on Stuart’s progress.

 

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Easter update

By Hannah Nunn

Easter update

The children have enjoyed a special Easter meal this weekend of meat, rice and watermelon. This is a real treat because their staple food is posho and beans. They have recorded an Easter message in the video below. 

Education in Uganda is still on pause for the younger children due to Covid. The older children have returned to school and funds from Kickstart Coffee have paid for many of their school fees. In preparation for returning to school the children recently received their new school uniforms . 

We are eagerly awaiting 600kg of green beans soon to be leaving Entebbe airport. Once they have cleared customs they will be roasted at Coffee World, Cambridge in small batches to ensure it’s always fresh. 

Thank you for continuing to support the school by buying Kickstart Coffee. If you’d like to support us even more, sharing about Kickstart Coffee on local social media groups with a recommendation always gets a great response so is much appreciated!

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From crop to plate

By Hannah Nunn

From crop to plate

With food prices on the rise the school has started growing their own maize to help feed the 120 children. 

 

Maize is a staple in Uganda and can be eaten on the cobs which are either cooked or roasted. Maize flour is also used to prepare a local paste called posho. The children at the school often eat posho and beans.

The maize is grown in Gayaza, a 50 minute drive from Entebbe. The resident farmer cares for the crop and when the maize is mature the children come to the land to help harvest the crop. Maize matures very quickly and within 3-4 months the crop is ready to harvest enabling two harvests a year - each typically yielding around two tonnes. Once the maize has been harvested it is brought to the school ready to be dried in the sun before the kernels are removed from the stem by hand! This is a long time consuming process, but the children enjoy helping. Once the kernels have been separated they are put into sacks ready to be ground into the flour that is used to make the posho. 

As well as feeding the children at the school, the posho is also provided to single mothers in the local community. A proportion is also sold to help provide finance for the school. 

If the maize isn’t stored correctly it can become infested with insects and end up going to waste. Profits from Kickstart Coffee will enable the maize to be ground into flour and stored in a dry safe place away from insects. By growing their own food the children are learning important life skills as well as enabling them to have a sustainable food source.

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Out with the old in with the new!

By Hannah Nunn

Out with the old in with the new!

It's been a busy month for Kickstart Coffee sourcing new packaging and labels. It turns out there’s a whole packaging world out there! Our current packaging is compostable, which we believed to be the most eco friendly. However, well managed composting is required for it to breakdown fully and if not disposed of correctly can contaminate recycling. Your feedback has been that currently recyclable is far more practical.  

In the hunt for the most sustainable recyclable and carbon neutral premium packaging we came across Dutch Coffee Pack. The new bags look amazing which is a massive bonus, next step is to stick our newly designed labels on the bags! Please continue to give us feedback about everything we do to help us make the best choices, not just for the children we support and the coffee farmers but all aspects of what we do. 

We received a great video from the children in Uganda thanking you for buying the coffee. Only primary school children in Uganda are back at school due to Covid restrictions. Luckily for the children at the school lessons are continuing for all the orphaned and disadvantaged children living at the school. We hope you enjoy watching the video. Thank you from the children and us for your continued support and Kickstart orders.

 

 

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