News

Alternative gifts and decaf at last!

By Hannah Nunn

Alternative gifts and decaf at last!

We have had a busy October launching Mutuntu Roast and preparing to go live with our Christmas online shop. Mutuntu means ‘afternoon’ in Lugandan and we thought it was the perfect name for our decaf. Look forward to hearing your feedback.

 

We are delighted that our profit continues to grow month on month. We continue to reach out to businesses who supply coffee. We would love to hear from you if there is an opportunity to supply your workplace.

This month we have been able to support three full time teachers and provide food to the local community for the month of November. During November children who live in the community but attend The Early Learning School will receive weekly food parcels. Families in the local community are hungry due to lack of jobs, therefore a community project has been set up to ensure that the children do not go hungry.

Christmas is coming! (too soon?)

As we approach Christmas we have launched ‘gifts with meaning’. Gifts that you can buy for your friends and family to support the children at the school. We have eleven different gifts for you to choose from. The money from each gift purchased will be sent to Uganda after Christmas. Your gift will be presented inside a blank Christmas card ready for you to write your own personal message. Our cards are designed and printed in Cambridge, UK by Triple Kiss Designs and printed on recycled coffee grain paper.

For those living in and around Cambridge we are hosting a special Christmas craft market on 27th November in Madingley Village Hall (CB23 8AB) where you can come and buy gifts from independent small businesses. We will be selling coffee as well as beautiful Ugandan handmade Christmas decorations.

Thank you again for your continued support and for all your orders.

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Happy Birthday!

By Hannah Nunn

Happy Birthday!

The first bag of Kickstart Coffee was sold one year ago today. It's been a year of learning, growth and interesting challenges and rewarding to know the impact your choice of coffee has had. We have sold over 1,000 bags of coffee, introduced a new blend, and launched the reusable tubs. A highlight is The Bradfield Centre becoming our first business customer. Thank you for your continued support, please continue to spread the word.

September's summary:

  • There is now an official date from the Ugandan government when schools will be reopened. Secondary schools will open in November with primary aged children returning in January 2021. We remain grateful that the children at the school have had support from teachers during the official school closure. We continue to fund 3 full time teachers with an ambition to increase this to 11.   
  • We are grateful that we were able to cover the cost for local welders to come and repair the swings and slides at the school.

Coming soon, stickers on each bag to let you know the impact of every purchase . 

Finally, Gregg Romano, founder of Coffee Code, has written a blog about our journey and purpose. 

Thank you again for supporting Kickstart Coffee.

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Kickstart highlights

By Hannah Nunn

Kickstart highlights

This month we have sent money for three full time teachers and have introduced a weekly fruit delivery for the children. Schools continue to be closed but we are thankful that the children staying at the Early Learning School are safe and continuing to receive support and education from the teaching staff.

August's highlights:

  • Andrew, one of the teachers, has completed his writing course and has finished his first edition of a children’s book about the story of Stewart who has recently recovered from a heart operation.
  • Children sat their primary leaving exams with great results. Those children will move to secondary school when the schools reopen. Daisy discovered that painting is her passion during the pandemic and now hopes to study art in college.
  • The school has continued to support the community's single mothers with food items such as posho, beans and eggs.

We are now supplying coffee to local businesses and farm shops. This is a significant step and means that we can raise more money for the children and school. If you know of local businesses that may be interested, please do introduce us!

Thank you again for supporting Kickstart Coffee.

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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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