Over 2.25 billion cups of coffee are consumed in the world everyday. Have you ever stopped to think how your morning brew could make a difference in the lives of others?

Three alumni from our leadership program in Tanzania, Davide Ravazzoni, Carol Zoner and Angie Namenuk, considered this question as a result of their participation in their “Immersion Week” in Kagera Region in 2016. Pepal, in collaboration with Roche Pharmaceutica, ICAP Tanzania and Ministry of Health Tanzania (MohCDGEC) runs the NJIA program in Kagera to improve the leadership skills of international pharmaceutical employees and local healthcare workers over a six month period. Participants are brought together for one week in Kagera to learn new leadership competencies and to put them into practice by co-creating innovative solutions to tackle the high cervical cancer burden in the region (known as the “Immersion Week”). The ideas generated from this week are then implemented over the following 5-6 months and results shared at a Handover meeting in Basel, Switzerland, and Bukoba, Tanzania.

Davide, Carol, and Angie decided to extend their six month commitment to improving health outcomes for women in Tanzania by setting up the Kahawa Foundation. “Kahawa” means coffee in Kiswahili, and during their time in Tanzania as part of the NJIA program, the three founders wondered if the abundant coffee produced in Kagera Region could be sold at their workplace in San Francisco to generate funds to implement projects to save women’s lives in Tanzania.

One such project which is underway is the building of a reproductive child health unit at Nyaishozi Dispensary in Karagwe District in Kagera Region. This building will provide women with the privacy they need to be screened for cervical cancer, and for other reproductive health-related matters.

For more information about the work they do, please make sure to visit their website by clicking this link.