Malawian widows who have been helped by the Bjorgaas Foundationin their coffee-farming visited Taiwan’s Pingtung County to express their appreciation.
Accoridng to Taipei Times, the foundation and FamilyMart convenience stores have worked together for the past four years to help support Malawi through donations and coffee sales.
Three widows sang Malawian songs to express their appreciation to the foundation.
Serrah, one of the women, said that thanks to Taiwanese and the foundation, she has the means to raise chickens and hogs and that she one day hopes to build her own house.
Bjorgaas Foundation executive director Chou Wen-chen said the foundation has been helping Malawian widows through a community organization called Chitatata to be self-reliant by providing subsidies and skills assistance since 2005. The women have used some of the profits from raising chickens to build a day-care center.
Coffee is a major source of revenue for Malawi — the world’s eighth-poorest country — and due to exploitation by intermediaries, as well as fluctuations in the market, many coffee growers often cannot make a living.
The foundation purchases coffee from small farmers, and roasts and packages it for sale in Taiwan, with profits going to the community program in Malawi.
A spokesman for FamilyMart said that the public can help by giving small change, donating small sums or buying coffee.
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