It’s no secret that many rural coffee-producing communities worldwide exist well below the poverty line. For many communities, coffee is a lifeline crop that keeps them functioning, but not necessarily thriving. For the Wau community in Papua New Guinea’s Morobe Province, a subsistence income is not enough to run a town with multiple needs, not the least of which is education for the area’s children.
In 2009 Dimattina Coffee partnered with Sustainable Management Services (SMS) to help with the construction and ongoing development of Banisu Elementary School. Dimattina purchases coffee from the local farmers at a premium price which is directly re-invested into the requirements of the school. Since 2010 these premiums have allowed the school to build two new kit classrooms, concrete flooring, toilet facilities and a 9000L water tank. It has also paid for desks, chairs, books and stationary. Most recently, Banisu has received 90 student activity books, 340 maths books, over 100 shirts and caps as well as numerous teacher resource materials.
Quality education is one of the most important things for a community like Wau to possess; with greater knowledge, future generations will be able to shape the community with ideas such as sustainable farming and investment practices. The children of Wau now have a much brighter future with many more doors open to them as a direct result of having this school as a central part of their town. Over the last several years, attendance has grown dramatically with 6 teachers and 304 students in 2013 to 12 teachers and 472 students in 2018. The focus for 2018 will be on early childhood education and getting more children to begin their schooling early. Dimattina is extremely proud to be part of this great initiative and is committed to the ongoing support of the Wau community.