Tanzania Partnership

The Mt. Meru Coffee Project needs your help! In order to pay a fair price for the coffee we buy from our Tanzanian partnership farmers, the project has a surplus of coffee to sell, and needs the proceeds in order to purchase this year’s harvest. If each congregation sells at least five additional 12 oz. bags of coffee each month, the problem will be solved. Mt. Meru coffee is available every Sunday in both regular and decaf, beans, drip and single-serve packages. If we are out of the package you want, just ask and coffee will be delivered the following week. Doing justice never tasted so good! Please contact Shirley Wehmeier if you want more information, pwehmeier@wi.rr.com.

Mt. Meru Coffee Project: Doing Justice Never Tasted So Good

The Greater Milwaukee Synod’s Mt. Meru Coffee Project is offering an incentive program called Teaming Up In Mission through all of 2016. For every $10 bag of coffee sold, $1 will be directed to hunger relief efforts. Ascension will use any money collected through coffee sales for hunger relief within our new partnership. The Global Partners Team will personally match every mission dollar that we earn through coffee sales. This means that for every bag sold, $2 will be sent to Maroroni, Samaria, and Kilima Moja parishes. Please stop by the coffee cart on Sunday morning, take the challenge, and buy a bag of coffee! Asante sana! Thank you very much!


Did you know?

mt meru coffee1. The Mt. Meru Coffee Project (MMCP) is part of the faith- based relationship which started in 1996 between the Diocese of Meru of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Tanzania (ELCT) and the Greater Milwaukee Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America (ELCA).2. The MMCP originated 3 years later, in 1999, when a small coffee farmer said to a visiting Milwaukee Pastor: “We grow coffee; you drink coffee; would you buy your coffee from us?”

3. The MMCP’s mission is to develop and grow justice-based relationships, building on fair trade practices between the Meru coffee growers and U.S. coffee consumers.

4. The Project has sought to follow the pricing and practices of established Fair Trade programs. It began paying the farmers $2/lb for their green coffee at a time when the market price was less than $1/pound. When the market price rose to $2.50/lb, the Project paid the farmers $2.80/lb. Today, the Project is paying farmers $2.20/lb compared to a market price of $1.50/lb.

5. The premium price paid by the MMCP has benefited other farmers as well because other coffee buyers have had to raise their prices to remain competitive.

6. The justice-based pricing has enabled the farmers to support their families, send their children to school, access healthcare, sustain and improve their farms, and support their local cooperatives, villages and churches.

7. In 2001, the Project started working with about 200 small farmers (having less than three acres of land) and imported coffee for the first time. Today, the Project works with over 2,000 small coffee farmers.

8. The Project has imported, roasted, packaged and distribut- ed an average of 8 to 12 tons of coffee per year, totaling over 100 tons from 2001 through 2013.

9. The greater portion of the coffee is being sold through churches within the Greater Milwaukee Synod. Coffee is also being sold to other churches of other denominations and lo- cations outside of the Synod and to coffee shops, restaurants, and private label coffee roasters.

10. Both regular and decaf coffee is available in whole bean, drip grind, perk grind, and green (unroasted) form. Four flavored regular and decaf coffees are also available in drip grind. Single cup servings (K-cups) of regular coffee will be available in April.

11. Although the MMCP does not directly fund Meru-Mil- waukee Partnership activities, it is the single largest project of the Partnership. It involves 75-80 churches within the Synod and helps create awareness and support for other projects within the Diocese of Meru, such as: a hospital and clinic, schools and scholarship programs, hunger relief and water supply programs, and parish-to-parish partnering.

12. Our ongoing purchase of Mt. Meru Coffee is the single most important way in which we can grow the relationships of this Project, supporting thousands of small family farmers in Tanzania.

Nkoaranga Hospital

Nkoaranga Hospital is performing over twenty orthopedic surgeries a month without an x-ray machine! The good news is that a team of German doctors has promised, through the Rotary Club Germany, that they will receive the budget needed to buy the x-ray machine. However, there will be extra costs and unforeseen costs, such as buying power protection materials, preparation of the room for installation, transporting the machine, and final installation. The Greater Milwaukee Synod Meru Committee has agreed to raise the money for this project. If you are interested in this important endeavor, contact Shirley Wehmeier or Sarah Aparicio, pwehmeier@wi.rr.com or weh22@hotmail.com.

Tanzania Water Project

tanzania water projectDid you know that Ascension, along with other congregations in the Greater Milwaukee Synod, supports the Tanzania Water Project? Like many poor nations around the world, Tanzania suffers from serious issues involving safe water. In a nation where one third of the country is arid to semi-arid, it is very difficult for people to find access to clean, sanitary water if they don’t live near one of the three major lakes that border the country. As a result, Tanzania’s ground water is the major source of water for the nation’s people; however, it’s not always clean. Many of these ground water wells are located near or next to toxic drainage systems, which leak into the fresh ground water and contaminate it. Consequently, Tanzanians turn to surface water which contains things like bacteria or human waste; and people have no choice but to drink from, bathe in, or wash their clothes in these areas. According to the Tanzania national website, water-borne illnesses, such as malaria and cholera account for over half of the diseases affecting the population, because people don’t have access to sanitary options.

In a household where money is scarce, daughters and mothers have to spend several hours each day walking to get water from pumps and they run the risk of being attacked or raped. Young girls often drop out of school in order to collect the water that is needed for the family. The Water Project works with the Tanzanian people to provide safe and clean water so that the families have this life sustaining resource.

Upcoming Tanzania Partnership Events

Back to School in Mt. Meru – Help Tanzanian students return to school this fall. Read how…