About the Costa Foundation
- The Costa Foundation started in 2007.
- The mission is to improve the life chances of boys and girls in coffee growing communities by providing the opportunities of a safe, quality education.
- The Costa Foundation aims are to:
- Advance education
- Prevent or relieve poverty
- Advance health practices and help save lives
- Advance environmental protection and improvement
The Costa Foundation in Africa
Since 2008, the Costa Foundation has built 18 schools in Africa and has made a real difference to so many lives. A lot of attention has been focused on coffee growing communities in that part of the world, because in Africa, only one in four children are able to access high school education.
In Uganda alone, the Costa Foundation has funded seven schools in coffee-growing communities, with three more being built during 2015. Back in 2010 before any of those seven schools were built, you would have stood in seven different rural sub-counties and all you would have seen would be beautiful green hills and lush vegetation, with huts dotted all over. In every one of those seven Ugandan sub-counties back in 2010, all the parents knew was that their children would likely not have a secondary education and be poor for their whole lives, just as their parents and grandparents had been before them.
In the monitoring and evaluation of Costa Foundation schools, there is a very clear focus on girls' education. Culturally in Africa, girls are more likely to be kept at home to do chores, work in the fields, or get married and have children at any age. 32% of girls with no education are married by the age of 15, but this drops to 9% for girls with a secondary education.
Costa Foundation has made a real impact on Dursitu Anole’s life. Dusitu was born in Bule Hora District, Oroma region, in 1994. Her parents are farmers and do not have enough money to fulfil the basics needs of Dursitu, her three sisters, and brother. Neither of her parents went to school but since Dursitu was a child her ambition was to learn, she always wanted to go to school. In 2001, her parents decided to let her join Kilenso Rasa Elementary School, but unfortunately there were no high schools near Keiloenso Rasa, which left Dursitu devastated and disappointed, leading her close to the path of getting married. In Duristu’s community, girls do not get the chance to go to school; parents do not usually have the income to support their education and often don’tunderstand the benefit of girls gaining an education. These parents are also afraid that their daughters will be abducted when travelling to school so their daughters are made to marry, which is what happened to Dursitu. Fortunately, before Dursitu got married the Costa Foundation began to build a high school nearby. This was a great moment for her and her parents, who decided against her marriage.
Dursitu attended the Costa Foundation school build nearby and became an active member of a Gender Club to bring change in the empowerment of girls. Her favourite lessons were English and Biology, and after finishing school, Dursitu decided to study Natural Science, joining the Bule Hora Preparatory School in2012, training to be a Physician for the purpose of treating rural communities from different types of diseases. Once Dursitu has completed this course, she wants to join University to learn further.
“I’m totally changed now; proud of myself, strong minded and positive thinker i.e ready to help others help themselves like Costa Foundation have been doing so. I don’t want to end my story without thanking Costa Foundation since the organisation has played a big role in my life. Finally, I would like to transfer a message to all to go to school and learn as education can change human life. Without education there is no change, no better life and no development.” Dursitu Anole.
17 year-old Beatrice attends the Costa Foundation high school in rural Uganda. Beatrice’s enthusiasm and passion for school masks the hardships that she faces when she is at home. As the oldest of four children, she is expected to help out with the domestic chores, including fetching water, cleaning and looking after family members. Having never met her father, it falls to Beatrice to be the main care-giver when her mother and one of her younger brothers, who are both HIV positive, became ill. When her mum is too sick to work, it is Beatrice who steps into her shoes and continues with the subsistence farming to earn a living. Despite these difficulties, Beatrice fully understands the importance of staying in school. Although she occasionally misses lessons due to her household responsibilities, Beatrice is always welcomed back into class.
Beatrice loves her school and she has made some close friendships. She enjoys the rivalry between the girls and the boys in class, and while she doesn’t think the boys can debate as well as she does, she recognises their abilities in maths and science. Her ambition is to complete her studies and eventually return to her home community – but this time as a teacher, so she can continue to prepare others with the skills they need in the classroom and also in life.
For the seven sub-counties where Costa has built schools in Uganda, the future of the children that live there has been transformed. Taking a look in 2015, in those seven sub-counties we see children emerge from those huts, in the distinctive bright orange uniform of their school, clutching their books and watched by their younger siblings who will follow them to school next year.
”For us in Uganda they say, when you educate a girl, you educate a nation. It is very important for a girl to be in school, because she is the one who leads and teaches the family”. Beatrice.