Hospital to sell coffee to send Ugandan children to school

Visitors and staff at East Yorkshire’s hospitals will be using their coffee breaks to send children to school in Uganda.

Hull and East Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust is teaming up with Hull Collegiate to support the school’s “Safi Coffee” initiative to pay for Ugandan children to go to school and break the cycle of poverty.

Profits from every cup of coffee sold to staff or visitors will help to fund the £180 it costs to send a child in Uganda to school for a year.

Ann Mason, the trust’s head of facilities, said the trust will sell Safi Coffee at the café on the ground floor of Hull Women and Children’s Hospital from today.

She said: “As one of Hull’s largest employers, we feel we have a social obligation to support the schools in our area. We heard about this project and thought this was a very good idea for a very good cause.”

Hull Collegiate students were inspired to set up the initiative during a school trip to the south west region in 2015 when they saw pre-school children in their bare feet using machetes on farmland because they did not have the chance to go to school.

When they found out it cost just £180 to pay for a child to attend school in Uganda for a year, including the cost of accommodation, food, uniform and healthcare, the school set up Safi Coffee – which means pure and fresh in Swahili – to sell Ugandan coffee.

Using grant funding and the support of local businesses, the school imports Ugandan coffee to sell across the UK, with every penny of profit from Safi Coffee paying for Ugandan children to go to school.

Rated as one of the best tasting coffees in the world and the first time the gourmet coffee has been sold in Europe, the initiative also creates farming jobs.

Head of Estates Ann Mason with Catering Manager Neil Woods

The school’s website states: “Why would we do this? Why not? We have no extravagant CEO salaries to pay, no shareholders to satisfy; just a group of pupils determined to make a difference.

“Children have designed the packaging, painted the logo and are managing the accounts. They are learning about key business skills. It makes sense, for both us and them. It makes a difference.”

Talks to finalise the trial project are now being held between the hospital trust and the school staff.

Ann Mason said: “Not only will we promote and sell the coffee in our outlet, we’ll also sell the coffee beans and the ground coffee. Every penny of profit from their sales will go to their cause.

“We’re inviting students from the school to set up a stand in the café where they can give information to the public about their project to send children to school in Uganda.”