Peoples Coffee started out ten years ago as a social enterprise, before that term was part of our common vernacular. This year we have allocated a specific fund dedicated to supporting social initiatives within our community here in New Zealand, and at coffee origin. Our recent partnership with Wellington’s Multicultural Learning and Support Services (MCLaSS) for their World Refugee Day fundraising has proven the idea a success.
We have the regular privilege of serving MCLaSS teachers and students at our Constable Street Café as one of their classes takes place right across the road. We were stoked when MCLaSS approached us to formalise this relationship and in a way, complete the circle by giving back to some of our most loyal customers.
“We realised that Peoples Coffee has a kaupapa of giving back to the community, and we felt we could build a relationship on that” says Mary Collie-Holmes from MCLaSS. She had been involved with Miramar’s Holy Cross School in developing a class to provide English language tutoring for migrant and refugee parents within the school community. The successful programme had caught the attention of a teacher at Berhampore school. His idea was to provide evening tutorials for parents, to strengthen their conversational English skills. The participants and their children would share a meal, then the school’s teachers would provide acivities for the children while their parents would learn and practice new conversation skills. Mary stresses the importance of English skills for parents, in taking an active role in their children’s education, and being part of the school community.
Designing a teaching programme, employing tutors, and providing meals costs money, and funding can be hard to come by. This is where Peoples Coffee comes in. On World Refugee Day, the 20th of June, we donated all the proceeds from our café towards the project. Café Manager Eileen says it was a really great turnout, and customers were thrilled to learn more about, and support MCLaSS’ work.
We were also invited to be part of a fundraising speaker event held at the excellent Preservatorium Café and Cannery, where Roaster Rene provided samples of single origin roasts from some of MClaSS’ clients’ home countries, along with expert home brewing tips. Green MP Jan Logie, and Wellington Mayor Celia Wade-Brown were amongst those who came to the event to support Wellington’s refugee and migrant community. Jan Logie, on the Greens’ facebook page, says “On World Refugee Day it’s important to acknowledge the amazing work that goes on behind the scenes in New Zealand” and we couldn’t agree more.
We are delighted that our support has contributed to MCLaSS and Berhampore School’s project being able to go ahead in August, and we look forward to continuing our relationship, and continuing to put our social initiatives fund to good use.
If you’d like to know more about MCLaSS, check out their website.
(Photos courtesy of Jan Logie and the Green Party’s facebook page).
July 16th, 2014