Helping a young person grow up well is a complicated endeavor. However, sometimes small steps make a big difference. Subida Coffee Co.’s greater organization, the Moses Project, operates with a mission of empowering youth with education. In Santa Rosa de Copan, coffee growth and purchases from customers in North America invest in students’ futures. In this post, we take a deeper dive into one of our favorite topics—helping young people prepare for their future. We invite you to another kind of coffee break—a respite from focusing on the beans and beverage. On this break, we focus on helping youth reach higher and expand their horizons.
Instilling Hope for a Bright Future
Many people think that impacting the lives of children and teenagers is only possible through a series of coordinated, intervening actions. That’s not the case. If we were to reduce life improvement to the smallest actions a person can take to make the biggest impact on youth, they’d be these:
- Instilling the belief that their future matters
- Communicating that they’re capable of accomplishing more than they can see evidence of now
- Seeing them for who they are, as an individual
Belief Challenges Acknowledged
Of course, reaching young people with messages and mindsets that resonate isn’t always easy. Sometimes, especially with troubled or previously undervalued children and teenagers, they don’t readily accept the positive emotional deposits you try to make in them and their development. Sometimes they wonder “why the sudden attention on me?” because the attention is new or they’re suspicious of it. They may have never been singled out as someone who has the potential to do much or as someone who can succeed. Other times, they may focus on past failures or past discouragement. Some students haven’t experienced the benefits of goal-directed behavior. Some have made it to a certain point by going through the motions, but haven’t personally invested much effort, for whatever reason.
However, even when a young person doesn’t believe they can achieve more, or that setting high goals is worthwhile, there is an opportunity—and a responsibility of the wider community—to help equip them to reach higher. Teenagers’ opportunities to learn information and skills that can potentially improve their lives should be preserved regardless of their current beliefs. Opportunities should be extended to those who need to overcome difficult life situations like poverty or parents who have little time to dedicate to them. Continuing to learn and develop for a few more years can make all the difference.
Care, Direction and Instruction
The Moses Project, which is the agricultural training center supported by Subida Coffee Co., is committed to empowering teenage boys. It houses around forty boys over the age of 13 at any given time. By offering an education to boys who wouldn’t otherwise be able to continue, they help support cohort after cohort of youth in this community in Honduras. Instead of having to navigate the community to find and secure work to help their families, or stay home, they instead continue learning. Afterward, they can launch into their adult lives with at least a high school education and a battery of skills.
At the least, by continuing to receive an education, students can feel that their future matters. Also, along the way, they can learn skills and develop a work ethic that can be constant sources of pride. Goal-directed behavior will push a person’s limits for intellect and self-discipline to the max.
At the Moses Project, we try to offer the best traditional and agricultural education we can. However, by equipping students with more than just a high school education—with practical skills and agricultural knowledge, we empower them in an appropriate way. We also ensure that they are morally enlightened and learn to be accountable for their actions with a Christian education.
With skills that generate income and security very locally, as in self-providing skills that are less dependent on local businesses and trade links that can be subject to disruption, young men have a foundation to fall back on as an individual. While many can certainly achieve careers in the high socioeconomic realm, preparing for volatility and climate threats, supply chain issues, crime, and economic downturns is the best route.
Cultivating a Battery of Skills
Outfitted as more than just a coffee-growing operation, The Moses Project is more like a greenhouse laboratory, classroom and apprenticeship facilitator blended together. By serving as a center of learning for agriculture and aquaculture, the opportunity to develop intellectual and interpersonal connections among trainers, staff and the students who live at the Moses Project is vast.
By partaking in raising tilapia and chickens, they learn about the lifecycles and behaviors of these widely-cultivated staple proteins. The growth of greenhouse vegetables ensures versatility in their future diets. It also introduces a variety of crop growth into their repertoire at once. Also important is instilling wisdom about steps to preserve the quality of the ecosystem for the future. Beekeeping helps the local ecosystem.
Last but not least, onsite coffee growth doesn’t just ensure that students can easily brew up a cup to arrive to class bright-eyed in the morning. Nor does it just propel all-night studying cram sessions…this is high school, not college! It ensures that students are prepared to help this profitable crop flourish in and around their community!
Diverse, Robust Exposure
While hands-on agricultural experience is rarely underrated, the agricultural center’s intense study and melding of different types of horticultural prowess are particularly useful in combating common pests. When educating youth, proactive, defensive education can be overlooked for rosier aspects of agriculture. The Moses Project provides a 360-degree education. Coffee leaf rust is a fungus that leaves yellow and orange spots and can eat through the leaves entirely. It is a major threat to crops of coffee. Students become aware of the risks of coffee leaf rust and insects like the coffee borer beetle at the Moses Project.
The students also receive instruction in the economic and trade considerations of agriculture and aquaculture. It also models how non-exploitative and fair-trade relationships can take place. Unlike Honduras’ coffee plantations from the past that sought to extract too much profit, Mission UpReach, Inc. is a non-profit. It doesn’t just donate to charity. It allocates the money and resources to educating youth with skills that can stabilize them, their families and the greater community.
By helping youth believe that their future matters, we at Subida Coffee Co. and the Moses Project try to lift up those who would be overlooked. Coffee has the power to connect the motivators of youth, youngsters at all levels of potential and those who can empower through their contribution of routine purchasing. For North American residents, we make investing in the education of Honduran youth easier. Gourmet, single-origin Honduran coffee supporting a great cause is a worthwhile investment.