Sunday 3 November 2013

BU Kofi

Martin and I are excited about a new project that the Baptist Union of churches in New Zealand is involved in.  In partnership with the Baptist Union of Papua New Guinea, they are starting up a fair trade coffee growing and processing business.  It will be established in the Baiyer Valley in the Highlands region of PNG and be called 'BU Kofi'.

You can read more about the project here*, but the things that appealed to us are:
  1. the project has been initiated by people from Papua New Guinea (rather than foreigners);
  2. they see this project as being important in peace-building in an area that has seen a lot of conflict in recent times;
  3. their process has been guided by a World Bank report into the coffee industry in PNG, so they won't be making the same mistakes as have been made by others in the past (although of course they can make new mistakes and they still see this as a high risk endeavour).
The Baptist Union of PNG is asking the Baptist Union of New Zealand to help them financially in this endeavour.  As I've spoken about earlier, I've been really challenged in recent years by the story of the Good Samaritan in Luke 10.  In it, Jesus seems to be saying that we have a responsibility to help our neighbour, and defines our neighbour simply as anyone who asks for our help.  In the light of that, Martin and I decided to make a small contribution to help out our neighbours in PNG.  If you would like to do the same, click on this link and select 'PNG coffee project' in the 'campaign' field.  They need to raise $100,000 over three years, in addition to funds already promised by NZAID and the PNG government.

* there's more information in the links in the orange 'recent articles' section at the right-hand side of the page.  We also have a pdf about the project that contains some information that doesn't seem to be on the website.  If you'd like me to email you a copy just put a request in the comments or email us here.

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