Creating better living conditions through education

Coffee is grown all around the equator, especially in devel­oping countries where coffee farmers and their families frequently live under difficult social condi­tions. As part of its social respon­si­bility efforts, Tchibo runs its own projects to help ensure better living condi­tions in the countries where our coffee origi­nates. True to the principle of "helping people to help themselves," we team up with local partners to offer primarily educa­tional and vocational services for children and teens.

Guatemala: Childcare during the coffee harvest

In Guatemala, where the high-quality Arabica beans for our Privat Kaffee Guatemala Grande are grown, we promote childcare for migrant workers and pickers. The country’s school holidays often overlap with the harvest season for coffee cherries. Since there is hardly any childcare available, many migrant workers and harvest helpers take their sons and daughters with them to the farms. While the little children play on the steep and dangerous slopes, the parents often let the older ones help them pick. In this way, the line to imper­mis­sible child labour is frequently crossed, so it is important to provide alter­na­tives. Tchibo therefore promotes educa­tional projects and childcare options in various regions of Guatemala.

In 2011, we partnered with the Coffee Care Associ­ation in 2011 to launch a pilot project specif­i­cally for migrant workers’ children in the Huehue­te­nango region. Today, we operate six day-care centres for children aged 2 to 9 there during the harvest season. Childcare is provided in an age-appro­priate way according to the Montessori method, and children are also given important hygiene training, as well as receiving healthy meals daily and medical treatment. In the harvest season 2012/2013 we additionally initiated a pilot project for 10- to 13-year-olds at three sites, as this age group is partic­u­larly at risk for imper­mis­sible child labour. In the project, the teens attend ‘training seminars’ to learn practical skills such as baking or handi­crafts. In 2014, we expanded our efforts in Huehuetenago so that we now offer both childcare and seminars for the older children at a total of six locations. More than 500 children accepted our offer in 2014/2015, and the project will be continued in 2016.