Socially Empowering Coffee for Change

Words and Image: Katlego K Kol-Kes

 Gaborone based NGO, Young 1ove, partnered with Vida e caffé in the Central Business District (CBD) for a different kind of social activation. Through their event titled “Coffee for a Cause” the organisation proposed to residents of the capital city to make their Saturday morning café treat purchases count.

Over the span of 6 hours, the café – located on the ground floor of the first of the two iTowers high rises – agreed to channel 10% of the proceeds made to the organization whose mission is “to connect young Africans to proven life-saving information.” Whether hanging from a hard night of partying, studying for the Botswana bar examination, or simply excited about a shot of caffeine, all customers had to do to contribute to this social cause was to answer yes to the question: ‘Are you in support on young love?’

In a rather humourous anecdote relayed to me, one of the young ladies studying for her bar examination confessed she’d initially given a negative response thinking it was about underage relationships; thankfully one of the organisers intercepted the exchange between the barista and the client and her answer changed, giving some money from her purchase of hot chocolate.

“The idea behind ‘Coffee for a Cause’ was to find a way to ease our fundraising efforts” said Noam Agrist, Executive Director of Young 1ove, “and raise community awareness on our work so that we can spend more time actually reaching out to more youth across the country.” Agrist expressed that he was greatly impressed with the turn out and grateful to management at the café for agreeing to use a regular service they provide in order to activate the community.

Though it will take some time to know how much was raised through sales of burgers, muffins, coffees and other hot beverages, there is a positive outlook on the future of this community powered fundraising initiative. We’re excited to cosy up to a delectable treat from Vida e Caffé – my personal recommendations are the Café Mocha and the succulent, handmade Beef Burger – all in the name of positively impacting the lives of young Batswana across the country.

Katlego K Kol-Kes is a 2015 CACE Africa Writivist, ARTivist, Writer, academic, theatre producer and founder of the Queer Shorts Showcase Festival based in Gaborone. She dreams of a diversified, youth driven Botswana, and loves all forms of Setswana bread, especially magwinya. Her writing spans lifestyle and human interest features, poetry, and music. Follow her on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, her blog  and via her website.