Java House celebrates 24 years of serving coffee and smiles with social impact initiatives

E9 Kubwa

Java House marked its 24th anniversary by giving back to the community through its Java Foundation. The foundation supports over 2500 school-going children with daily lunches at Ngunyumu Primary School and Gatina Primary School in Nairobi County, in partnership with Food for Education, Stanbic Bank and Uni Industries.

The anniversary celebration was held at Ngunyumu Primary School, where Java House CEO Priscilla Gathungu joined the pupils and teachers for a special lunch. She also interacted with some of the beneficiaries of the feeding program and listened to their stories of how the program has improved their lives.

“We wanted to mark our anniversary this year by recognising some of our important milestones over the years. This feeding program in partnership with Food for Education has allowed us to invest in a meaningful way long term to children from these communities and in some ways their families. Feeding isn’t just the daily lunches, it’s the reduced absenteeism of pupils recorded in the schools we partner with. Its better focus resulting in better performance. Its creating aspiration of what can be through bringing some members of the community to events such as today to inspire them through their own stories of triumph. What is saddest for us but also inspiring to hear, is that often the students split half their meals to share with their family members at home who don’t enjoy such access. It’s also recognising that this would not be possible without our 14,000 guests that we serve every day and that this allows the pupils to show up meaningfully for themselves and their communities,” Gathungu said.

The Java Foundation was established in 2019 as a way of giving back to society and supporting causes that align with Java House’s values and vision. The foundation focuses on three pillars: education, environment and health. The feeding program is one of the flagship projects under the education pillar, which aims to improve access to quality education for children from low-income backgrounds.

The feeding program is implemented in collaboration with Food for Education, a non-governmental organisation that provides subsidised nutritious meals to primary school children to improve nutrition and education outcomes. Food for Education uses a digital mobile platform called Tap2Eat, which enables parents to pay for the subsidised lunches using mobile money. The amount is credited to a virtual wallet linked to a smart wrist band, which students use to tap and eat in under five seconds.

Food for Education fundraising manager Fayruz Adan thanked Java House for their support. “Together we’ve been able to provide over 184,000 meals in the last year. We are thrilled to continue this journey towards eradicating classroom hunger,” she said.

The feeding program also involves other partners who contribute in different ways. Stanbic Bank has donated computers and equipped the computer lab at Gatina Primary School, while Uni Industries has donated kitchen and cooking equipment.

Speaking on behalf of other headteachers from the community who graced the event in support, the CSO from the area Ms Veronica Kiama emphasised the practical impact of daily feeding to the pupils and alluded to her future visits to Java being more meaningful after this interaction. “I sometimes go to java House as a customer and I sometimes look at the menu and pick something not knowing that a cup of Java contributes something to bringing some joy to a child,” she said.

Java House is more than a coffee shop. It is a space to connect, unwind and relax. And it is also a space that cares about making a difference in the lives of others. As it celebrates 24 years of serving coffee and smiles, it also celebrates its social impact initiatives that are feeding the future.

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