10th March 2020 — Three years after the launch of Safi Coffee, Hull Collegiate School’s (HCS) pupil-led social enterprise project has brokered partnerships with two more schools in the UK. Through the project, HCS pupils import coffee beans from Uganda and sell them to companies in and around Hull. Their profits are used to fund children’s education in the Kanungu region where the beans are grown.
The project will now be launched in Highgate School in London and Felsted School in Essex. Both schools have strong links with Uganda and regularly organise pupil trips through Teach Uganda which supports schools in the Kanungu region. By launching the project in two schools in different parts of the country, Safi Coffee has the potential to grow significantly by reaching new, untapped markets in the south.
Hull Collegiate School pupils are working closely with Highgate and Felsted Schools helping pupils get the project off the ground. HCS pupils recently visited Felsted and worked with pupils as they came up with new ideas and ways to make the product as eco-friendly and sustainable as possible. Felsted pupils are currently transforming their coffee shop into the Safi Coffee Shop which will open later this year.
HCS pupils also travelled to north London to present to Highgate pupils. The project has very quickly started turning a profit with over £1,000 worth of Safi Coffee sold to their parent community. Four Sixth Formers have also ventured into the City of London and sold Safi Coffee at law firm, Steptoe and Johnson.
Pupils from each school will work closely together meeting each term and holding regular video calls. Pupils across the three schools have set themselves the ambitious target to fill a 20-tonne container with coffee beans in five years’ time generating around 150K profit thereby creating life-changing opportunities for families in the Kanungu region.
Chris Wainman, Senior Deputy Head of Hull Collegiate School, said: “We are thrilled to be working in partnership with Highgate and Felsted Schools. What began as a small, pupil-led initiative selling coffee beans to coffee shops in Hull is quickly transforming into a national enterprise. Both Highgate and Felsted already have very strong links with schools in Uganda and we know they put their all into making Safi Coffee a success.
“We have learnt a lot in the three years we have been running Safi Coffee and we look forward to sharing our experiences with the schools as they launch the project.
“By joining forces with two more schools, we can grow the project significantly and provide even more children in Uganda with the education and opportunities they deserve.”
Tom Brown, Director of Safi Coffee CIC, has a clear vision of how to take Safi to the next level. He said: “Raising awareness of the project is our number one aim; ultimately, the more people that are drinking Safi Coffee, the more children we can put through school in Uganda. Fuelling offices and workspaces with Safi Coffee has allowed us to increase the number of children we sponsor up to 50; this a real testament to the success of the initiative, demonstrating how far the project has come in such a short space of time.”
Philippa Studd, Assistant Principal of Highgate Junior School, said: ‘It is really great to see Safi Coffee and the partnership between Highgate, Felsted and Hull Collegiate Schools growing from strength to strength before our very eyes! Not only has the project been an exciting opportunity for our pupils to develop their entrepreneurial skills whilst having the chance to cultivate relationships with our partner schools in the UK, it has been all the more enriching for the pupils and staff to know that the work they are doing in increasing awareness of the Safi brand and raising money from sales is going to help our partnership schools back in Uganda.
“A number of the pupils involved in the Safi Coffee group have visited the schools in Uganda and have seen for themselves the difference their help and contributions can make in providing educational opportunities for the Ugandan people. We continue to be excited about the future of this project and the opportunities it will bring.’
Nigel Little, Chaplain, Felsted School & Trustee of Teach Uganda, said: “As a Trustee of Teach Uganda, I am delighted that Felsted School has embraced the opportunity to promote Safi Coffee amongst its community. The coffee beans are grown in Uganda, shipped directly to the UK for roasting and packaging and then distributed direct to Felsted. As a result, we are able to ensure that the funds raised from our sales are sent directly back to help the children of Uganda. It is wonderful for our students to be in an entrepreneurial partnership with other young people in Hull, Highgate and Uganda.”