As many of our families embark upon the new school year, with new lunch boxes, backpacks and school supplies, we often overlook what a luxury it is that we are able to provide an education for our children. There are many children around the world who are not sure if they will be able to afford to attend school. So we are especially excited to be carrying a new line of teas and coffee from The Ajiri Tea Company, which contributes 100% of profits to support orphan education in western Kenya.
“Ajiri” means to employ in Swahili. Created by American sisters Sara and Kate Holby and their mother Ann Funkhouser, the Ajiri Tea Company provides employment for women in western Kenya. Many of the teas are grown and hand-picked in the rolling green hills and volcanic soils of small-scale “shambas” (farms) in the Kissi highlands of Kenya. The label on the front of each box of tea is a unique piece of art, handmade of dried banana bark. Each is removable, collectable, and one of a kind. Inside the box you’ll find a beautiful gift tag affixed with a handmade beaded twine. The gorgeous packaging is often the reason someone first buys a box of Ajiri Tea. But after brewing your first cup, it is the aroma and flavor that will have you wanting more.
One hundred percent of all profits from Ajiri Tea and Coffee goes to the Ajiri Foundation, which supports educational expenses for orphans in Western Kenya. When founder Sara Holby first went to western Kenya in 2008 to volunteer for an NGO distributing food and medicine to those suffering from HIV and AIDS, she saw firsthand how donations could multiply aid to a community overnight. She also knew that a more sustainable investment in employment and education could empower and sustain these communities. Thus began the Ajiri Tea Company in its mission to employ Kenyan women and the Ajiri Foundation in its complementary mission to support orphan education.
With profits from the sale of Ajiri Tea and Coffee, the Ajiri Foundation is sponsoring 29 students this school year. In Kenya students are responsible for purchasing their books, uniforms, school supplies and exam fees. The Foundation ensures that these their students have all the necessary materials they need to excel in school. The Foundation also mentors each student to ensure they have not just the supplies but also the support they need to do their best in school.
Ajiri Tea is available at JK Adams in seven delicious flavors: Classic Black Tea, Black Tea with Ginger, Black Tea with Mango, Black Tea with Lemon, Organic Chamomile Tea, Organic Green Tea, and Red Rooibos Tea. We also offer the delicious Ajiri Kenyan AA Whole Bean Coffee.
So here’s to a new school year, and a delicious way to contribute to something meaningful to the world while enjoying a beautifully packaged and exquisitely flavorful indulgence. We like to call it a “pause with a cause.” Try Ajiri Tea today yourself and give it as a thoughtful gift this holiday season as a housewarming, hostess gift, or a sure-to-please stocking stuffer.