Updated with a Podcast Interview!
I recently interview Janelle and Tyson about their upcoming trip to Laos where they plan to create a sustainable social business with Jhai Coffee House. Check out the podcast via iTunes or download it directly below.
Or you can listen directly here:
Podcast Updated: 9/27/13
Previous Guest Post Below:
The following is a guest post by Janelle Kaczmarzewski, Co-Founder Jhai Coffee House, a non-profit that is geared towards building a self-sustaining venture that will help the local farmers and their families. The Seattle Coffee Scene intends to follow Janelle and Jhai Coffee House with frequent updates.
As Seattleites, we love our coffee. We love waking up to coffee. We love working in coffee shops. We love the art of coffee. As Seattleites, we also love extending ourselves to worthy causes. It just so happens that our love for coffee can fuel humanitarian work globally, wherever coffee is grown.
Take Laos, for instance. High up on the Bolaven Plateau, the air is crisper, cooler, and rain falls at just the right times making this region ideal for coffee growing.
What this region is not ideal for, however, is raising healthy children.
The rural villages that make up this area are experiencing a clean water and sanitation crisis.
Why, you might ask?
As a part of its efforts during the Vietnam War, the U.S dropped a planeload of cluster bombs on Laos every 8 minutes, 24 hours a day, for 9 straight years. This makes Laos the most heavily bombed country per capita in the world.
A third of these bombs did not explode and still remain littered throughout the country waiting for unsuspecting victims, 40% of them children.
Because of this, Laos has spent the last 40 years rebuilding, effectively leading to a clean water and sanitation crisis. Under half of the population of Laos has access to clean, safe drinking water and adequate sanitation, leading to diarrheal disease being the second biggest killer to children under the age of five.
What are we doing about it?
We are building a coffee house, inspired by Nobel Peace Prize winner and Social Business pioneer, Muhammad Yunus. We're calling it the Jhai Coffee House.
Jhai will become the world’s first completely philanthropic coffee roaster and cafe located at the source. All business profits will be invested into sanitation education and clean water projects in the local Lao coffee growing community.
Who are we?
We are passionate individuals from Seattle carving our own path on a journey into Laos to empower 1400 families in 58 villages in need of clean water. Maybe you’ve even seen us working on this campaign at one of our frequented Seattle Cafes, like Upper Queen Anne’s Top Pots, Zoka in Green Lake, and Once in awhile at Fremont’s Caffe Ladro or Fremont Coffee Company?
We’ve been working hard on this project because we believe that in transforming the livelihoods of the beautiful people of Laos, we will also be transformed. We believe that CLEAN WATER IS A HUMAN RIGHT, not a privilege.
Tyson Adams is the founder of Jhai Coffee House, a philanthropreneur who truly has a heart of gold. For the past four years, Tyson’s Seattle-based non-profit has been working in Laos to bring education and clean water to children in ultra-poor communities on the Bolaven Plateau in Paksong.
So far, eight libraries and two clean water pumps have been put in remote villages that serve over 1500 people.
Now, from the comfort of many local Seattle coffee shops, we are creating the Jhai Coffee House. The Jhai Coffee House is a Social Business powered by The LiveGLOCAL Foundation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit, which Tyson founded in 2011.
Leaving Seattle for Laos
Tyson and I are leaving the comforts of our Seattle home and moving to Laos in September. We see this as an adventure that will change the course of our lives forever as we connect with and empower the people of Laos to live healthier and more abundant lives.
How can Seattle Coffee Drinkers help?
“If you always wanted to make a difference and never thought you could, here’s an opportunity to infuse your love of coffee with a humanitarian project that can literally save lives.
There are a few ways you can help:
- Donate the price you would pay for a cup of coffee.
- Share this campaign via Facebook, Twitter, email or any other social media avenue.
- If you personally know anyone Lao-American, please message them directly to spread the word.
There are many Lao-Americans living in the U.S. with the desire to serve but just don't know how. This campaign provides them an opportunity. In addition to giving back to the community to solve water and sanitation issues, we hope that bringing a roaster into this area in Laos will drive the local coffee in an increasingly delicious direction. Like Laos, most coffee producing regions in this world are tea drinkers, they don't even know how to prepare the coffee beans in order to drink them. By roasting our coffee at the source, we will give farmers the ability to try their own coffee. In doing so, the quality of the coffee will increase because we'll be able to identify which villages are producing the best beans, so that they can not only teach the others their growing practices but also develop more pride in their product.
We'd love for our fellow Seattleites to keep up with us in Laos, as we'll be missing this amazing city while we're away. We will strive to embody all that we love in the craft and enjoyment of what coffee means to Seattle, in a crazy rural place in Laos, surrounded by jungle.
Want to invest? Head on over to their website and consider donating the price you would pay for a cup of coffee.
Follow Tyson and Janelle on their social busienss journey via their facebook page:
If you have any questions, please feel free to visit our website:
Also Here is the video!
*Photos Courtesy of Jhai Coffee House.