Ajiri Tea Report Card

This in from one of the cooperatives we support… our Ajiri Tea
is making a huge difference! Visit us at www.compassiontea.com to learn more!

Joyce and her three cousins/siblings are being tutored weekly by former Ajiri student, Winstone. Joyce is first in her class!

Joyce and her three cousins/siblings are being tutored weekly by former Ajiri student, Winstone. Joyce is first in her class!

IT TAKES A VILLAGE TO RAISE A CHILD AND
A CHILD TO RAISE A VILLAGE

Spring is the season of growth. And here at Ajiri Tea we are growing. Our tea is now sold in over 500 stores and the Ajiri Foundation is now sponsoring 29 orphans in school. But it takes more than sales and more than school fees to make a business and foundation actually work. It takes caffeine, drive, and a quick reminder of why we do what we do . . .

Winstone just graduated from high school in Eldoret, Kenya, after being sponsored by the Ajiri Foundation for the past four years. In March, Winstone received his national exam results: a B+ average. This score will qualify him for admittance into a top university.

My late father said, ‘Always seek out the seed of triumph in every adversity and nothing is impossible since the world itself says, I’m possible.’ – Winstone

Winstone knows his good success is well-earned, but he also recognizes that he couldn’t have done it without some help. Ajiri Tea is trying to raise not only academically successful children but emotionally successful and perceptive young adults. Winstone is both. After graduation in November, he offered to accompany the younger students to school. He helped them buy their school supplies and spoke to all of the Ajiri students and their guardians. While he waits to be admitted into University, Winston has been tutoring four younger Ajiri-sponsored children, going to their small house every weekend. He is just as invested in their success as we are in his.

Winstone (center) with his mother and brother

Winstone (center) with his mother and brother

Winstone is the “cool older brother” figure who plays the roles of teacher and mentor. He explains his own trials to these children: His father died ten years ago, leaving his mother and three sons. His mother was not well, and before being employed by Ajiri Tea to make labels, struggled to find enough money to pay for food and medication. And being at school wasn’t exactly easy for him. He missed home, feeling obliged to help and worried about his family. He struggled to focus on his studies.

He found support within the Ajiri community and as he explains, found an immense reserve of strength within himself. He introduces himself to others by saying that his name “Winstone” means he is able to “win” at things that are hard like a “stone.”

It takes more than paying for school fees and more than selling boxes of tea and coffee to create success. It takes investment, and we don’t mean money. We mean real emotional investment that transcends to others. As customers, your investment and enthusiasm is felt beyond the box of tea you purchase–it is felt all the way in Kenya by students like Winstone. And in Kenya, Winstone’s energy and commitment is felt far beyond himself.

We are constantly amazed. Amazed by the generosity of our customers who continue to support us. Amazed by the generosity of the aunts and uncles and grandparents and neighbors and teachers who care for so many of our students. And amazed by students like Winstone, who has received an education and immediately turned it into an opportunity to give. We give our thanks to you, our customers, who make this cycle of opportunity a reality.

Asante sana!

Kate and Sara

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