Fairtrade Fortnight - Esther Deserves
Thursday, 28 February 2019 | Joanna
Esther Chepkwony grows coffee as part of the Kibukwo coffee co-operative in Kenya. She's the one in black at the centre of the image.
At the age of 56 she has brought up 9 children and always worked hard growing coffee, but until recently all the work she did went unrewarded. The reason: her husband owns the plants, which means the money from the crops goes directly to him. All her life she has had to ask her husband for money, which meant that when it comes to sensitive subjects like sanitary towels, she simply did without.
But having daughters of her own has given Esther a more forthright attitude. As part of the Women in Coffee project she has managed to buy her own coffee bushes, which means she has money of her own to spend how she wishes. So what does she spend her money on? Education, better food and sanitary protection for her daughters. Even something as simple as being able to buy credit for their phones - allowing her to call whoever she wants without worrying about the cost. Fairtrade is empowering women like Esther and her daughters.
"Men lure young girls off by offering them money - they are able to take advantage. Some girls drop out of school and get into early marriages for this reason. A lady with resources is empowered to say yes or no."