The ONE Campus Challenge is a college competition designed to mobilize students, faculty and alumni in the fight against extreme poverty and preventable disease.
A coffee sleeve EVERY college student needs
ONE Campus knows that as college students, you’re looking for ways to express yourselves on behalf of the causes and issues you’re passionate about. Ubuntu Foundation and their product line, Ubuntu Made, are doing their part to educate children and empower women in Kenya. Their coffee sleeve is a product that gives back, and is stylish and super handy. Read until the end to check out a special gift for ONE Campus members and readers.
Coffee and college students. College students and coffee. No matter how it reads and sounds, it’s so cliché and overused that I didn’t even want to start this blog with the phrasing. (But I did anyways. Sorry!)
Like so many students before and after me, my coffee habit started in college. Honestly, my senior year was a caffeinated haze of me zipping between student organization meetings, classes, and the library.
As a consequence of my coffee habit, I’m always on the lookout for new coffee accessories. This summer I was introduced to the Ubuntu Foundation and their product line, Ubuntu Made. (ONE Campus has highlighted them on this blog before.) An item that caught my eye is their beautiful line of coffee sleeves. What a perfect addition for my travels and my love of coffee! Plus, by switching to a reusable sleeve, coffee drinkers can save up to 17.9 pounds of trash per year – so this small change can make a difference!
The Ubuntu team has told me, “Behind every Ubuntu Made product is a story.” The coffee sleeve was the first product their “Mums” (the women who are trained in making these items) learned how to make. The team at Ubuntu wanted to challenge themselves and create a product that was an eco-friendly improvement on something people use every day. While discussing ideas at a meeting, someone had a cardboard coffee sleeve that was falling apart—and voilà!
The idea and product is simple, but makes an impact both socially and environmentally. (The materials are sourced locally to further support the community.) Through the profits of the product, the Ubuntu Foundation is currently serving approximately 50 families in the Maai Mahiu community who have children with special needs and approximately 230 families who have children with various neurological conditions.
Jane G., who’s been an employee since 2011 said, “Working at Ubuntu has seen me realize that disability is not inability. I am an experienced knitter and I was awarded for being the best employee of the year 2016 despite my disability. The staff, management and the entire Ubuntu community as a whole is a united family and one that is so motivating!”
Ubuntu currently employs 40 Mums full-time to sew Ubuntu Made products, and more than 100 full-time beaders. To ensure job security, Ubuntu Mums are paid whether they have an order to work on or not, so they will never have to worry about working enough hours to get by. The Mums are very ambitious, and have used their skills to improve their lives. In the factory, one Mum is training as a machine technician, so the team can become more self-sufficient when sewing machines break down. They’ve also expressed an interest in leather sewing, so down the line Ubuntu Made will be holding classes to improve their skills in this area. Outside Ubuntu, one of the Mums has started her own businesses sewing school bags for children in her local community!
That’s the case with Jane W., a single mother who’s been with Ubuntu since 2012. “Thanks to Ubuntu Life Foundation, I am now able to comfortably provide for their needs,” she says, in regards to her family. “I have gained new experiences in sewing, which I didn’t initially have. Moreover, I am a proud owner of my own residential place. I got a home through Ubuntu!”
I own a coffee sleeve and have gifted several to my friends. Whatever your choice of beverage is, this coffee sleeve is something you have to have.