The partnership will focus on educating girls in coffee and tea growing communities.

Jillian Kramer
March 08, 2018

Starbucks—just in time for International Women’s Day—has announced it will launch an effort to empower 250,000 women and their families in coffee and cocoa-growing regions by 2025. The new strategy comes in partnership between the Starbucks Foundation and Malala Fund, the organization run by Nobel Prize laureate and activist Malala Yousafzai.

According to a statement from Starbucks, more than 130 million young women and girls globally don’t have the chance to attend primary or secondary school, which severely limits their economic opportunities and livelihoods. To make matters worse, these women and are most often affected by poverty, conflict, and gender inequality, the brand notes.

The new collaboration promises that Starbucks will “build on its ongoing investments in coffee, tea and cocoa growing communities worldwide with organizations like Mercy Corps, Eastern Congo Initiative, and Heifer International,” adding that “with a deeper focus on women and families, Starbucks will also be able to accelerate its broader goal to improve the lives of at least one million coffee farmers and workers by 2025.”

For its part, “Malala Fund will work with Starbucks to promote girls’ education and expand leadership opportunities for young women in coffee and tea growing communities in India and Latin America,” according to the company. Yousafzai said in a written statement she was pleased with the partnership. “I want to thank Starbucks for believing in my dream of a world where girls can choose their own future,” Yousafzai said. “With their support, Malala Fund will help educators and activists in developing countries get more girls in school.”

Specifically, Malala Fund will grow its Gulmakai Network of education champions to coffee and tea growing communities, the release states, and “expand non-traditional educational opportunities in those communities and scale leadership opportunities for young women with a goal to inspire the next generation of civically engaged leaders.” Starbucks will also connect its employees to Gulmakai Network champions to create leadership opportunities.

“We believe women and families hold the key to long-term empowerment and social change,” Virginia Tenpenny, executive director for The Starbucks Foundation and Global Social Impact at Starbucks, said in a written statement. “Looking ahead, we want to ensure our partnerships connect women with education and leadership opportunities needed to create healthy homes and sustainable livelihoods—for themselves, their families, and future generations. We are proud to join with Malala Fund to invest in young women so they may become leaders in their communities and achieve their dreams and aspirations.”

To celebrate International Women’s Day and its new partnership, Yousafzai has shared a curated playlist of songs by female artists from 16 countries. You can hear the playlist at more than 10,000 stores in the U.S. and Canada, as well as on Starbucks’ page on Spotify.

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