La Marzocco and Hemro Group launch Hands for Songwa Foundation

Hands for Songwa Foundation

Espresso machine manufacturer La Marzocco and coffee grinder manufacturer Hemro Group have announced the establishment of the Hands for Songwa Foundation. This non-governmental organisation is a locally driven endeavour that marks the evolution of the Songwa Estates project, now set to carry forward its original mission independently.

“With the establishment of this foundation, we want to show that the transition to a sustainable coffee industry based around empowering the people working at the origin is indeed possible,” says Guido Bernardinelli, CEO of La Marzocco.

The Songwa Estates Project, in its initial phase, was designed to uplift the quality of life for the community residing near the Songwa plantation in the Mbeya region of Tanzania. La Marzocco and Hemro Group funded various infrastructure projects by contributing a percentage of their profits. These endeavours included the construction of wells, renovation of school buildings, creation of a kindergarten, and essential financial support for workers during the challenging times of the pandemic.

The Hands for Songwa Foundation headquartered in Dar es Salaam, is now capable of receiving direct donations and autonomously executing projects in the region. These projects aim to uphold the original mission while multiplying their impact on the broader community residing near the plantation.

While La Marzocco and Hemro Group will continue to offer direct support to the community, the companies are also actively researching future initiatives designed to foster local economic development.

Commencing in 2024, the Hisuimbe Project has a visionary three-year plan. Over this period, the project places women in the lead, championing sustainable agroeconomic development. The focal points include creating a model for sustainable practices with minimal environmental impact, establishing a community nursery generating 3000 to 4000 certified plants, and initiating 100 small coffee plots.

“Songwa holds a special place in our hearts, and with the newly established Hands for Songwa Foundation, we’re taking a crucial step to enhance support for the local community. Our inaugural project focuses on empowering women, fostering growth not only in their lives but also in the well-being of their families. Through this foundation, we aim to create positive, lasting impact, reinforcing our commitment to social responsibility and community development in Songwa,” says Hemro Group CEO Dr. Marcel Lehmann.

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