Grounds for Health continues its mission to provide cervical cancer screenings to women in coffee-producing countries with new Centers of Excellence in Ethiopia.
BY KATRINA YENTCH
BARISTA MAGAZINE ONLINE
Cover photo courtesy of Grounds for Health
The Williston, Vt.-based international nonprofit Grounds for Health has received a two-year grant from Starbucks Foundation totaling $175,000 over the course of two years. Grounds for Health will use the money to continue its mission of reducing the spread of cervical cancer for women in coffee-producing countries such as Ethiopia, Mexico, Kenya, and Nicaragua. This is the first time ever that Grounds for Health has received funding from the foundation, which is giving them an Origin Grant specifically—a grant that has provided over $21 million in integrated development service projects since 2005.
“This generous grant from the Starbucks Foundation helps lay the foundation to make a real, tangible impact in Ethiopia not only for the next two years, but for many years to come,” says Grounds for Health Executive Director Ellen Starr.
One of the major forms of impact that Grounds for Health plans to achieve with this grant is through Centers for Excellence across Ethiopia, which it anticipates will reach 15,000 women in the country. With construction beginning as early as this year, these centers will serve as training centers and demonstration hubs for key health-sector stakeholders. Working with Ethiopia’s health system, the nonprofit plans to promote countrywide use of the best cervical cancer prevention practices.
Additionally, the centers plan to introduce an innovative treatment technology called thermal ablation, a more cost-effective and mobile method than the systems currently in use. “The technology and infrastructure, joined with the positive will of the coffee world, will help ensure that Ethiopians have swift access to this critical improvement in successful treatment, thereby helping women in the hardest-to-reach coffee regions,” says Dagmawi Iyasu, program director of Grounds for Health in Africa.
Grounds for Health is an international nonprofit that has been developing and providing cervical pre-cancer screening and treatment programs since 1996. Since 2015, the organization has screened close to 40,000 women and treated 3,600. The Starbucks Foundation started in 1997 to fund literacy programs in the U.S. and Canada, but has since expanded to provide aid to countries around the world. Today, the foundation’s assistance in coffee-producing communities includes projects that improve access to education and agricultural training, microfinance and microcredit services, improving biodiversity conservation, and increasing levels of health, nutrition and water sanitation.