Abyssinian Fund Newsletter March 2012

Masthead 4
March 2012

We invest in those who reinvest in themselves. This is the motto for The Abyssinian Fund and it’s something that truly reflects our approach towards reducing poverty in Ethiopia. With a little over two years of experience working in Chaffee Jenette, we have learned that you can’t succeed in life without a little help but you must also have a will and desire to help yourself. The coffee farming community is improving everyday because of the investments we are making and the hard work of the farmers to ensure the production of high-quality coffee.
LIVE Interview on NBC

In celebration of Black History Month, Ida Siegal interviewed Reverend Richards about The Abyssinian Fund’s role in Ethiopia to reduce poverty and transform communities with coffee. She also highlighted that The Abyssinian Fund is the only non-governmental organization operating in Ethiopia founded by an African-American church, The Abyssinian Baptist Church. It was an informative interview and we are so thankful for all those who tuned in to watch it. For anyone who missed it, please follow the link to NBC and enjoy, Iconic NYC Church Fights Poverty in Ethiopia.            
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Board Member Spotlight

Les Payne
 is a Pulitzer Prize winning reporter, columnist forNewsday, author and blogger for his site blog.lespayne.net. When he’s not working on completing his biography of Malcolm X or contributing to Root.com, Mr. Payne serves on the board of The Abyssinian Fund. Mr. Payne visited the farming community in Chaffee Jenette, Ethiopia with Reverend Richards and his fellow Abyssinian Fund board members. Though Mr. Payne has worked as a foreign correspondent and a news editor traveling the world, he claims, “Nowhere have I seen a people as impressive, durable, and proud as the Ethiopians. Theirs is a fierce, independent pride…” 

One of my most important experiences in Ethiopia was gathering with the 165 members of the Abyssinian Baptist Church at the portal of the carved rock churches of Lalibela (seen below).


The Lalibela churches were chiseled 900 years ago in what used to be the capital of Ethiopia. Today, the church is still used for weekly services and festivals.

Another important experience was entering the village of Chaffee Jennette and feeling the warmth of the village. The eyes of the children of Chaffee Jennette helped me to realize why we should all share with them what we have. The Abyssinian Fund was created to address the challenge of development in a faraway, mountainous village where farmers grow coffee for a living. We can help them make a better life.


Bet you didn’t know it takes about 2,000 hand-picked coffee beans to 
produce an 8 oz. bag of ground coffee.
News From Ethiopia

Coffee Farming & Processing

While sipping your morning coffee, how often do you think about what it takes to make it into your cup? About 2,000 coffee beans are used to produce an 8oz. bag of ground coffee and Americans consume 146 billion cups of coffee each year. Coffee farmers, like our partners in Chaffee Jenette, work hard all year to produce well-harvested, high-quality coffee. Here’s how they do it:

 Coffee beans start out as coffee cherries which are harvested and  processed in various ways.



 The cherries are hand-picked but only when they are just ripe and  red in color to ensure a yield of high-quality coffee beans. During  the Abyssinian Fund training, coffee farmers learn how to  determine when a coffee bean is ripe enough to be picked.



 Coffee is then processed using the dry process, also called  the natural process. In the dry process, ripe cherries are first laid  out to dry in the sun then the skin and parchment are removed  from the bean. The process takes about two weeks and the  cherries must be raked while drying to prevent mildew. Dry-  processed coffee is heavy in body, sweet, smooth, and complex.  

Peace and Blessings,
Rev. Nicholas S. Richards
Posted by: abyorgadmin on March 20, 2012 @ 10:22 pm
Filed under: Newsletter
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