School recognised for ground-breaking Education with Character initiative
There was great excitement at Hull Collegiate School last week as the school learnt it had been shortlisted for the International Award at the TES School Awards. The national awards recognise the most outstanding individuals and institutions that the state and independent sector has to offer, with a hugely competitive range of applications each year.
The school has been shortlisted for the prestigious award for its ground-breaking Safi Coffee initiative which was born out of the school’s partnership with the Great Lakes High School in Uganda. Since 2010, the school has been sponsoring 25 children at Great Lakes High School and every other year a team of Sixth Formers and teachers travel from Hull in order to teach and support pupils in the Kanungu District.
Whilst volunteering in 2015, the Hull Collegiate pupils discovered that the coffee grown in this region of Uganda was amongst the best in the world, due to the high altitude and mineral-rich soil. This sparked a ground-breaking idea: to export beans grown by the Ugandan farmers in the schools’ surrounding areas and sell them to local businesses back in Hull. This would be the first time that these gourmet beans would have made their way to European coffee cups.
Back in Hull, the pupils developed their business idea. They called the product Safi Coffee (Safi means ‘Pure’ and ‘Fresh’ in the Ugandan language of Swahili). They also designed the packaging and logo and worked out a strong business case for selling the coffee locally. The initiative was officially launched in September 2017 and since then over a ton of Safi Coffee has been sold.
Demand for the coffee is growing and the pupils are just about to place another order for more beans from Uganda. Every penny of Safi Coffee sales pays for Ugandan children to attend school. Due the success of the initiative, the school has been able to sponsor a further 50 children. Pupils are committed to raising awareness of this important cause and are meeting local businesses on a regular basis to the drive the project forward. One local business has committed to sponsoring ten children in addition to selling Safi Coffee to its customers.
Chris Wainman, Deputy Head of Hull Collegiate School and Team Leader of Safi Coffee, said:
“It has been my pleasure to be an integral part of this project and I am thrilled that we have been shortlisted for this award. The success of this project is completely down to the pupils themselves who have worked extremely hard to make Safi Coffee such a success.”
Alex Wilson, Headmistress of Hull Collegiate School, said: “This is a wonderful achievement and I am so proud of everyone who has been involved in the Safi Coffee project. Not only has this initiative made a tangible difference to the farmers and children living in Uganda, it has had a hugely positive impact on our pupils. It has taught them the importance of compassion, altruism and enterprise – attributes which we seek to instil in our pupils through our commitment to deliver an Education with Character.”
Head Boy Andrew Elton said: “I went to Uganda last summer and spent two weeks with the children and their families. We became part of their community and worked alongside families helping them carry water, cook and clean. We worked on the land and taught children in the primary and secondary schools. It was a humbling and life-changing experience. It was incredible to see how happy the children are with so little. It made me realise how privileged we are at Hull Collegiate and across the UK to have an outstanding education. I am proud to be part of this project and so happy to know we are changing lives. I hope win at the TES Awards. We are all very excited.”
The winners will be revealed at the TES’s gala awards evening at the Grosvenor House Hotel, Park Lane, London on Friday 22 June 2018.