In their small town in Papua New Guinea, coffee farmers Mike and Alice have exciting things brewing.
With two young children, they have long been in the business of coffee farming, but struggled to make a living because of the challenges involved in looking after the farm. Their house was run-down, the roof leaked, their morale and relationship were suffering, and every dollar they earned, they had to spend – just to get by.
Thanks to the incredible support of partners and supporters, Alice and Mike took part in training in financial planning and budgeting, farming techniques, and the importance of sharing farm and household responsibilities.
“We learned how to make a budget, have a dream, have a vision so we can achieve our dream,” says Mike.
For this couple, that vision was to improve the quality of their coffee and save enough money to build a new home!
“We learned how to prune the coffee, how to look after the it so that we can produce good beans,” says Mike. “The bean quality and quantity are improving.”
The pair now keep a regimented budget and document all their expenses in a ledger to help them meet their savings goal together. And by sharing roles on the farm and in the house, they have seen some amazing changes.
“Alice can handle a saw and cut and spray the weeds,” says Mike. “The children help with chores, and they fetch water, bring firewood and help us to sweep the house.”
CARE’s training helped teach Mike to support Alice in her business ideas too, and she created her own small market business, adding even more to the family income.
“The training didn’t just help us with coffee,” says Alice, “I have now started growing vegetables and selling them in the main market and we have employed people to work for me. I have started farming poultry and selling it at the market. So a big thank you to CARE for all of this training.”
With so many hands making light work, and new skills in budgeting, within one year Mike and Alice built their dream home! They installed electricity and even a television which the neighbour’s children all come over to watch.
“The best thing about my husband is that he supports me. We share money and financial decisions now,” says Alice.