When what’s called the worst humanitarian crisis plagues a country for years, little is more important to the average person than achieving self-reliance and resilience.
For years, the crisis in Yemen has destroyed infrastructure, health care, food security, educational opportunities and more for the Yemeni people. Believed to be an origin of coffee and a global leader in coffee production, Yemen’s upheaval has limited its agricultural production and economic success for generations.
While the obstacles can vary, the one consistent message from coffee communities is their need to be empowered in developing the solution. In an effort to aid those people, The Mokha Institute is using coffee growing as a method of empowerment.
The Institute, which American of Yemeni descent Mokhtar Alkhanshali founded, is a nonprofit that helps Yemeni farmers grow and sell coffee to create and further self-sustainable livelihoods. It addresses infrastructure needs, implements coffee production best-practices, and improves access for Yemeni coffee producers to the global market for specialty coffee. And that’s why Zakat Foundation of America is partnering with The Mokha Institute to expand its reach, benefitting even more Yemenis.
“Zakat Foundation of America has been in Yemen for about a decade, doing what it can to empower Yemenis both short-term and long-term,” said Khalil Demir, the humanitarian organization’s executive director. “We have already seen the positive effects of sustainable livelihoods on Yemeni farmers. We believe the best way to support them is to make sure they have an established path to independence when they are finally freed from the excessive violence they endure.”
That independence aligns with Alkhanshali’s vision for The Mokha Institute’s impact.
“What we are trying to achieve in Yemen is to provide hope for peace and prosperity through coffee,” Alkhanshali said. “Bringing people together is what Zakat Foundation of America is about. Together, we look forward to scaling their efforts in Yemen to new heights and making hopes into reality.”
Zakat Foundation of America’s farming program in Yemen has allowed farmers to grow and sell their own sesame, creating a pathway to self-sustainability and self-reliance. Partnering with The Mokha Institute will give Zakat Foundation of America the opportunity to support more Yemeni farmers as they increase their yields and their means of production.
“As voices in Yemen call for a positive narrative and a sense of hope for Yemen’s future, a partnership with The Mokha Institute made perfect sense,” said Amna Mirza, Zakat Foundation of America’s chief marketing officer. “Together, we’re doing what we can to answer the call through sustainable livelihoods to give Yemenis that hope. Coffee farming can be a major source of economic revitalization that Yemeni farmers can take pride in. It’s a story we need to tell the world. It’s time to flip the script and change the narrative.”
Together, Zakat Foundation of America seeks to further The Mokha Institute’s mission of empowering, building and radiating the efforts, voices and needs of Yemeni coffee farmers.