TJX EUROPE – HOW IT ALL STARTED
Since 2008, TJX Europe has been working in 12 communities in the war torn Rwenzori region of Western Uganda to help send children to school.
War, violence and political unrest, have meant an entire generation has missed out on education. There are very few schools in the remote mountainous regions and where there are schools there are often over 60 children per class, teacher shortages, few books or materials, and makeshift classrooms.
Many parents couldn’t afford the school fees required for even this level of education, and children often miss school to help their families earn their living.
In 2008 just over half the children (53%) were able to go to school. Enrolment has now risen to 94%, with over 10,000 children in 12 communities now able to attend primary school.
Since the Rwenzori Sustainable Trade project stared in 2011, there has been a 40% increase in children completing primary school education.
THE SUSTAIINABLE TRADE PROJECT IN UGANDA
Initially, TJX worked with Save the Children to build classrooms and teachers houses, supply educational materials and clean water and toilets. TJX Europe has now funded 20 new classrooms, 500 desks, 3,000 textbooks, box loads of solar lamps, materials, fresh safe water and latrines, and invested in teacher training.
Working with 6000 families, a sustainable trade programme was developed in 2011 to enable parents to increase their incomes so they can afford to send their children to school.
TJX’s aim is to help parents ensure their children complete their primary education. They do this by supporting them to generate their increased incomes, by production and sales of coffee, cocoa, cotton and craft.
HOW IS TJX SUPPORTING TRADE?
Working with commercial and development partners on the ground to develop better and higher quality yields, helping the parents from co-operatives to sell together.
Selling coffee and craft products in our stores.
Parent producers are helped to increase their incomes by increased knowledge which has led to increased yield and better quality. Giving parents more reliable and better income from trading regularly allows them to save for school fees and materials
One of the coffee groups has won the ‘Uganda National Taste of Harvest award for 2013/2014’ for its quality coffee.
Cotton & cocoa co-operatives are now Fairtrade certified, helping the co-operatives achieve fairer pricing and access to international markets. As a result of forming these groups, farmers now earn 20% more for their coffee crop.