The Coffee Game

Improving Gender Equality in Uganda

Gender programm

Our team in Uganda, Kyagalanyi Coffee Ltd., in partnership with Strauss Coffee and aBi Trust developed a coffee game that is part of our gender programme for our farmer groups. It is used during training sessions at our voluntary Village Savings and Loan Association (VSLA) meetings.

The coffee game helps coffee farmers to understand how they can improve gender equality and financial management in their households. With these lessons, we believe families are encouraged to invest in activities that not only improve their farms but their livelihoods as well.

The purpose of the coffee game is to improve joint decision-making at a household level. It encourages farmers to discuss challenges they face together. The game is played with couples, so every situationthat occurs in the game, needs to be discussed as a couple. The players of the game simulate situations that can happen in their own life. These are typically situations such as, “Should we stump, reduce our money in the short term but gain in the long term?”, “How much can we save?”, “When do we have to pay school fees?”, and, “Can we invest in other business opportunities?

Gender programm

We believe the game is a fun and enjoyable way to learn through financial management lessons and to encourage mutual decisions in the household.But don’t take our word for it! We asked some of the farmers and the field staff of our farmer group AB-13 in Abanga, West Nile, to share their thoughts.

People like the game a lot. They would love to play more. They want to play often so they can really learn, not just play once. They say that in real life, fertilizer is often too expensive but, in the game, they can pay for it. What pleases me when playing this game with the farmers, is that they note to themselves that it is important to make decisions together. The game makes the players experience that “conflict in the home” affects many things. Keeping good relationships in the household is key to enable saving and working together. Another lesson they learn is that diversification of businesses is also important as it increases their opportunities. They make good decisions during the game: record keeping, saving money, stumping, putting down fertilizer, working together. If they do all that in real life, then they will improve fast. But some mentalities take long time to change.

Benson Kumakech, Gender Officer, West Nile
Arabica Scheme , Kyagalanyi Coffee Ltd.

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