Swap your cup of java to spread hope and help to children with Type 1 Diabetes in Ethiopia
If you could trade your daily cup of coffee to save lives and livelihoods, would you?
My name is Marina, I have Type 1 Diabetes (T1D) and I began my journey creating the Kaffa Exchange as a freshman in high school. During a trip to Ethiopia, back in 2018, to visit relatives I donated bring supplies to children living with Type 1 Diabetes. I learned that there are only 3 pediatric endocrinologists in the entire nation and I wished I could do more to help. The Kaffa exchange was born to increase access to culturally relevant diabetes education in Ethiopia.
I decided on the name the Kaffa Exchange because coffee originated in the Kaffa Region of Ethiopia … the idea behind it was to encourage those who can to donate even just the amount they would spend on a daily coffee towards this cause. My hope was to make it easy for anyone to participate in the effort; and with enough people, a real impact is made. Every donation counts and makes a big difference!
With this in mind, and with the help of many generous family, friends, and supporters, the Kaffa Exchange has arranged three more deliveries of life-saving supplies and raised over $10,000 to pay for the printing of an Amharic (the official language of Ethiopia) translation of Dr. Santosh Gupta’s book, Living the Sweet Life with Diabetes. Our endocrinologist contacts in Ethiopia have said ‘this book will be transformative for their patients, by giving them access to simple medically approved strategies to help them achieve better blood sugar outcomes. With better outcomes, diabetes-related complications can be reduced or postponed, increasing quality of life. In some small way, our goal at the Kaffa Exchange is to contribute to making these positive outcomes a reality.
UPDATE: The Amharic translation as well as an Afaan Oromo translation of “Living the Sweet Life with Diabetes” by Santosh Gupta is complete and the books have now been distributed to patients. The money raised going forward will go toward efforts to train more pediatric endocrinologists/diabetes specialists to increase access to medical advice and care. Here are some pictures of the dedication I wrote for the translated books:
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Whitney VanderWilt Wallace
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