The Laughing Man Foundation supports coffee farming communities by investing in programs that clear the way to health, growth, and success for coffee farmers and their families.
Laughing Man Coffee started with a promise Hugh Jackman made to our good friend and Ethiopian Coffee farmer Dukale and his family.
The Laughing Man Foundation supports coffee farming communities by investing in programs that clear the way to health, growth, and success for coffee farmers and their families. It started with a promise Hugh Jackman made to our good friend and Ethiopian Coffee farmer Dukale and his family. Since meeting Dukale, Hugh was inspired to start Laughing Man Coffee and the Laughing Man Foundation to support Dukale and similar farmers around the coffee growing world. What we learned from Dukale was first, that amazing coffees are being grown by small farmers like Dukale and they needed to be shared. Second, coffee farming is a family affair. Everyone is part of the process and family is not just those in your home but the community around you that helps and benefits from your success. This appreciation for community and family is very much a part of how we operate our cafes and we wanted the foundation to be an extension of that. So we look to programs that are not so much about making more sustainable coffee, although we do, but focus on sustainable individuals, family, and community.
Check out our feature film, Dukale's Dream, chronicling the start and growth of Laughing Man Coffee and the Laughing Man Foundation.
The Laughing Man Foundation is currently partnering with Fair Trade USA to invest in housing improvements and college scholarships for the Coocentral coop in Huila, Colombia.
For 2018 we will be providing:
40 college scholarships
With additional support for the Higher Education Scholarship program, COOCENTRAL provides subsidies to their member and employees’ families to participate in formal higher education programs to improve their own quality of life and opportunities for the future.
with funds to improve plumbing, roofs, bedrooms, kitchens and other basic quality of life improvements.
Through the Housing Improvement Program, COOCENTRAL offers cooperative members an opportunity to receive small-grants to renovate their homes by replacing warn and rusted metal roofing, refinishing kitchens and installing smoke-less cook stoves, improving rough cement floors with new tiles, building additions for growing families, and installing new electricity, water storage tanks, windows, and doors.
Housing Improvement Program: Progress to date
- 43% of the improvements involved installing floors, cement, painting, and wall repairs.
- 19% of the improvements involved completely new roofing, including new roof support beams, installation of doors.
- 11% of the improvements involved constructing and/or modifying an existing kitchen, including the construction of countertops, tile/backsplash, and painting
- 13% of the improvements involved constructing and/or modifying the sanitary facilities, including the installation of tile walls, doors, and painting, as well as the building out of bedrooms
- 6% of the improvements involved the installation of ceilings and/or the construction of a second floor
Agrado, GARZON, GIGANTE
PITAL, TARQUI, SUAZA
COOCENTRAL member José Vicente Cuellar, from the municipality of Suaza, is thankful for the housing subsidy that he was elected to receive. He said, “Thanks to the COOCENTRAL housing improvement program and the Laughing Man Foundation, I was able to build this entire home, as my previous home was in very poor, unsafe and unsanitary conditions. Without this support I would not have decided to make this investment in this new home.”
COOCENTRAL member Wilson Ceballes Rivera, from the municipality of Garzón, said “I am infinitely grateful to the Cooperative’s Housing Improvement Program and its partial funder the Laughing Man Foundation.” The grant that he received allowed him to build an entire new home, as their previous home was built out of clay reinforced with sticks.
COOCENTRAL members Rubén Dario Yaime and Hernán Calderón acknowledged, “Thanks to the Home Improvement Program, we managed to improve their homes by installing completely new floors.”
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Hugh Jackman is an Academy Award® nominated, Golden Globe and Tony Award winning actor. From his turn on Broadway as the 1970’s singer/songwriter Peter Allen, to his metal claw-wielding Wolverine in the X-MEN franchise, Jackman has proven to be one of the most versatile actors of our time. In addition to his acting work, Hugh serves as an ambassador for World Vision Australia.
In 2009, he traveled to Ethiopia to visit a community development project and met a young coffee farmer named Dukale, working to lift his family out of poverty. Inspired by Dukale’s story, Jackman launched Laughing Man Coffee in 2011 to provide a marketplace for farmers in developing countries to sell their goods to consumers in the U.S. As part of his ongoing commitment, Hugh contributes 100% of his profits to the Laughing Man Foundation, which he created to support educational programs, community development and social entrepreneurs around the world.
David Steingard is the co-founder and CEO of Laughing Man Coffee and Director of the Laughing Man Foundation. He left his work as a criminal prosecutor in Brooklyn to start Laughing Man Coffee with actor Hugh Jackman. They share the vision that business can be a vehicle for positive change and Laughing Man Coffee is a model. David was CEO of Creative Exposure, a small business marketing firm, and CEO of CompuTech Edge,a technology company for public schools.