Shawn traveled to Mababu, Tanzania for his annual origin trip to meet with our farmer partners– this time with 14 high school outstanding students from our Chocolate University program. They spent a week inspecting our next crop of cocoa beans, sharing our profits, tasting chocolate and leading strategic planning sessions for the farmer group. The group also facilitated "Vision of Greatness” writing sessions for more than 400 Mababu middle school students, helped our farmer partners build and install sack gardens for widows in their village and communed with them and their families in their homes. And as always there was lots of singing, dancing, and celebrating. The sentiments shared below are from some of the CU students when asked what most impacted them about the trip.
“This trip changed my hopes for the future by showing me that even a single man can make a huge difference in a community. I always believed that I wouldn’t be able to help enough people but Shawn showed me that it is possible to make a significant difference in the world. So now I plan to follow what I once considered just a dream and make it into a goal." - Lelia Ismaio
"I also want to focus my government/policy work towards women’s issues because Mama Mpoki’s leadership of the CCF was so empowering.” - Amanda Morrison
“This experience is helping me to love more and be welcoming to everyone and enjoy my life, even if it isn’t the best, by returning to simplicity, staying positive and focusing on the things that matter most.” Timothy Hodges
“Meeting Fred and going to his farm had the greatest impact on my life. I’ll never forget how he welcomed us by cutting down fresh papaya and coconut. He taught us that ducks raise chickens better than chickens do and that we are too big to climb coconut trees. He shared that because of Askinosie Chocolate, he is able to send his children to the very best schools. He told us how important it is to him that his kids receive the best education and I think it is incredible that he shows his love for his children by doing what is best for them.” - Emma Brand
“I want to start an organization to provide training for girls in developing countries in typically male dominated professions.” - Ronnie Warren
“This trip has confirmed my plans to become a doctor and has made me consider taking a month each year to travel and provide services where they may be lacking.” - Alec Hilton