Published: Nov. 27, 2012

Students host fair trade coffee sale

The Michigan State University Students Advancing International Development's annual Paramount Fair Trade Coffee Sale runs until Dec. 4.

MSU SAID, established in 2009, will sell Paramount fair trade coffee to benefit the Aakkam Revolving Scholarship Fund for Rural Girls in Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu, India. Each 12-ounce bag of coffee can be purchased for $11, with $6.25 of it going toward helping young Indian women attend college. The other portion will return to the Rwandan farmers that grow the coffee.

MSU SAID was created in 2009 after the participants of the 2008 and 2009 International Development and Markets in India summer study abroad program returned to campus. Inspired by the efforts of the non-governmental organization Shanti Ashram, the students wanted to maintain a close partnership by fundraising for the Asha Initiative. After raising $20,000, the project provided measles, mumps, and rubella vaccinations for 10,000 children.

Nearly five years later, the organization has raised a total of $35,000, and the Aakkam Initiative is the group’s fourth project in collaboration with Shanti Ashram.

The Aakkam Revolving Scholarship Fund currently serves nine girls from five villages in rural Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu, India. The goal for 2012-13 is to expand its efforts to 20 girls, ages 14 to 18, from 10 villages.

Paramount coffee can be pre-ordered until Dec. 4. Orders can be placed by emailing or Include name, phone number/e-mail, quantity (number of bags) and coffee type (whole/ground).

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