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Terry Montgomery, Royal Buna’s founder, and CEO was always sure of one thing: He wanted to help as many people as possible. The problem was that for years, he wasn’t sure how to do it. It wasn’t until a trip to Africa that he finally found the inspiration he needed.
In a small Ethiopian town, he ran into some local children playing soccer, but the conditions were less than ideal. They were forced to kick around a simple ball of yarn, among the squalor and animal waste, that served as their field.
Low on money, Terry and his associate, Tersit Asrat, scraped together what they could and bought the children some soccer balls and matching t-shirts they could use as uniforms. It wasn’t much, but he felt it was the least he could do.
Terry and Tersit were embraced with warm-hearted cries of gratitude and well-wishes, and so they knew that whatever they could do would be worth the effort.
Buna (coffee) is the number two highest-traded commodity in the world, second only to petroleum, and the potential for growth and a universally loved product like buna (coffee) was too good an opportunity to pass up. Royal Buna is special in its ability to work with the farmers themselves, and it’s this grass-roots approach that allows Royal Buna to more efficiently funnel proceeds back into community development and help more.
So, as a first step, they sponsored the town’s first ever soccer league. From there, momentum continued to build until eventually Hosanna House (a home for homeless girls) was opened. It has already helped many orphan girls, including one particularly moving case of a girl who, after her mother’s death, had nowhere else to turn. She was sleeping every night by her mother’s final resting-place in the village cemetery. Thanks to the foundation’s help, now that same girl is attending college.
Terry and Tersit continued to expand their humanitarian outreach by asking for donations but knew they needed a more sustainable and efficient plan. When Terry was finally offered the opportunity to invest in a small coffee production enterprise, he saw the way forward to a sustainable solution for a real opportunity and true empowerment for communities, families, and women.