Building a More Inclusive Coffee Value Chain
With support from the US Department of State’s Bureau of Weapons Removal and Abatement the Polus Center sponsored a “Universal Design” workshop for coffee producers from the Eastern Lake Kivu region of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The workshop is part of a larger effort by the Polus Center to build a more inclusive coffee value chain, helping coffee farmers devastated by landmines regain their livelihoods. Executive Director, Michael Lundquist believes that with improved design comes increased access which in turn increases productivity, efficiency, and quality - all helping to build peace and economic stability in the community.”
Helping Students with Disabilities Find Meaningful Work
Polus Center offers an after-school and summer career exploration program for high school and college students who are blind or visually impaired. The Envision Success Project gives students the opportunity to explore their career options, not in the classroom, but by actively touring businesses and workplaces to experience the work environment and job responsibilities of people in a wide range of occupations.
Photographs by Stephen Petegorsky
Since 1998, Massachusetts based photographer Stephen Petegorsky has been documenting the work of the Polus Center for Social and Economic Development capturing images that both reflect and inspire their humanitarian work. Don’t miss this powerful exhibition at Valley Photo Center in Springfield March 1-31, opening reception March 1st, 6-8pm
One Empowered Survivor Finds His Voice
From survivor to advocate, Polus Center beneficiary Adelmo Uni Jimenez speaks out against the scourge of landmines in Colombia, and around the world.
Training Gives One Young Technician A New Beginning
Goma, The Democratic Republic of the Congo. From patient to bench technician in only a year, Julienne PayPay’s commitment and determination have earned her high praise from Polus Center Prosthetist and Instructor Dave Evans, CP. In his latest report from the field, Dave shares his admiration for Julienne’s hard work and supports the growth of online technician training opportunities to create broader accessibility for women and people with disabilities.
Exhibition & Wounded Angels Online Campaign launch
The expressive artwork of Syrian refugee children will be on exhibit November 20 - December 31 in Massachusetts at Sam’s Cafe and Pizzeria, 235 Main Street, Northampton. Join us on December 14th from 5-8pm for Northmpton’s Art Night Out where we will be selling art prints of the Children’s work to raise funds for the program. Art photography, and archival prints by Stephen Petegorsky.
Lake Kivu Coffee Alliance
The Polus Center has been working in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, with Lake Kivu Coffee Alliance partners to help coffee farmers who have lost limbs to landmines and explosive remnants of war by providing rehabilitation, support, and job training. The Alliance has been named a P3 Impact Award Finalist.
Changing Lives Around the World
Catch up with Polus Center’s Executive Director Michael Lundquist in this in-depth Cambridge College Connections Alumni profile “Changing lives around the World” and again, together with Polus Center Chief Operating Officer Theresa Kane, in the Global Coffee Report Feature “Conflict Along the Coffee Belt”.
Hope in Coffee on Idjwi
A Delegation from the Polus Center arrived on the island of Idjwi in the Democratic Republic of the Congo to meet with coffee cooperatives and assess how injured coffee producers, who have lost their ability to farm due to injuries sustained by landmines /explosive remnants of war, might return to work.
Polus Center Celebrates 20 years of International Victim Assistance Work
The Polus Center Celebrated it's 20 year anniversary supporting victims of conflict around the world, with an exhibition and benefit events this past May, at the A.P.E. Gallery in downtown Northampton, Massachusetts.
From Conflict to Coffee
Follow photographer Stephen Petegorsky as he travels with the Polus Center to Nicaragua, Colombia and the Democratic Republic of the Congo in From Conflict to Coffee. His photography follows rehabilitation work with injured coffee farmers struggling to survive in the aftermath of civil unrest and war.
Join Michael Lundquist & Asem Hasna for a cup of coffee and conversation.
Follow along as Syrian refugee Asem Hasna takes you on a harrowing journey from Syria to Germany where he helps give other amputees a second chance at mobility.
Dark to Light : Exhibition Benefit
May 15-19, 2018 From Jordan to the Democratic Republic of Congo, the Polus Center has supported victims of conflict the world over for the past 20 years. Join us this May as we celebrate our work with Syrian refugee youth and the Coffeelands Trust. Find out more about our planned events here...
All Things Irish 2018
Come join the Polus Center as we celebrate All Things Irish! This lively fundraiser is always a crowd pleaser. Enjoy bag pipers, Irish step dancers, traditional foods, and community spirit. Proceeds from the evening will support the Polus Center’s Envision Success Project, a career exploration and job training program for legally blind young adults age 14-21.
Healing is Happening
In this short video, coffee Farmer Isaac Wetewabo shares his hopes for the future and his daily struggles in the aftermath of a landmine accident.
Dave Evans in the Congo
Dave Evans sends greetings from the Democratic Republic of Congo. Right now he is on the ground there working as part of a Polus Center effort. In this short video montage we see him providing direct assistance to wounded coffee farmers and upgrading the skills of local technicians who are to care for them.
Coffeelands Trust Fundraiser
During our work in Nicaragua we discovered the fact that so many of the people impacted by landmines make their livelihoods from coffee. Landmines and explosives have been present in six of the ten top coffee producing countries in the world. In this letter from Executive Director Michael Lundquist, he shares more about how we can make a difference in the lives of coffee farmers whose very livelihood puts them at risk.
Dark to Light: A Syrian Child's Journey
A collection of paintings by Syrian refugee children participating in Polus Centers expressive arts therapy programming Amman, Jordan. The Exhibition opened October 5th at the Old Truman Brewery in London.
The Sir Bobby Charlton Center For Support & Rehabilitation opens in Amman, Jordan
UK Based Charity Find A Better Way, has partnered with the Polus Center and Asia Development Training to provide a permanent home for our long running prosthetic rehabilitation program in Jordan.
The Gift of Giving
In this Donor Spotlight we share the generosity of Bob and Kathleen Easterbrooks. A Prosthetist who closed his business earlier in the year and donated thousands of dollars in materials and equipment to the Polus Center. The donated goods will go to support the rehabilitation of survivors of conflict around the world.
Female Technicians Supported
The Polus Center training offers post graduate prosthetics upgrading opportunities to many Syrian and Jordanian technicians. The program is considered ground breaking particularly for female technicians, as it is the kind of exposure few women in this part of the world would normally receive.