Sales of a coffee brand named after a set of books by Edinburgh author Alexander McCall Smith are to fund the education of a group of school girls in Malawi.
Scotland Street Coffee, launched last year by the writer, who serialised his 44 Scotland Street stories in The Scotsman, is sold by tea and coffee merchants Brodies and has raised more than £3,500 – which will pay for a high school education for three young women who would otherwise be unable to afford to attend school.
The profits from the sales of the coffee have all been donated to Scottish charity the Mamie Martin fund, which enables young women in the African country to attend school.
Mr McCall Smith said: “I am delighted that the Scotland Street Coffee sales have been able to help young people in Africa to get an education.
“Drinking coffee is always a pleasure – but what a greater pleasure when it is drunk in the knowledge that it will help young people get started.”
Mariot Dallas, trustee of the Mamie Martin Fund and daughter of founder Margaret Sinclair, said: “The girls who have been supported through their secondary education are now enriching their communities and their country.
“In the MMF we are committed to continuing the work of Mamie Martin and her daughter Margaret Sinclair and it has been wonderful to have the support of Scotland Street Coffee as we continue to work towards our aim of educating girls and empowering Malawi.”
Mrs Sinclair, who founded the charity – named after her mother – died in December. Mrs Sinclair was born in Malawi, where her parents were working as missionaries, but her mother died in childbirth when she was 15 months old and the family returned to Scotland. She returned to Malawi, with her husband, John, in 1993, when she was persuaded by ministers to set up a fund for long-term education support in the country.
David Hope-Jones OBE, principal officer of the Scottish Government’s Scotland Malawi Partnership, said: “We’re delighted that the Scotland Street Coffee has been such a success, with all profits helping educate girls in Malawi.” Coffee was introduced to Malawi from Scotland in the 1870s with a plant from the Royal Botanic Garden.