Get to know Masereka Brian. Beyco´s newest Implementation Officer in Uganda
Brian: ´I was fortunate enough to be born and raised in the Ruboni tourism Village, nestled at the foothills of Mount Rwenzori in Kasese District. Growing up in a coffee-growing family, I witnessed firsthand the challenges faced by farmers due to unfair prices and poor post-harvest handling in the Rwenzori region. This experience motivated me to pursue a career where I could make a meaningful difference.
After completing my studies in Biology, Chemistry, and Physics, I enrolled in a Bachelor of Food Processing Technology at Kyambogo University. During my time there, I became actively involved in the Kyambogo University Coffee Association. From serving as the assistant marketing secretary to becoming the association’s president, I gained valuable insights into the coffee industry and its challenges.
My journey in the coffee industry led me to intern at the Uganda Coffee Development Authority (UCDA), where I worked in the department of quality assurance. Additionally, I trained as a barista under the UCDA inter-university barista program. These experiences equipped me with hands-on skills in quality control and assurance along the entire coffee value chain.
Aspiring to Make a Difference
Throughout my studies and internships, I developed a strong passion for working with smallholder farmers and ensuring their fair treatment in the market. I witnessed the hard work they invest in their coffee, only to receive minimal returns. It is this desire to bring about change and empower farmers that led me to Progreso.
My first encounter with Progreso came through a friend who shared a job advert for a Beyco implementation officer in Uganda. Intrigued, I immediately researched Progreso and was captivated by its mission, vision, and dedication to climate resilience projects. The organization’s focus on supporting smallholder farmers resonated deeply with me, as I had personally experienced their exploitation.
I am thrilled to be part of the Progreso team, as it presents an incredible opportunity for me to travel, meet new people, and share knowledge. Progreso’s commitment to empowering smallholder farmers aligns perfectly with my conscience and values. I hope to contribute to the community by working passionately with farmer-producer groups, ensuring traceability, fair prices, and greater negotiating power through the Beyco platform.
Passion for Sustainable Development
Promoting sustainable development is at the core of my beliefs. Alongside my work in the coffee industry, I have obtained online certificates in becoming a global citizen for a sustainable society and Climate change in Practice. These qualifications have deepened my understanding of the importance of sustainable practices and the need for collective action.
In addition to my coffee and sustainable development pursuits, I’m an active member of the Kyambogo University Debate Society. Debate has become a mental sport that sharpens my critical thinking and enhances my ability to express ideas effectively.
As I embark on this new chapter with Progreso, I am filled with excitement and determination to make a difference in the lives of smallholder farmers. The journey that led me here, from being a coffee enthusiast to a sustainable development advocate, has shaped my perspective and strengthened my commitment to empowering communities.