THE VISIONARY & THE VISION

In 2010, Robyn Borruso visited an orphanage in South Africa. The children at the orphanage were more than just statistics; each had a unique story of pain and loss, and yet they approached life with a zeal that is rarely seen even in children that have all their day-to-day needs met.

Humbled and inspired by their warmth and affection, Robs decided to improve the lives of these lost children and established the Eniwe Children’s Fund, a not-for-profit organisation.

With a base in Sydney, Eniwe Children’s Fund has raised over $300,000 via Change Coffee and other activities, and is involved with community projects from Empangeni in rural Kwa Zula Natal to the Khayelitsha and Guglethu Township on the outskirts of Cape Town. As these projects have grown and expanded Robs and her team have seen exciting, tangible results through the work of Eniwe Children’s Fund, and has affirmed their belief in the ability to change lives.

In 2017, Robyn handed over the reins of Change Coffee to Simone Dowding.

How did this all begin…and where to from here? As a South African living in Australia I became acutely aware of how fortunate I am and especially how fortunate my children are, and how many children have no choice about the abject poverty they live in.

I wanted to ‘make a difference’ and I believed, and still do believe, that we can fundamentally change the lives of some of these kids. Raising money and asking for donations is a hard slog, and as restaurant/cafe owners we know how habitual your food and drinking habits can be. I wanted to somehow tap into that habit and create an awareness around our coffee ‘spend’.

As a coffee lover myself, I easily buy one or even two coffees a day without even thinking about it and when I did the calculation that the price of just one of those coffees can feed a child for 15 days, I knew we had something and we simply had to tell the world!!
And so Change Coffee was born.

It’s so wonderful to think that coffee can actually change the world! I’ve loved building Change Coffee and love the crazy good energy around it, but it’s time for me to focus more on my projects on the ground and pass on the Change Coffee ‘baton’ to someone who will give it life and growth and impact; someone infinitely more qualified to take it where it deserves to go - I give you Simone from The Blessed Bean . Please join me in supporting her and wishing her all the best for the next part of Change Coffee’s journey :)
Onward the revolution!
— Robyn Borruso

Simone Dowding is co-owner of The Blessed Bean cafes, coffee consultancy and wholesale roasting, a journey which began with an absolute passion for coffee, an understanding of the place it holds in people’s lives and a vision for how she could make a difference.

With a Byron Bay based coffee roasting facility, 5 cafes, a team of 25 staff and numerous Golden Bean Awards, The Blessed Bean continues to grow from strength to strength and is building into roasting several tonnes of coffee per week. 

Simone holds a degree in psychology, and spent a year studying meditation and Buddhist philosophy with the His Holiness, the Dalai Lama in the Himalayas.

Café owner, come film maker, Simone has also directed two short films. She is passionate about drawing attention to important community issues. “A Fathers Love” won first prize in a local short film competition and raised thousands of dollars for the Wagga Women’s Health Centre. “The Enemy Within” focuses on depression and suicide prevention and features world champion boxer and ex-Rabbitohs player Joe Williams. This film shares Joe’s inspirational life story and his ongoing battle with depression.

Simone’s philosophy in life and business is to connect, inspire and make a difference. This permeates through everything The Blessed Bean does from customer service to marketing strategies and is the cornerstone of its success. Simone is excited to take Change Coffee to the next level and see it change lives.