Koehler + Co provides on-the-ground coordination of the printing and distribution of non-government organization (NGO) materials.
In 2008, one of my clients, Project WET Foundation (Water Education for Teachers), a Bozeman, Montana-based nonprofit, received funding from the U.S. government’s Africa Education Initiative (AEI) to develop and produce educational materials for African schoolchildren. Two children’s booklets, a teacher’s guide and a poster – all addressing critical water topics – were to be printed in Africa, as an additional way of contributing to the local economy.
My challenge was to find a printer in Africa with all the different equipment we needed, preferably under one roof, since the pack-out of these pieces was complex – two languages, 27 countries, 800,000 schoolchildren. I eventually found a printer in South Africa that could handle all our needs.
The success of the first Africa project has led to several return trips – successful printing projects in Uganda, South Africa, Tanzania and Malawi. And in 2011, we are producing projects in South America and Mexico for UN Habitat. Though every new print project in a far-flung locale presents its own unique set of challenges, with each one the process gets a little easier – each one further blazing the trail for projects to come.
Over years of working in the printing business, I’ve been called upon many times to “pull a rabbit out of a hat” and have always managed to do so. My specialty is working with clients who require a high-quality product brought in on budget within time constraints. The relationships I have developed with my professional group of partners have allowed me to be successful in these endeavors.