High altitude, high-quality coffee
Rebuild Women’s Hope (RWH) is a coffee cooperative situated on Idjwi Island in Lake Kivu, Congo, offering high-quality coffee due to the region’s high altitude such as partners Muungano and Sopacdi. With a partnership with Oxfam since 2022, RWH membership comprises 70% women.
The production and transportation of quality coffee in the region face difficulties due to the turbulent and unstable political situation, leading to smuggling with neighboring Rwanda for years at unfavorable conditions. Women suffer these consequences even more.
To counter this issue, the cooperative’s founder, Marceline Budza, aimed to organize women and increase the added value of their coffee production. Additionally, the cooperative focuses on female empowerment, building on the hope of women being the hope of the whole nation.
YOUNG AND AMBITIOUS
With their efforts in building sustainable coffee production and empowering women, Rebuild Women’s Hope is a model of positive change within the region.
- As a young yet ambitious cooperative, they have already built 2 additional washing stations, newly certified as organic since 2022.
- In addition to building a maternity and pediatrics clinic, RWH invests in providing drinking water and toilets near washing stations and offers training on farming techniques, bread baking, soap-making, sewing, …
- They promote female empowerment via workshops on women’s rights.
- Focusing on agro-ecological cultivation techniques, they fight erosion, increase soil fertility sustainably, and plant fruit trees for extra income. Partnering with Muungano, a cooperative also situated at the Kivu Lake, they learn from Muungano’s years of field knowledge to continually improve.
Oxfam & Rebuild Women’s Hope
- The cooperation started after a visit in 2022. In 2023, the cooperative was screened with an in-depth audit.
- With the support of Oxfam-Wereldwinkels’ Partner Fund, an agro-ecological project was started, Muungano, who already has several years of experience, supports Rebuild Women’s Hope in this project.
What is agro-ecology?
This climate-friendly way of farming relies on three pillars. First, the soil. By mulching, covering the soil with nutrient-rich plant residues, the soil becomes a sponge and better captures rain. Shade trees are a second element. These trees protect against scorching sun as well as heavy rains. This creates a micro-climate with a more stable temperature. As a third pillar, we have biodiversity. Having various plants together means fewer diseases. Certain diseases are more difficult to spread and some plants are even natural insecticides.