Tasting Notes: Strawberry Jam, Chocolate, Plum, Praline
Roast level: Medium
Country: Democratic Republic of the Congo
Region: Lake Kivu
Farmer: Rebuild Women's Hope Cooperative
Rebuild Women’s Hope (RWH) is a cooperative led by women coffee farmers located on the large, remote island of Idjwi in Lake Kivu in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo. Their mission is to produce specialty quality coffee whilst empowering women and raising the standard of living of our members. For generations, farmers on Idjwi have largely depended on the coffee they grow. But before RWH was founded they had no way of processing their coffee to a high standard and nowhere to sell it apart from to smugglers, who took it across the lake to nearby Rwanda.
While women in Congo do much of the labor involved in growing and harvesting coffee on their family farms, traditionally it is their husbands who are in charge when it comes to selling the produce and making business decisions. The contribution of women is largely not recognized in society and women are widely seen as being incapable of dignified work that contributes to the needs of their families and communities.
In 2013, Marcelline Budza founded RWH. Inspired by her own mother’s resilience while bringing up her four daughters alone, she set out to find practical ways to transform the lives of Congolese women in rural communities. At RWH, women are at the center of decision-making. The co-op works to create a spirit of entrepreneurship and self-management among the members in order to raise the standard of living in their communities. RWH believes that a community where women are empowered is a thriving community.
I have been a subscriber since their launch, having been introduced to Better Grounds at a coffee festival. I have enjoyed every monthly selection so far! Their service is a great choice for anyone who, like me, wants easier access great quality coffee and anyone who might feel overwhelmed trying to look into the sourcing bonafides of different brands. I appreciate that they do this work for their clients, and also support different roasters who are doing good work.