Supporting the women of Dukunde Kawa

In each of the origins that we operate in, we look for creative and meaningful ways to support our producing partners and their communities. We have been working with Dukunde Kawa Cooperative for over a decade now, and during that period have supported producer quality awards, raised funds for a pasterisation machine, and this year, we are raising money for a craft room for the women of Dukunde Kawa.

Coffee is an important cash crop for Dukunde Kawa’s members, but as it only harvests once a year, the cooperative is always looking for ways to support its members outside of the harvest. During our last visit to Rwanda we asked Isaac, the Executive Secretary of Dukunde Kawa, what their members needed the most. He explained that the women needed a room for their craft work. Many of the women are talented weavers, and during the off season (and on days they are not harvesting coffee) they weave incredible baskets that they sell at local markets. Currently this is done outside due to lack of space, however having a dedicated room would protect them from the elements, providing a much nicer a space for them to work, store their materials and products. Even more importantly it will be a space where the members can connect — many of the women that form this group are widows — and the support and sense of community they get from being part of this group is incredibly valuable.

This year we have committed to raising enough funds for this room, so that it can open in time for the 2019 harvest.  $1 from every kilo of  Mbilima Womens coffee sold will be donated towards this room. We are also hosting a Rwandan Cup Tasting Tournament in Sydney and in Melbourne and aim to raise $1000 at each of these events. Our goal is raise $10,000 in total – and the good news is that we are already nearly halfway to this goal, thanks to an incredible donation from the team at Admiral Cheng Ho and Bayano the Rebel who raised over $4,000 opening their shops up on Christmas Day and giving all proceeds to this cause!

If you would like to get involved and support this initiative please do not hesitate to get in touch. We would love to hear from you!