In 2016 some of our team were working in Rwanda looking for coffee and we realised that if we changed our business just a small amount then we would be able to make quite a sizeable difference to the lives of some of the coffee farmers and people resettled following the genocide.
For the last two years we have donated profits (not all of them) to the project and our team give their time to help the guys in Rwanda. The roastery team also spend time in the country helping with the coffee crop.
We began in 2016 with the construction of additional classrooms for the school in Musenyi which has now been completed and 200 children can now receive an education locally without having to travel long distances and stay away from home.
Of course, we didn't just turn up in Rwanda and start building. We work together with a charity called New Beginnings, in particular two people - Jaqui Turner and Malcolm Clear, who are also based in Sussex. They began the program in 2008. Jaqui and Malcolm oil the wheels, know the local area and people intimately, put pressure on the government and have enabled all of the work to proceed.
The school construction is part of a wider project which has included safe water, community centre, farm equipment and training. For 2017/18 we are raising money for a health post (for 900 patients a month) and again construction has begun.
Once the infrastructure projects are completed the village will reach self-sufficiency meaning they can run day to day without further contributions. That said, we continue with further construction and maintenance projects to bring benefits closer to the coffee growing areas and washing stations.