On the 25th November 2020, coffee businesses around the world will come together to support the communities of Nyabihu, Rwanda who lost everything in landslides earlier this year.

Earlier this year, as the world began to lock-down in response to COVID-19, massive floods hit Rwanda. Landslides destroyed the homes and crops of hundreds of families in the Nyabihu district. In Nyabihu, farming families rely on coffee for 65% of their income, with average household incomes being less than US$700 per annum.

“These floods and mudslides were the worst catastrophic event in our lifetimes. 28 people lost their lives. Almost everyone in Nyabihu is affected; houses, roads, bridges, crops in fields, and animals were all impacted.” said Evariste Hagumimana, the manager of Shyira coffee washing station.

In response the global coffee community helped to raise over $100,000 to deliver emergency supplies. The urgent appeal was answered by 850 people via a GoFundMe campaign, raising enough money to deliver essential items to entire neighbourhoods that were suddenly without food, shelter, or income.

This first round of fundraising helped address the immediate needs but now it is time to build a sustainable future. Rebuilding homes, replanting trees, and investing in resilience against future climate events are the key next steps, and much of the coffee industry remains dedicated to the cause.

On Nyabibrew day, hundreds of cafes, roasters and coffee lovers around the world will raise funds to complete the recovery plan. Each participating cafe will be promoted through various media channels to encourage coffee lovers to buy a brew on the day. As they sign up, each cafe or roaster’s logo will be painted into a huge world “map of our coffee family” that adorns the Shyira coffee processing centre wall in Nyabihu; a permanent, powerful symbol to celebrate what can be achieved when the coffee community cares  for and supports each other.

Participating businesses are being asked simply to donate what is possible from their coffee revenue on 25th November and to donate these proceeds directly to the GoFundMe campaign.

Vunga coffee washing station in 2018

Helpful links:

Nyabibrew.org; where people can learn more and register to take part on the 25th of November.

GoFundMe; donations to the cause can be made here.

Playlist of videos telling the story as it unfolds on Youtube.

Raw Material is a social enterprise focused on impact for coffee farming communities worldwide. 100% of the profit they generate goes to producers, directly through payments for coffee and through community-level investments. Raw Material works with a network of smallholder farmers and dedicated global coffee buyers to facilitate trade at stable, sustainable prices while improving coffee quality, yields and community outcomes. https://www.rawmaterial.coffee

Muraho is a specialty coffee producing company run by Gaudam and Karthick Anbalagan – two brothers that call Rwanda home. Shyira coffee washing station is one out of four owned by Muraho. The company has also developed partnerships with other stations across Rwanda, such as Vunga cooperative in 2017. Muraho is dedicated to supporting the wellbeing of Rwandans and Rwanda through coffee and works with partners locally and globally to achieve this.

Raw Material and Muraho are working in coordination with the Shyira sector office of the Local Government to ensure funds are directed to where they are most required.

For further information please contact Jessie May Peters thankyou@nyabibrew.org

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