January 05 2019 – Michael van den Heerik
It’s easy to only associate Rwanda with its tragic past; to fix a mental image of a country at its worst; to not look at everything else the people stand for and all that they’ve achieved. But of course, the truth is always more complex, and sometimes a lot more positive than we tend to acknowledge. Like many countries with similarly heartbreaking histories, Rwanda is a work in progress, and has a long way to go towards healing the wounds of its all-to-recent genocide. In reality, the people refuse to let that be their country’s only legacy; they refuse to be defined by their past, and they are taking every opportunity to play an active role in rebuilding their country for a more prosperous and harmonious future.
Kivu noir is committed to playing an active part in this rebuilding. We are proud to play a role in the lives of the Kivu noir employees; particularly the women, who tend to be the backbone of their communities. The local women are the heart and soul of Kivu noir, and their passion, care, and meticulous dedication to their work is deeply infused into the ethos of the company and the product we deliver. Their nurturing spirit is evident in the way they work, and we hope to emulate that nurturing by returning the care they demonstrate in everything we do.
We value a personal approach to our company and the coffee we produce, and have therefore been nurturing a close relationship with our farmers for many years. The relationship extends to providing healthcare to the farmers for whom we have built a dispensary at Nkora, where our coffee grows. We also share part of our proceeds with women who survived the genocide against the Tutsi in 1994.
We believe strongly that encouraging and supporting an educated, prosperous community should be a priority when a company puts down roots. By providing our farmers with quality bonuses and support such as farming tools and training, we equip them for a life beyond their day job. Being empowered themselves, the farmers have been able to ‘pay it forward’, and have invested in their own community by building a local school. The people we work with and who make Kivu noir so special understand how crucial education is for the future of their children and their country, and we feel honoured to play a small part in that.
When you purchase Kivu noir, you are also investing in the lives and futures of Rwanda. When you buy Kivu noir, you become part of a story that tells us that people are capable of so much more beyond their circumstances; a story of healing, courage, and hope.