After a long search for a location that would deliver genuinely unique Rwandan cup profiles the team settled on the Shyira site which is approximately a one hour drive from Musanze in the north-western corner of Rwanda. The Shyira hills adjoin the famous Volcanoes National Park - home to Rwanda’s Mountain Gorillas.
Shyira’s small-scale is a deliberate choice to allow the washing station to focus on specialist and niche micro-lots for sale as single origins in European markets. The washing station receives cherries from neighbouring farms as high as 2400masl which is among the highest - if not the outright highest - coffee grown in Rwanda.
At Shyira, farmers receive payment upon delivery of their cherry as well as second and bonus payments tied to quality. Additionally, the Shyira washing station raises tens of thousands of seedlings for distribution among the farmers and was also able to pay for health insurance for all member farmers.
Shyira in Crisis
On May 7th 2020 floods ravaged the Nyabihu District, home to the Shyira farming communities, with catastrophic effect. The lives of 28 members of the community were tragically lost in the floods while the ensuing mudslides continued to cause destruction.
325 homes, 36 classrooms, 12 churches, a healthcare centre, electrical and water infrastructure and farming livestock and coffee trees have all been destroyed. Help is still needed to provide basic food, clean water and physical safety support for families affected. In addition to our own support, all profits from coffee sold will be directly donated to funding emergency relief.
At the time this was written the funding for phase one of the relief was 85% complete. Phase-one funding will provide the community with food, water, clothing and shelter while removing further risks to public safety.
Coffee For A Cause
Further funding will be phased to:
1) Rebuild homes, replace lost livestock, replant crops and rebuild community infrastructure which is vital for sustaining these farming communities.
2) Build resilience, invest in planting to prevent further landslide and provide training to improve land management.
The foundation of the specialty coffee model is its interdependence and opportunity to create a positive impact in farming communities around the world. By choosing a Rwandan coffee this month you are helping to aid relief to farming communities when they need it most.
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