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Rise Up Blend X WeWork

Rise Up: Rebuilding Women’s Hope Through Coffee: A Blend of Empowerment and Quality

Every cup of coffee has a story to tell. It’s not just about the flavours and aromas; it's about the people and communities that make it happen.

Rise Up reflects our commitment to creating a positive social impact. The blend combines two origins, Brazil and the Democratic Republic of the Congo and results in a coffee carrying a subtle sweetness complemented by a fruity undertone. The coffee from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is sourced directly from a female cooperative, Rebuild Women's Hope (RWH) on the Island of Idjiwi in Lake Kivu.

From 1998 to 2003, the DRC was deep in a civil war. The ongoing fighting, conflict and violence that eastern DRC experienced led to approximately 6 million deaths. Farmers had no way of processing their coffee, and their main customers were smugglers who would take the coffee across Lake Kivu to neighbouring Rwanda. Today, DRC remains the most dangerous place in the world to be a woman, sadly boasting the worst gender equality of all coffee-growing regions, ranking 3rd worst for equality globally. 

In 2013, Marceline Budza, a woman who from a young age wanted to change the situation for women in eastern DRC, founded Rebuild Women's Hope, a cooperative led by female coffee farmers. Their main aim is to provide women in rural communities, many of whom had been widowed by the war, with the tools to raise their living standards and those of their families and to become financially independent.

The DRC coffee industry continues to be dominated by men. Women are discriminated against and lack access to decent jobs. That's why RWH advocate for women’s rights and gender equality. They encourage women to challenge societal norms and be at the centre of decision-making processes, giving them back their independence.

RWH now has over 3,050 members and has already provided a source of income, education and healthcare for over 15,056 women.

With Marceline's determination, the support of nonprofit organisations like Root Capital and coffee investors like us, RWH have been able to kick-start several initiatives that empower female coffee farmers on Idjwi Island:

  • In 2020, they developed a Women's Centre to give women access to training and courses in tailoring, sewing, baking and business, helping them generate an income and support their families during and outside the coffee season.
  • In 2021, a Maternity and Pediatric Medical Centre was set up in the community to tackle the lack of facilities available to women experiencing problems during pregnancy and childbirth.

Rise Up Coffee bridges the gap between coffee lovers and the remarkable women behind Rebuild Women's Hope. The success of this cooperative shows the incredible impact that can be achieved when people come together to support gender equality, economic empowerment, and community development. 

Every sip is a step forward in the journey toward a brighter, more equitable future for the women and families of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. And we believe that together, we can raise a cup and rise up to become part of this powerful narrative.

To learn more about the current and upcoming projects at Rebuild Women's Hope, click here.

Success story: ”I am married with 10 children, am really very happy to belong to the RWH coffee cooperative, because through to it and to my coffee, my life has changed and I am now able to pay for my children's schooling and their health care. Now I am really independent.” Jeanette Mw'Rwezi).

About The Coffee 

  • Origin: Brazil, Democratic Republic of the Congo
  • Process: Natural and Washed
  • Tastes like: Raspberry Candy, Orange Rind, Milk Chocolate

Our bespoke blend combines two origins, Brazil and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, resulting in an espresso with muted acidity and delightful tasting notes of milk chocolate, orange rind, and raspberry candy.

From the DR Congo, we source coffee from a visionary generational producer who established a female cooperative in Idjwi Island. This cooperative empowers women by using coffee production as a means for socio-economic development, contributing to education, healthcare, and economic growth for 15,056 women. The coffee exhibits intense sweetness and bright red fruit characteristics, striking a perfect balance between acidity and sweetness.

The second component of our blend is from Fazenda Mio in Brazil. Tailored for muted acidity in espresso, this coffee undergoes Full Natural and Washed processes, enhancing its sweetness and character with flavours of dense nut, toffee and stone fruit.

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