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On 25th November 2020, cafés, roasters and baristas across the world will come together to join Nyabibrew to support the people of Nyabihu, Rwanda coffee communities who lost everything in a terrible landslide earlier this year which we reported here.

Whilst the rest of the world and media highly focussed on the Covid pandemic in the midst of May, heavy rains swept across Rwanda, causing flash flooding and disastrous landslides that left 72 people dead.

In the Nyabihu District, there was an estimated USD $132,000 worth of damages. Communities have lost loved ones, and their livelihoods with at least 325 homes destroyed along with a lot of the infrastructure they needed for survival.

Community buildings, including 36 classrooms, 12 community churches, 10 administrative posts, a healthcare centre and the Vunga market all sustained significant damage that needs to be urgently replaced or repaired.

Coffee trees and farms were also destroyed. The crops and livestock were essential to daily life in this region as farming families rely on coffee for 65% of their income.

Families typically own 0.4 Ha & produce about 1200-1400 kg of coffee cherries per annum giving an average household income of less than USD $700/annum.

On top of the impacts from the global Covid pandemic, farmers were already receiving a reduced income.

While the government is working to the best of its capability to respond in the current economic environment, additional support for farmers is critically needed. 

Raw Material in collaboration with Muraho Trading Co., and the Rwandan government, launched a GoFundMe campaign.

The campaign is structured in three phases:

  • Immediate Needs
  • Support Recovery
  • Resilience

The campaign is currently on Phase 2 and the GoFundMe page at time of writing was just about to hit $150,000 of the listed $250,000 goal. An amazing achievement!

Phase 1: Immediate Needs

Phase 1 goal was to raise USD $30,000 which has now been 100% funded, in which they used USD $25,600. This went towards immediate needs such as;

  • Support removal of debris and isolate risks of further landslides
  • Deliver food and potable water
  • Provide clothing, blankets and basic hygiene products for those in need

Emergency food, clothing, and care packages have been delivered to 312 families.

Phase 2: Support Recovery

Phase 2 is aiming to raise USD $184,000 to support recovery such as;

  • Rebuild houses (e.g., roofing sheets, concrete, reinforcing steel)
  • Replant crops (e.g., coffee seedlings, fertilizer, preparing the land)
  • Replace livestock and related infrastructure (e.g., fencing, sheds)
  • Provide food and income support while livelihoods recover

This is the current stage where they are currently fundraising. Cafés, roasters and baristas across the world will come together to join Nyabibrew on 25th November for this fundraising event.

Here are the different ways a business or an individual can take part:

  • The donation of a % of profits from Nyabibrew by your business to the fund
  • A per coffee sold donation, starting on the day of Nyabibrew and continuing from then on
  • A % from profits of all retail coffee sold on Nyabibrew day
  • A % from profits of online / wholesale coffee sold on Nyabibrew day
  • A personal donation directly to the Go Fund Me page

Phase 3: Build Resilience

Phase 3’s goal is to raise USD $250,000 (the amount currently showing on the GoFundMe page). This is aimed to build resilience such as;

  • Upgrade housing to improve health and safety (e.g., sealed floors – dirt floors are the norm and our baseline for phase 2, gas cooking stoves – eliminate smoke and related illness, solar power, etc)
  • Invest in certified seeds, plants, inputs needed to improve resilience to landslides (e.g., reforestation) 
  • Provide training on practices to improve land management (e.g., terracing, drainage)
  • Support to help restore community emotional well-being through social events

Initial quotes received. Currently, they are engaging with agronomists and landslide experts to improve the plan.

Together we can not only help rebuild these communities and lives of Nyabihu right now, but we can mitigate the cycle of these disasters going forward.

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Barry Callebaut


Bartalks Coffee News Cast

COFFEE NEWSCAST – 16-11-2020