We Can Change The World
Coffee Rwanda was formed when the founder, Karl Weyrauch, along with his wife Patricia Boiko and their daughter Anna, visited Rwanda to teach Public Health to the staff of Never Again Rwanda, a local non-profit. Through a roundabout series of coincidences, they found themselves at COOPAC, a Fair Trade coffee cooperative near Lake Kivu.
Karl offered to bring coffee samples back to Seattle and thus was born his interest in Rwandan coffee: as a vehicle for nation building in the aftermath of genocide. By helping to combat poverty among its 2198 member farmers, COOPAC greatly improves their health as well.
Another amazing thing about COOPAC is that it literally serves to help heal the wounds of the 1994 genocide, made known to American audiences in the film, "Hotel Rwanda". Women sort the beans by hand and as they do, they talk - building relationships between the genocide killers and the surviving victims - a meaningful and sustainable avenue for reconciliation.
Interestingly, COOPAC includes among its members individuals of the Community of Potters (formerly known as the Batwa pygmies), a marginalized minority inside Rwanda. Expanding on this beginning, Karl and his friends started the US-based non-profit Pygmy Survival Alliance to apply all profits from the sales of Coffee Rwanda to improve the survival and welfare of these, the poorest people in Rwanda: both those who have been "left behind by history" and their neighbors.
Thus, Coffee Rwanda is a "social business" that is all about the health, education and welfare of impoverished families who survive on a less than a dollar a day in one of the least-developed nations on earth. Each bag of coffee sold raises enough money to buy three pairs of shoes for children to allow them to attend school, often for the first time; or, to provide health care insurance for two people for a year. Or, it can do a lot of other good works through our collaboration in Rwanda and with volunteers in the USA.
Plus, it offers a great cup of coffee at the same time! It's a win-win-win proposition.
Thank-you for your interest in this project and in the welfare of the people of Rwanda. As they say in the language Kinyarwanda: "Murakoze cyane!"
You can help make a difference.
Please contact us at:
4545 49th Ave. NE
Seattle, WA. 98105-3827