Turmoil to Triumph Series: Rwanda’s Finest Coffee

Maria Bedabazingwa shows off her new home. With her earnings from selling coffee, she was able to purchase a cow, health insurance and construct a new home.

Maria Bedabazingwa shows off her new home. With her earnings from selling coffee, she was able to purchase a cow, health insurance and construct a new home.

In post-genocide Rwanda, coffee farming has been a boon to small farmers like Maria Bedabazingwa looking to rebuild livelihoods after the 1994 violence. Maria is a coffee farmer from Musasa district, and a member of the Dukunde Kana coffee cooperative that RWASHOSCCO, a USADF grantee since 2008, represents. Maria lost her husband and two eldest children during the 1994 genocide. With her house and land destroyed after the war, Maria struggled for years until 2002 when she joined the cooperative to grow coffee. With a steady income from selling her coffee beans, Maria was able to buy a cow through the Dukunde Kana cooperative fund and purchase health insurance. “Before I had nothing. Now thanks to my coffee farming, I was able to save enough money to build my new house,” says Maria. To read more about how USADF is helping small farmers like Maria to build better, more sustainable livelihoods in Rwanda, visit our Remembering Rwanda series.

Twenty-years ago this month we mark the beginning of the Rwandan genocide, where nearly a million people were killed in 100 days in 1994. The U.S. African Development Foundation has remained steadfast to helping Rwanda’s men and women, from vulnerable women to smallholder farmers, from entrepreneurs to small business owners, to rebuild their country. USADF supports vulnerable populations as they advance from the sidelines of poverty, with USADF assistance, to become players in the economic growth and progress in post-genocide Rwanda. To read more, visit www.usadf.gov/remembering-rwanda.