Many women play pivotal roles in making Land of a Thousand Hills Coffee's work possible. For example, we wouldn't be able to do what we do without our managing director in Rwanda, Lisa Isaline Girurugwiro, and the 200+ women of the Nziza Collective. Keep reading to learn more about their stories and support them this International Women's Day.
Lisa joined LTH in 2021 and quickly became our go-to team member on the ground in Rwanda. Now, she’s our managing director and so much more. She also just received her MBA in project management with a thesis on managing resources in coffee-treatment projects. We’re so grateful to have her thoughtful leadership, intelligence, and compassion guiding our work in Rwanda.
Why did you want to work with LTH?
Because the company vision does not only focus on crafting beautiful coffee but — most importantly — it creates purposeful work and cultivates flourishing communities.
LTH’s mission is very different from the other coffee-related businesses you’ll find in Rwanda. It focuses on supporting farmers and their families by giving back, empowering farmers, and initiating sustainable community development.
My personal goal in life is to make a lasting impact by supporting vulnerable people who do not have a voice or opportunities for economic growth or stability. Working with LTH has been my greatest blessing, thanks to its mission and good leadership that not only provides a supportive work environment but aligns with both my professional and personal goals.
What is your primary role as managing director?
It’s hard to describe my primary role — we have so much going on! Simply put, I’m responsible for leading and managing our coffee production in Rwanda, including analyzing the market to continue developing our processes and product for continued success.
I’m also in constant contact with the farmers and communities we partner with, providing coffee washing station managers with inspiration, motivation, and guidance to station managers and working closely with our partners to identify and develop Do Good Initiative Projects.
Can you explain more about what the Nziza Collective is and how it’s changed women’s lives?
The Nziza Collective is an initiative LTH started when opening our Kivu Lake washing station to empower women in the surrounding area and help them build sustainable livelihoods through coffee farming and producing handicrafts during the off-season. Many men in the region left their wives after they had given birth or once the women had reached a certain age, leaving the women to fend for themselves and their children with few opportunities to make a living.
Today, the collective is made up of more than 200 women who have risen out of poverty and are able to support their families through their incredible coffee (the Nziza Collective Microlot is one of our bestsellers!) and beautiful hand-woven peace baskets and other crafts that we sell on our website and in our cafes.
By purchasing the collective's coffee beans or crafts, you contribute to a single mother and her family’s opportunity, stability, and power — we can't think of a better way to mark International Women's Day!