Kivu Lake, Rwanda

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"NZIZA" is the Rwandan word for "beautiful."

The Nziza Collective is a group of over 200 women who are the single providers for their families. This year their coffee was of an unparalleled calibre, and was set aside from the rest of the Kivu Lake harvest to be featured as a microlot under the same name.

However, poverty and old wounds still perpetuate cycles of abuse and need, and the women of the Nziza Collective have become our priority as we together seek ways to build the health of their communities.

During a recent team visit to Rwanda, we met with the Nziza Collective to learn about their goals and challenges, and to hear the stories of their experiences. We were shocked and grieved to hear of rampant abuse suffered by these women, made vulnerable by circumstance and lack of opportunity.

We also made a startling discovery.

As the harvest got into full swing, our Rwandan team noticed that the coffee brought in by the women of the Nziza Collective was of premium quality, due to attentive cultivation. Their coffee was set aside as a microlot – a high-quality selection from a larger sample – and is now featured among our coffees as a roast by the same name. The Nziza coffee has all the piquant fruit and brown spice notes typical of the region, with an extra level of sweetness and refinement that makes for a deeply rewarding cup.

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Buying the coffee cultivated by the women of Nziza brings them sustainable income, the cornerstone of stability. While coffee brings a transforming wage, these women told us that additional sources of income are imperative as they continue to provide for families during the off-season.

The Nziza Cooperative asked for tools and training.

Their vision is clear – they want the supplies and education to sew textiles and weave baskets. We have seen this model have great success in the Ruli area, where a basket-weaving cooperative creates the gorgeous baskets that decorate our shops, and are available for purchase in our shop.

Our goal is to provide sewing machines, basket-weaving supplies and training, and literacy classes.

By donating to the Nziza Collective, you will be actively contributing to year-round stability for a single mother and her family by providing her with opportunity.