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Origin Experience, Rwanda

In May, our team in Rwanda hosted 80 staff from Starbucks who came together from the US, Asia, Europe, Middle East and Africa.

The Starbucks team travelled to Bugesera District, approximately one hour from the capital, Kigali, to participate in a special Community Project. The team got involved in a range of practical activities to help families renovate their homes and compounds in order to increase vegetable production and make use of natural resources. This included constructing cow shed floors and water tank bases, brick baking and establishing kitchen gardens.

This year, five families – who are all members of Send a Cow’s 4 year Coffee & Cows programme – benefitted from Starbucks’ support. The families were delighted to receive help with physically demanding activities like cement mixing and digging – jobs they would otherwise have to enlist neighbours and group members to help with, which could take many months to complete.

One of the families supported during the visit is 40 year old Dieudonne, his wife Elevanie and their five children. Dieudonne earns a small but unreliable income from casual labour. He is trained in tailoring but has been unable to find work in this area – and cannot afford to buy a sewing machine.

The family do not eat regularly which impacts the health of their youngest children. Dieudonne has sleepless nights worrying about his problems. On the day that Starbucks visited, Dieudonne and Elevanie were incredibly grateful for the support and could not believe the transformation to their home and compound.

Find out more about the Starbucks trip in our video: