Written By Holly Blackman
There’s a reason our Cyimbili Coffee is often sold out. It’s bold, smooth, balanced dark roast is our most popular bean to date, for many it is a must-have daily staple. We are thankful because this bag of coffee is the result of ALARM's attempt to rejuvenate the Cyimbili farm on the shores of Lake Kivu in Western Rwanda, to bring hope again to the region.
These hills were once the most prominent coffee production plantations. In 1994, the Rwandan Genocide destroyed the plantation, and ALARM, a ministry in this region, is focusing their efforts on not just rebuilding, but toward teaching and assisting people to help themselves. They use the SEES model to measure the Spiritual, Economic, Environmental and Social impact for the community development project.
Here’s their impact in a nutshell:
The Cyimbili plantation provides jobs for the entire community in the surrounding areas. Cyimbili has 39,370+ trees planted, which have produced coffee beans for the 2017 harvest. To care for these trees, it takes 170 full-time workers. During harvest time, it requires an additional 150 temporary workers. The plantation pays their workers twice the amount other coffee plantations pay their workers. This drives up the expenses of producing the coffee, but making a profit is only one of the factors that is important in this holistic Kingdom business.
Evangelism & Discipleship (Spiritual)
The plantation provides a great opportunity for evangelism and discipleship for the employees, suppliers, and visitors that visit the plantation. Not all employees are believers; but most are, but that is not a requirement to be an employee. The employees start their day at 6:30 a.m. with a chapel where there is worship, prayer and a devotional.
There is a school on the plantation for grades 1 through 12. These classes are provided at a very nominal cost, and there are scholarships available to help the students with financial needs.
There is a medical clinic on the plantation that is staffed by the Rwandan Government Health Care Works. The plantation provides the employees with health insurance, and the clinic provides health care services to the employees and other residents in the community.
Wastewater Treatment (Environmental)
Cyimbili creates wastewater in the process of producing green coffee beans. They are beginning a project to correct this problem and put a process in place that will keep this water from reaching Lake Kivu. They are in the process of raising funds for the construction of this system.
Guest House (Economic/Social)
Cyimbili plantation is on The Congo Nile Trail, which is a walking and bike trail along Lake Kivu that extends from Rubavu, continues through Rutsiro, via the Karongi, Nyamasheke districts, and ends at the Rusizi District. There are
227 km (141 miles) of beautiful landscapes, including rolling hills and clear water. The entire trek can be completed in a 10-day hike. However, the trip can be done in sections if travelers do not have the time to complete the entire trail. Trails give stunning views of the Lake Kivu coastline and offer adventurous travelers an exciting way to discover Rwanda. Cyimbili has a guesthouse where guests can rent a room and meals while on the trail. This is another source of income to move the project towards sustainability.
The employees raise all the vegetables for feeding the guests from a large garden they maintain.
The goal for this project is moving towards sustainably. Please continue to pray for Cyimbili as the employees are working hard to become sustainable.
Buy our coffee here and support the Cyimbili plantation.