Rwanda Kungahara Women's Group
12 oz valve bag
Region: Western Province, Rutsiro district
Producers: Bwishaza Cooperative
Producer sub-Group: Kungahara Women’s Group
Elevation: 1,650-1,800 masl
Mill: Bwishaza Cooperative Mill
Varietals: Arabica, Bourbon
Importer: Artisan Coffee Importers
Cantaloupe, Black Tea, Yellow Tomato
The women of Kungahara are members of the Bwishaza cooperative (Western Province). Bwishaza is a relatively young cooperative, formed in 2010, and many of the female members of the Kungahara group are also much younger than the average Rwandan farmer. The president, Angelique TUYISENGE, is energetic and leading the women with new ideas.
In 2017 the cooperative began working with a Korean non-profit named Beautiful Coffee. Beautiful helped with governance, funding for infrastructure and training in quality, new processes (natural) and marketing. They not only helped the cooperative start the Kungahara women’s group, they supported marketing of the women’s coffee by bringing Angelique to a major coffee trade show in Seoul on 2019.
With 206 members in 2021, each woman tends trees on small farms (<.5 hectare). They meet in sub-groups called farmer field schools for training on best practices.
We are excited to be able to continually work with Artisan. Founder Ruth Ann Church is a stalwart supporter of the Bwishaza Cooperative, and when speaking with her about the Kungahara group, she is filled with joy and admiration for the women who continue to work day in and day out, striving to always do better - not just for their coffee production, but for the future generations of Rwanda.
The genocide of 1994 left Rwanda reeling. 60% of the population was now women, many of whom were left widowed. These women were now tasked with being single mothers, heads of households, business-operators, and reviving an entire nation after crippling tragedy. Rwanda has since written into its constitution that at least 30% of its governing members must be women. Today, 61% of the national parliament are women - more than any other nation.
Kungahara means “be rich” in the Kinyarwanda language. Beyond being a fantastic coffee, this is the product of outstanding resilience and dedication from these women.
In the first image are (left to right): Eugenie MUKARUBAYIZA, Angelique TUYISENGE, Ruth Ann Church