Rebuild Women's Hope
“To rebuild the spirit of a woman is to rebuild the spirit of a country.”
Rebuild Women’s Hope Mission Statement
Mela Musa & Claudine Mwegegabe - inspiring coffee farmers at the Hala Washing Station, Oct '19
Founded by Marcelline Budza in 2015, Rebuild Women’s Hope (RWH) Cooperative (DRC) exists to empower Congolese women through financial enablement, education and the skills to build a sustainable future for themselves and their families. Driven by an unbounded determination to improve the lives of women in the Congo, a country where women are oppressed, overlooked and victims of widespread physical and sexual violence, Marcelline established the coffee cooperative on Idjwi Island, Eastern Kivu…
Approx. 16% of people on Idjwi Island grow coffee in an effort to make a living. Conditions are perfect for growing high-quality Arabica coffee yet many farmers risk their lives trying to sell their coffee. Crossing to Rwanda by handmade wooden boats, many farmers die each year drowning in Lake Kivu. Even if you make the crossings, life on the remote island is not easy - no roads, running water or electricity and 1 in 10 women in Idjwi Island suffer serious often fatal complications during childbirth.
Marcelline, along with her husband Bertain Bahizire, have battled not only the practical challenges of building a business on such a remote island but also the prejudices of wider DRC towards women. In 2017/18 all coffee grown and due for export by RWH was locked down in Goma, almost driving the cooperative out of business. With the future of the cooperative in doubt, Mozzo purchased 260 x 60kg sacks of coffee and effectively secured the short term future of RWH.
Travelling to Idjwi Island in October 2019, Mozzo’s Founder Grant Lang, along with Richard Hide, Marcelline and Bertain, laid out a plan to build the cooperative from currently producing 48 tonnes of coffee to 153.6 tonnes by 2024. This can only be achieved by building a 3rd washing station on the island and increasing the production capacity of RWH Cooperative.
However, coffee alone will not solve all the challenges and needs of the island - they desperately need a maternity clinic. RWH has already identified the land for the clinic and through the C2C Fund™ Mozzo will be funding the build in late 2019 and throughout 2020.
RWH Maternity Clinic Plan Visualisation
But the journey doesn’t end there…
Mozzo wants to (literally) go the extra mile to support as much as we can. Inspired by the arduous journey faced daily by many on the island, we will celebrate our relationship with RWH with a feat of personal endeavour….
From April 1st 2020, over the course of five days, Mozzo Founder Grant Lang (joined by some mighty Mozzo Masters, coffee partners and supporters along the way) will tackle a 200-mile journey on foot (running two marathons and three ultra-marathons) in a bid to raise £100,000 to further help equip the maternity clinic and build an additional coffee washing station for the cooperative. We will soon be sharing more on our Run For Hope event so keep an eye out on here and our social media channels for more info on how you can get involved, donate and stay up to date!