This story is a very human one: a journey of true understanding, overcoming adversity and helping communities to forgive and reconcile, moving forward to a future of stability, peace and prosperity for all.
Good Human is a social enterprise focused on delivering more than just an economic trade benefit to farmers and those beautiful humans in the coffee supply chain. Their work transforms lives through a deeper understanding of the people within the supply chain, their challenges, what’s important to them and by supporting the wider community.
Good Human is supported by and in partnership with The Aegis Trust, a long-established NGO, that runs the Kigali Genocide Memorial and a life changing peace and values education programme throughout Rwanda. By improving farmer income, alongside peace and values education, we can establish a stable, sustainable, and peaceful future for these communities.
Easy Jose helps to improve the quality of their coffee, which in turn attracts a higher sale price at harvest. A true story of 'crop to cup', Good Human and The Aegis Trust have sought out a handful of hard-working coffee communities in Rwanda, helping them to earn more for their crop. We admire the way Abakundakawa takes care of their farmers and employees, while producing amazing coffee as a result - hence why we chose to bring you this limited edition offering. All profits made by Good Human are reinvested in the coffee-growing communities and help Aegis to fulfil its important mission.
Good Human and The Aegis Trust are based in Muyumbu, 35 kilometres east of Kigali city, about an hour and a half drive from the capital. Located within Rwanda’s vibrant and lush rolling hills, the Shema Washing Station is positioned at an altitude of around 1,800 meters above sea level, which is ideal for cultivating exceptional coffee. The unique climate of this area, coupled with its perfect elevation and fertile soils, yields coffee beans with a harmonious blend of sweetness, floral hints, and prominent fruity undertones.
Our relationship with Mr and Mrs Charles Shema, who run the Shema Washing Station, comes about through the Aegis Trust, who recognised Charles and the incredible work he was doing some 12 years ago. From early on Charles has been a community-focused leader, by supporting the local community with cows and pigs to produce manure for fertiliser; by helping to develop systems that allowed his farming partners within the area to farm more organically; by establishing markets for the farmers coffee; and all the while helping to drive up the quality of the coffee.
Peace education and trauma healing are two pillars that support upstream prevention of violence. They provide a path to reconciliation and community resilience against dangers of division. However, economic crises and hunger can still leave people - especially the youth - vulnerable to radicalisation, recruitment to armed militia, and to sexual exploitation.
This is where the Aegis 'Resilience Initiative' comes in, adding economic investment in sustainable livelihoods as a third pillar. The Good Human Coffee partnership with Aegis channels investment into previously neglected coffee growing areas, alongside delivery of peace education and trauma healing initiatives. The return on investment sustains and develops the programme while also providing targeted support to communities.
Developed successfully in Rwanda, peace education develops critical thinking, empathy and personal responsibility. It is now in the national curriculum in Rwanda, as Aegis focusses on teacher and community training. The same educational approach is being applied in at-risk countries, including Central African Republic and northeast Nigeria and is even being considered by the Governor of Texas to reduce and discourage post-election division.
Many who have experienced conflict, forced migration and atrocities are psychologically traumatised. It is hard to rebuild their lives while trauma fuels fear and mistrust. Together with peace education, trauma healing has been shown to contribute to recovery and reconciliation.
There are two parts to Aegis sustainable livelihoods plans. The first is vocational training being incorporated into general programmes, the second is access to capital via a venture fund. Among the opportunities Aegis has already identified is Good Human Rwandan specialty coffee - a true farm to cup business that tracks the impact on the farming community.
You can shop and support our Good Human Coffee here.