Dukunda Kawa—Bikes to Rwanda
Thank you to all of our supporters!
In January, Thanksgiving Coffee Company partnered with the non-profit organization Bikes to Rwanda to raise funds to help bring hundreds of “coffee bikes” to the cooperative that produces our Rwandan coffee. With overwhelming support from our customers, both here in Mendocino and across the country, we raised over $2,500 to construct a bike shop for the Dukunde Kawa Cooperative in less than two weeks! A sincere thank you to all who supported this project.
Bikes Delivered to Dukunde Kawa Cooperative
I was proud to deliver this news in person when I met with the cooperative’s board of directors in February. They decided to construct the bike shop adjacent to the cooperative’s central washing station, where farmers deliver their coffee to be processed. During my trip Rwanda I saw many coffee bikes being used to transport a variety of items; sacks of grain, crates of soda and beer, water, passengers and of course, coffee. After driving around the “Land of a Thousand Hills,” I can tell you that a bike with gears is invaluable to the legs that power it.
Bike Shop Construction Complete
In May, Clara Seasholtz, Executive Director of Bikes to Rwanda, visited Rwanda and saw the walls of this bike shop going up, brick by brick. Now the building has been completed and over 200 bikes have been distributed to the farmers who grow our Gorilla Fund Coffee. Through a microfinance program, the farmers will become owners of the bikes. Thanks to the new bike shop, they will also have access to tools and training to maintain and repair their bikes.
Not an Ordinary Bicycle
Designed by Ritchey Logic, run by Tom Ritchey in Northern California, these bikes were specifically made to withstand the heavy loads that coffee farmers carry. Each bike can carry 350 pounds on the back rack; equivalent to a few sacks of coffee, a bunch of kids, 2 pigs, or many large water jugs! However used, these bikes make lives easier and enable timely transportation of coffee, which improves the quality of the beans.