Agnes has been working with Send a Cow Rwanda for two and a half years as part of the Jyambere project. She tragically lost her husband and children during the genocide in 1994. One of her children, 19 year old Olivier survived, and Agnes later adopted her second child, 13 year old Protais.
Following the death of her husband and children, Agnes felt that she was simply existing day-to-day. Her compound was almost empty and she struggled to grow anything. She laboured on other people's land to earn money for food.
“I didn’t even use to look ahead as far as the next day and had no plans for the future.”
Agnes was selected by the local community as being one of their most vulnerable, and she joined the Send a Cow group.
"It was like starting from zero, rebuilding a life. Visiting other farmers helped me to open my mind and see things differently. When I saw rainwater harvesting, I implemented it in my farm."
She received her cow almost a year and a half ago. It has not calved down yet but the manure has significantly improved the soil quality and her harvest.
Before, Agnes used to harvest around 5kg of dried coffee beans, but today that has increased tenfold to 50kgs! She intercrops the coffee with beans to improve the soil and provide shade for the coffee plants, along with applying mulch to the soil to retain moisture.
With her flourishing farm, her confidence and self-esteem have grown. And what she learns she shares with her children.
“I have passed on what I have learned to my son, Oliver, so that he participates in all of the jobs around the house and doesn’t think that certain roles are for men or women.”
You can help more struggling farmers like Agnes by buying our new Coffee gift. As a special thank you the first 1,000* of these gifts donated will receive a free bag of Starbucks special Christmas blend coffee beans.
With your support we’ll help more farmers in Rwanda make the most of their land. They’ll receive training in techniques such as composting, mulching, crop rotation and rainwater harvesting. And manure from their livestock will enrich their soil so they harvest more and better quality coffee. In turn this will improve their income and
Coupled with adding manure from animals, farmers will greatly increase the quality and yield of their crops. Selling their superior coffee crops gives families a healthy income.
Send a Cow is proud to be supported by Starbucks on the Coffee + Cows project in Rwanda. * This offer is only available in the UK. Place your order today. Once the 1,000 packets of coffee are gone, they’re gone!