Coffee is our way of promoting and celebrating the best of Africa. In order to help our country progress, we invest in trade and education for a more sustainable quality of life. By bringing high-quality coffee on the global market, we support Rwandan farmers and create jobs for women. We want to take this opportunity to share with you how we invest in Rwanda’s future through education and our partnership with “École du Bon Berger”, a private school in southeastern Rwanda.
École du Bon Berger is a nursery and primary school offering multilingual education in French, English, and Kinyarwanda. The school was founded in 2017 and has been formed under three main pillars “empowerment, diversity, and well-being”. Although education is now accessible to the majority of Rwandan kids, many parents cannot afford to pay for education for their children. Therefore, École du Bon Berger pledged to fund school fees for 10% of its students.
Rafikï Coffee started a partnership with the school by sponsoring primary students for the academic year 2019-2020. This sponsorship does not only cover tuition fees, school supplies, and uniforms, but also transport to and from school, morning snacks, and a hot meal for lunch.
Over the past years, our partnership with l’École du Bon Berger has evolved to implement sustainability initiatives, alongside the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), at the school. So far, this includes training of the school’s staff and teachers on the merits of the SDGs, the addition of a dedicated course “Education for Sustainable Development” to the curriculum, and the “Green Initiative” club for students. This club does not only serve as a space to educate students on the importance of the SDGs using songs and poems but also allows them to participate in activities that move beyond rhetoric. Activities of the club include reforestation, the creation of nurseries for different plants, recycling of salvaged products, and providing people in need with food and sanitary products.
In recognition of all this work, l’École du Bon Berger has recently received the SDG pioneer award, the first on the African continent.
In the near future we are planning to continue this important work to raise awareness of the challenges of sustainable development among the students of l’École du Bon Berger, as well as other youth in the Bugesera district, by organising a half marathon event to share the benefits of the SDGs in our daily lives. For this occasion, we will give food to people in need, identified in different areas of the Nyamata sector.
We are also looking to organise visits to other schools in the Nyamata sector to teach the concept of waste management based on the 3 Rs ( Reduce, Reuse & Recycle) there and sharing information with the parents of all students illustrating and explaining our activities in relation to the SDGs.
Additionally, we are working on a long term project to install a wastewater treatment system on the school’s campus that will provide clean and safe drinking water to students and staff on site and can also be shared with people in the neighbourhood. We hope to create a self-sufficient system composed of a water pump and filter that can thus transform ground and rain water and are powered by solar panels that we are planning to install as the campus’s energy source.
Through all of these projects, we are targeting SDGs 2-7, 13 and 16-17.
You can directly support École du Bon Berger and read more about their projects (including the construction of a computer lab and providing school materials) on their website: https://ecoledubonberger.org/