We have a strong history of improving prospects for farming families from our roots as a rural microfinance society. In 2012 we achieved Fair Trade certification and have already put the premium to good use in our community. We also have other supporters working in partnership with Bukonzo Joint to improve the lives of our farmers and our communities.
People travel many kilometers to reach the Kyarumba Health Center but have nowhere to stay and women still die in complications during childbirth, unable to afford or reach the private hospital in the region. With the support from Fair Trade buyers, we aim to change this situation. We are currently building an extension to Kyarumba Health Center to include an operating room and accommodation room for new mothers.
To help our farmers to increase their profits, and to bring an array of other advances to the community, Bukonzo Joint has also been instrumental in lobbying the government to bring electricity to the village of Kyarumba where we are headquartered. In 2013, the introduction of electrical lines enabled the Co-operative to operate processing machinery and bring numerous technological improvements that maximize the potential for our farmers to get a fair price for their coffee.
With the support from Fair Trade buyers we have also built roads and bridges connecting our rural communities to their market. In Mahango, many of our farmers would walk 11 kilometers to deliver their coffee to Bukonzo Joint. Middle buyers would take advantage of farmer’s land-locked community and purchase coffee well below market rate. In 2013, Bukonzo Joint in partnership with Belgium Development Agency built a road and a bridge now connecting these farmers to Bukonzo Joint’s micro-washing station and the Organic and Fair Trade market that offers farmers the premiums they deserve.
BRINGING RUNNING WATER TO RURAL COMMUNITIES
In 2013, in partnership with Belgium Development Agency Bukonzo Joint worked with local communities to build water pipelines. Water pipelines now travel straight to our micro-washing stations improving the quality of coffee and the farmer’s income. Communities built their own community water taps from these pipelines alleviating the burden placed on women and children to haul water for their daily consumption.
We also work on a host of other community initiatives and programs to improve the lives of our farmers and their communities.