With Ikizere women’s group, Baho Coffee Company brought together 60 single mothers to cultivate coffee to help them succeed financially and personally. They’ve been so successful that married women have started asking to join their group. Their coffee is clean and sweet with tropical fruit, berries and stone fruit.
Being a single mother in patriarchal society like Rwanda is quite challenging and they frequently face a lot of stigma, isolation and depression. In order to support single mothers, Baho Coffee Company initiated a solidarity group where single mothers could join together over coffee farming and also find friendship and hope. The women chose the name “Ikizere” for their group because it means “hope” in Kinyarwanda and that is what they felt the group represented.
Ikizere women’s group meets regularly to share their experiences, learn from each other and their successes. Baho supports the women with training in Good Agricultural Practices (GAP), coffee cultivation and high-quality processing. Baho also provides training in other skills including financial literacy, weaving and animal husbandry to help women diversify their income and be successful.
Through Baho, Ikizere members receive good prices for their cherry and are able to market their coffee as women-produced, which adds value for growers and roasters alike. Members receive price premiums for their high-quality coffee and their women-produced status. The women also receive health care and short- term loans for family needs and Baho helped build a source of clean drinking water in their community that everyone can access..
Ikizere has become so successful, that married women are now requesting to join the group so that they can access the benefits the single mothers in the group now have. Ikizere’s single mothers have chosen to share their successes and have welcomed other women into their group