Rebuild Women’s Hope (RWH) was started by 28 year old Marceline Budza, who grew up in the Democratic Republic of Congo during one of the most violent periods in the country’s history. In fact it was due to the economic and social struggles faced by her mother that Marceline was driven to pursue agronomy studies at university.
She was inspired to create RWH to help women take charge of their lives and respond to the daily suffering, persecution, poverty and violation of rights she saw women face in her society. In the DRC, a woman has been traditionally considered less valuable than a man, and incapable of contributing to her family and community’s needs through dignified work.
RWH was born out of the desire to combat this idea, through uniting a group of coffee producing women who are fighting against inequality in women’s rights and re-establishing the value of a woman’s work. For that reason, RWH works to create a spirit of entrepreneurship and self-management in women to raise the standard of living in their communities and across their nation.
“To rebuild the spirit of a woman, is to rebuild the spirit of a country.”- Rebuild Women’s Hope Mission Statement
How the coffee mill came about
Coffeelac, is the largest coffee processor and exporter of Arabica beans in Eastern DRC. Run by a third-generation coffee farming family, the Nicolaides; Coffeelac focuses on sustainable practices and providing access to finance and good agricultural training for farmers.
A few years ago they built the first washing station for Rebuild Women’s Hope on the shores of Lake Kivu in Idjwi Island. Since its inception RWH coffee mill has helped change the lives of over 2,800 Congolese women.