In early November we visited Rwanda to learn more about how The Culture-ist and a sister organization we are developing can work with local Rwandans to empower women and children in need through education and food security initiatives. While there, we visited several cooperatives and nonprofit organizations including an initiative led by Kula Project, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization building up communities in the developing world, starting with the family farm.
For the past year, Kula has been working in rural Rwanda developing relationships with farmers; learning about their greatest needs and getting their ideas on how to solve the community's most pressing problems. The organization developed a three-phase program that will help farmers scale their coffee production; introduce and implement food-crop planting systems to provide the family with a balanced diet; and educate the best performing farmers on how to train their peers.
With Kula's help, twenty families have already planted more than 5,000 coffee trees with six tons of organic fertilizer and brand new, top-notch farm tools. This program will provide the income to feed a balanced diet to 40 parents and 93 children. In the coming years, 81 children will be able to attend secondary school because these coffee trees will provide the parents with the necessary income for school fees.
But Kula is just getting started.
In 2015, the organization will work with 50 widow-led families, helping to scale their coffee and banana production. In order to make this happen, $150,000 needs to be raised to secure funding for 1,500 coffee trees, 1,000 banana trees, farm tools for 10 families, and nutrition training for 20 families.
According to the World Bank, investing in agriculture is twice as effective at eliminating poverty than investing in any other sector. Coffee is the most important cash crop in Rwanda, and banana trees provide nutrition for the family and a natural shade for the coffee trees, protecting their most valuable crop from the sun.
90 percent of farmers Kula has partnered with plan to use the income from the program to send their children to school. Other farmers want to get electricity in their home, start new businesses, and purchase medical insurance for their family.
Having seen firsthand the amazing work Kula is doing on the ground we ask you to join The Culture-ist team in supporting Kula as they work alongside these family farmers, giving them an opportunity to achieve their goals.
Be a part of a farmer's story. Support Kula's Indiegogo campaign here.
All photos taken by Bobby Neptune and are property of Kula Project