An initiative of Melbourne Coffee Merchants, The Umuvumu Project raises money for a kindergarten that services the children of Buf Coffee.
In Kinyarwanda (the national language of Rwanda) the word umuvumu refers to a type of sycamore tree, a long-living species with a broad, strong trunk and far reaching, leafy branches. The trees are planted around homes and villages to provide shade, and in doing so are often used as meeting places for the local community. It’s here that Rwandan people have historically gathered to share opinions and concerns and deliberated on how to progress their society positively.
When Buf Coffee’s founder, Epiphanie, and her son and general manager, Sam, came to name their latest social venture – a kindergarten located just a few kilometres from the coffee washing station, Nyarusiza, in Rwanda’s Southern Province – umuvumu seemed like a perfect fit. A meeting place, where Rwandan people plan and work together to support and uplift each other. And so, in January of 2019, Umuvumu Kindergarten was opened to service the families who farm and process coffee in the local area.
As a frequent visitor to Nyarusiza, Sam had identified the challenge many families face in finding adequate care for their young children during the busy coffee harvest season, when their parents must work on the farm or at the coffee washing station, and their older siblings are attending school (which is compulsory in Rwanda). In building Umuvumu Kindergarten, Buf has not only found a solution for this problem but is also uplifting the community by providing access to early childhood education, a vitally important stage of learning and development for a child.
Ninebars is excited to be contributing to this initiative.
Umuvumu Kindergarten was opened in January 2019 to service the families who farm and process coffee in the local area.