For nearly a decade, Atlas Coffee Importers , Salt Spring Coffee, and several other long-term partners have worked closely together with coffee producer Bukonzo Joint Cooperative Union (BJCU), located in the Rwenzori Mountains of Western Uganda.
In May 2020, severe flooding in the region washed out houses and crops, and damaged BJCU’s facilities and milling equipment. Over 5 metric tons of coffee and parchment were lost.
Baluku Paineto, BJCU’s general manager, reached out to friends and partners to request financial assistance. Some immediate funds were sent so BJCU could start repairing their milling equipment, but approximately $30,000 in additional short- and long-term funding are needed. With some funds already donated, we are looking to raise $20,000 to help support BJCU.
BJCU has been a pioneer both in quality washed specialty Arabica coffee and pioneering gender equity at the family, cooperative, and community level through a program called Gender Action Learning System (GALS) . We are inspired by their community and their coffee, and feel fortunate to partner with them and call them friends. This is why Atlas Coffee Importers and Salt Spring Coffee have partnered together to create this fundraiser.
If you want to help support BJCU, you can make a donation through this GoFundMe**, or buy a bag of Salt Spring Coffee’s limited edition , Mountains of the Moon. This roast is created exclusively with BJCU beans and 100% of the profits will be donated to Bukonzo Joint. Also, if you make a donation of $60 or more, email a copy of your receipt to [email redacted] with your mailing address. The first 50 people to email their receipt and address will get a bag for free!
**If you would like to donate directly to Bukonzo Joint, or make a larger one-time donation, please contact Mollie Moisan ([email redacted]), Susan Heller Evenson at Atlas Coffee Importers ([email redacted]fee), or Darren at Salt Spring Coffee ([email redacted]) and we can facilitate alternation payment/donation avenues.
We will send monthly wires to Bukonzo Joint from the funds raised, and they will provide us with monthly updates of progress and photos, which we will post on the Gofundme platform. The budget and timing estimates Paineto sent are below:
Thank you for your consideration, support, and partnership with BJCU.
Kyarumba, home of BJCU's headquarters and dry mill
Flood clean up at one of BJCU's micro washing stations
BJCU members and buying partners after annual microlot competition
GALS presentation by Pesi Muthikwa, Manager of St. Goret Micro Washing Station
Cleaning BJCU Offices during the flood
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