We are excited to partner with Kisbi Coffee, a coffee company committed to providing you "access to some of the best coffees around the world." In addition to their high-quality coffee, Kisbi gives back to organizations like Opportunity who are improving the conditions of those living in poverty around the world. We are grateful for their support and partnership, and proud to align our work with theirs by investing in those who produce high-quality coffee and other crops around the world.
One such coffee farmer is Francine Mukeshimana, a widow and mother of five young children who found herself unable to support her family. To make matters worse her own health was failing and doctors would not see her because she could not pay for her husband’s medical bills. Francine started selling bananas in the village center when her husband died, but she was not able to make ends meet. Things started looking up when a neighbor told her about Opportunity.
She quickly joined an Urwego Opportunity Bank (UOB) Trust Group and she used her first loan to purchase bananas in bulk and sell them to local schools and in the market. Her son, who is now a teenager, helped her by carrying a basket of bananas on his head to the market three times a week while she delivered to the schools.
Francine knew that in order to grow, she needed to diversify her products, so she started learning about growing coffee. With the help of her Trust Group members and Opportunity loan officer, she began to learn to harvest the coffee trees that were left untouched since her husband died.
Today, Francine and her son are major producers of coffee cherries. They walk with baskets of coffee on their heads to the closest washing station, which can take all day. In order to reduce her costs and save time, she now hopes to purchase a cargo coffee bike so her son can easily transport the bananas and the coffee cherries. But for now, she is happy with everything she has accomplished.