Rwanda is a small and picturesque country in the East African region, with a thriving coffee industry and largely rural population. Today it is one of Africa’s most prosperous nations. But things weren’t always like this…

In 1994, a tragedy beyond measure struck the country of Rwanda. A genocide against the Tutsi community resulted in the murder of around one million Rwandans, exposing many others to sexual violence and torture.

Among the survivors were half of a million women who were victims of sexual violence and who were left traumatized, homeless, and without financial means to support themselves or their children. In mourning for their families and their communities, these women had to overcome trauma and hardship in order to rebuild their lives.

Throughout the sunny slopes of the south of Rwanda, farming coffee became an important economic resource. Now, in 2020, coffee has a tremendous weight in the life of many of the genocide survivors.

Bèkske coffee aims to help some of these survivors. This is an initiative that helps a group of women to gain economic autonomy by receiving fair compensation with their work in coffee farms. Simultaneously, Bèkske is also a community from which they can feel supported and empowered.

Lea is one of these women that works with Bèkske. Throughout her day, we will learn more about the adversities she faced and how she is becoming empowered.

This interactive story was made by: Bruno Da Silva Iglesias | Julie Leruth | Maria Luís Fernandes | Catarina Silva Fonseca | Rumyana Todorova