Solace Ministries, our local partner

Solace Ministries is a non-governmental organisation in Rwanda. Founded in 1995 with the aim of helping genocide survivors, in particular widows and orphans, Solace Ministries supports them through counselling and income-generating projects, among other things. They work together with the Mukomeze Foundation in the Netherlands on the coffee project, as centre of coordination and monitoring in Rwanda.

As our local partner, Solace Ministries plays a crucial role in this coffee project.  They are in direct contact with the women who grow the coffee in the countryside in the south of Rwanda: Kabagari, Nyanza, Muyira, Rusatira, Ntongwe and Mugina, as well as with the other Rwandan partners (Nyamurinda Coffee Growers and Isano Business Center). All women are genocide survivors and benificiants of Solace Ministries.

Founder of Solace Ministries, lokale partner, Het Bèkske, Specialty koffie, Rwanda

The human impact

Solace Ministries was founded in 1995 by Jean Gakwandi, survivor of the genocide.

Counceling is one of the many activities that Solace Ministries offers in support of other genocide survivors. Listening and comforting is the first step in the healing process and trauma processing. Solace Ministries is committed to a holistic process with community development, medical care, education and employment for people who are physically capable.

Organized in sixty Solace communities across Rwanda and ranging in size from fifty to several hundred people, the goal of Solace Ministries is to be an alternative family for survivors, to promote the restoration of their dignity and create networks of support for individuals who are traumatized, lonely, poor and longing for hope when they face an uncertain future.

Bèkske helps women cope with their trauma, but that is only the beginning. The microcredit granted includes a package of tailor-made tools, depending on what women within the communities need in order to be able to count on a successful harvest. This can range from the purchase of tools to work the land to assistance with accounting or the cost of hospitalisation to treat their condition, often HIV. Each of these activities ensures that these women and men are gradually integrated into society, growing their self-esteem and their function within the community also favours other members.

Jean Gakwandi

Jean Gakwandi understood better than anyone the importance of human contact. He listened, consoled and cried with his fellow sufferers… but understood that – order to empower these people – more was needed than just a listening ear and a shoulder to cry on. Counselling, training, information, child care and care in general… that’s what they needed. And above all however, they needed a common goal as a connecting factor.

Bèkske coffee is such a connecting factor, making it possible to stand on one’s own  feet, both economically and psychologically. After all, in addition to the amounts per kilo of coffee regulated by the government, 25% of the revenue value return directly to these women.

Would you like to contribute to this human impact?