Since way back in 2009, we've worked with the Point Foundation to give back to tea growing communities in Rwanda - where we source a lot of our everyday brew. We do this by making a donation for every pack of everyday brew, decaf english breakfast and kombucha we sell, donations made via the teapigs website, and fundraising activities too. Thanks to your help, we've raised a whopping £550k so far!
Since Louise & Nick visited Rwanda in 2019, there have been a few changes to how our funding is used – not least as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. And, while our regular donations have always allowed the Point Foundation to use & divert funding to where it’s most needed by the community at any given time, it means a lot of change has happened in recent months!
So, it's high time for a summary of our ongoing projects and the upcoming ones too. Let's get up to date!
In 2019, all teapigs sponsored university students finally graduated. The world is now their oyster - and we'll be keeping in touch to hear about what they get up to and support many of them through funding micro-businesses and other programmes.
Our donations continue to fund books (remember our book drive?), equipment and teachers for House of Children primary school, alongside Germain’s nursery school and Kigeyo primary and secondary schools.
We work with the Ubumwe Community Center in Gisenyi and Mwogo Vocational Center. As well as teaching work and life skills, both act as community hubs and support students with disabilities. Recently we've been able to fund 2 braille machines and 4 sewing machines for the UCC - allowing the young adults to learn new skill sets that can help them support themselves.
One of the exciting new projects for the year, is the development of a new (much larger!) eco-focused community center in Mwogo - which will act as a hub to bring together education, farming, and much more all in one place. Speaking of which...
Sustainable farming is one of the newest areas our donations support, and plays a big part of the new Mwogo eco-focused community initiative. Donations help supply equipment, animals and training for community farming projects - these projects go on to feed local families and businesses, as well as generate income for the farmers. The farmers grow maize, carrots & beans, as well as looking after bees, 6 cows and 3 calves - including baby calf Lou, named after our very own Louise (the teapigs co-founder)!
A portion of our funding is set aside for a range of community projects such as kick-starting businesses by residents, including 5 who once lived at the Noel Orphanage - one of the original projects we worked with way back in the late '00s. Community support also means being available for emergencies like urgent medical care, and allowed us to support with food provision during lockdown.
teapigs House in Gisenyi first came into being as a place to support people with disabilities in the community. While the original teapigs House has now closed as all the residents have found homes back in the community, the foundations for teapigs house #2 are already in the ground as part of our work at the new Mwogo community centre - providing accommodation for students, teachers and volunteers who are unable to travel to the site everyday.
With so many changes, we've got lots of exciting new plans for the years ahead. Keep up to date by following us @teapigs and watch our journey continue!