Today we have such a wonderful update for you all! Last August you might remember that we opened the doors to a week long pop up shop in East London, all in a bid to raise some extra funds for our ethical scheme.

We were chuffed to raise over £5,000 – all of which was given directly to our charity partner, The Point Foundation to assist in their latest venture, of building a vocational training centre in one of the poorest regions in Rwanda.  As a quick recap – the additional funds meant we could fully support the build of a new project in Mwogo, Bugesers. As part of the Mwogo development plan, Point Foundation aimed to open a Vocational Training Centre by January 2019 – the centre will train vulnerable youngsters in valuable skills such as mechanics, tailoring, hairdressing and plumbing. Armed with these skills, they will be able to gain skilled jobs and raise themselves out of poverty.

When we caught up with Karen & Charles (co-founders of The Point Foundation, and all round amazing humans!) in January to see how it was all going, we were thrilled to hear that all refurbishments had all been completed!

That included: 

  • Restorations/renderings to all internal & external walls, ceilings, windows (including some new ones added).
  • Kitchen has been rebuilt & ready to cook school lunches.
  • New separate male/female latrines built with 4 drop toilets (2 each gender).
  • 10,000 rainwater tank installed.
  • Doors, windows & gates all made good & repainted
  • Building 4 classrooms, an office & storage rooms - plus some small bedrooms at the back of the complex which will be used by teachers so they can stay on site, as well as volunteers who we hope will be staying on skills sharing visits in the future.
  • Selecting the first 45 candidates. Point foundation is working with the local authorities & village leaders on this. Candidates have to meet various criteria, mostly those from the poorest environments and some with disabilities for instance.
  • Hiring two qualified teachers (1 hair & beauty, 1 tailoring).
  • A night watchman, school secretary, 2 cooks and 2 cleaners have been interviewed & approved.
  • TVET Uniforms are being made by disabled members of Ubumwe Community Centre.

 

Fast forward to February 11th and the centre opened with 23 students hoping to train in tailoring & 22 students training in hair & beauty. They will all spend the next 6 months learning & benefiting from a good lunch daily. In their recent trip to Rwanda, our co-founders, Nick & Louise were honoured to attend the opening ceremony. With over 500 guests (that's pretty impressive for such a rural village), including students, their families, local politicians and villagers - they put on an afternoon of wonderful entertainment, and created the most inspiring atmosphere. 

We really look forward to hearing all about the students progress, and we just wanted to say a big thank you to anyone that supported our pop up shop, or buys our everday brew (a percentage of which goes directly to The Point Foundation) – you really do make such a fab difference!   

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