From Conflict to Coffee
The Polus Center is working in partnership with the United States Government and other partners to build the Lake Kivu Coffee Alliance, a growing collective of coffee farmers in the DRC who have been injured and disabled by landmines and explosive remnants of war (ERW). To support this alliance, we have developed various victim assistance programs to improve human security and the socio-economic conditions of landmine/ERW survivors in the Lake Kivu region.
Building mutually beneficial links between the coffee industry and victim assistance projects is an important step toward helping victims of conflict improve their lives and lead more active roles within their communities.
Throughout coffee-growing sectors of the Lake Kivu region, explosives and remnants of war devastate the lives of coffee workers, their families and their communities. Mines and other devices not only kill or maim civilians but also prevent farmers from accessing water and arable land. Mines limit travel and impede farmers’ ability to bring their products to markets.
Providing prosthetics, rehabilitation services, vocational training, and improved accessibility is at the heart of the Polus Center mission. The development of an accessible Universal Design coffee cupping lab and training center is currently in progress that will address the newfound challenges faced by injured coffee producers.