Posted by Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on March 26th, 2008 at 12:37 pm
Local non-profit Bikes to Rwanda has launched a new effort to raise awareness and funds for their programs.
(Photo: Bikes to Rwanda)
Bikes to Rwanda was founded last year by Stumptown Coffee’s Duane Sorenson. Their mission is to provide cargo bikes to coffee farmers in Rwanda and to establish bike shops in the communities once the bikes are there.
Their new effort, dubbed “Baristas for Bikes” will launch at the upcoming Western Region Barista Competition being held in Berkeley, California at the end of March.
As part of “Baristas for Bikes,” baristas participating in the competition are being challenged to raise $120, the amount needed to purchase one bike (including shipping). Baristas that raise the money by March 30th will receive a limited edition T-shirt and then become eligible to win various prizes.
I asked Bikes to Rwanda Executive Director Clara Seasholtz why they decided to focus on baristas. She said, “As the first point of contact, the barista has a unique opportunity to reach the consumer and complete the full circle from coffee farmer, roaster, barista and the cup of coffee put in the hands of the customer.”
Clara plans to kick off the program at the upcoming competition and says that eventually, “we want it to spread out over the entire barista community all over the country.”
In 2007, Bikes to Rwanda sent 400 bikes and built one bike shop in Rwanda. They’re building a second shop now and their main objective for 2008 is to build more shops to support the bikes already in the country.
For a closer look at the work of Bikes to Rwanda, see this awesome video created by GOOD Magazine.