War continues to pulse it’s reaching veins through lives and lands long after the guns stop ringing. For Espéciose, that means being the sole provider for her 6 children in one of the most poverty stricken nations on earth. Her husband was killed in the Burundian civil war that ended in 2006 and she has been farming coffee alone ever since. With just a meager 150 coffee trees, Espéciose farms multiple crops in order to feed her family.
It’s a 45 minute walk to the Long Miles Bukeye washing station from the small hand built brick home on Rugoma hill where Espéciose and her children live. She carries her ripe red coffee cherries in bags set atop the heads of herself and her children. She has never tasted the coffee she works so hard to grow, it’s far too precious to drink. “I work hard with one goal, staying healthy.” she says.
Espéciose’s story may sound a little bleak to you, but it is so much more than that. It is a story of resilience and survival. She has made a way for herself in a land where many would say survival is next to impossible. Espéciose is a community leader and a mother and a farmer, she is so much more than the labels of widow and poverty stricken, although she is those things too. Her challenges are evident, and so is her inspiration and resilience.
As our reach expands at Long Miles, we are searching for creative ways to improve the lives of widows, Espéciose included. We have some great plans under construction, but if you have… Ideas? Resources? Feel free to email us.