Have you tasted your coffee before?
“Yes. It’s disgusting. It tastes like medicine!”
What do you hope for your children?
“That someday they will have a life outside of poverty.”
It’s time for a woman’s voice to echo through this portrait series again. Elizabeth is one of the first farmers I remember meeting. She was carrying coffee cherries in a basket on her head into the washing station four years ago- one of our first farmers. She has given us gifts over the years of bananas and beans. It is hard to take Elizabeth’s gifts because we know that she is a widow with six children, but to refuse them would be the antithesis of living in community.
Elizabeth’s life is marked by the loss of her husband. She has had to become the sole provider for her six children since he was killed in the war. Unfortunately, in Burundi widows can loose their land to their husbands’ brother or other male family members after the death of their spouse. Here land is most family’s only lifeline. Thankfully Elizabeth has been able to retain ownership of her land on Gaharo hill and she’s still caring for her family’s 600 coffee trees.
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