July 3, 2024 – Caring for People is one of the key pillars of Sucafina’s sustainability strategy – and it’s at the heart of our purpose: to create opportunities to improve lives. That’s why we are delighted to share a project implemented by our instant coffee team to expand a school in the Gatsibo District of Rwanda’s Eastern Province. By addressing key issues such as classroom overcrowding, the initiative is enhancing the quality of education for students at the school.

Groupe Scolaire Bushobora was constructed in 2021, initially with 23 classrooms. By November 2023, the school’s enrollment was 1,681 students (52% female) at both the primary and lower secondary levels, with an average of 73 students per classroom. To manage this congestion, the school introduced a morning and afternoon learning shift system. However, this system sometimes leads students to engage in external work or other activities outside of school, putting these students at higher risk of dropping out of school, unplanned pregnancies, and health issues.  

Reducing the number of students per classroom has been shown to improve teaching quality and overall education levels. Therefore, we have been working with Rwacof (our sister company in Rwanda) and Kahawatu Foundation to support the school with the construction of 6 new classrooms, a girls’ hygiene room, and a new toilet block. We also supplied 144 classroom desks – enough to accommodate 288 students.

The new classrooms will reduce the average number of students per classroom from 73 to 58 (or fewer). Additionally, the new toilets will improve hygiene levels by decreasing the number of students per toilet to an average of 40. Moreover, the girls’ hygiene room will help female students gain insight into reproductive health changes and challenges, thus increasing school attendance levels. Upon its completion and handover, Groupe Scolaire Bushobora will have one of the best girls’ hygiene rooms in Gatsibo District. 

Many students attending Groupe Scolaire Bushobora are children of farmers in our supply chain. This means that our project is not only enhancing learning, but it is also directly supporting our local coffee-growing communities – one of the main focuses of Sucafina’s Caring for People sustainability pillar.