|"Want to ride to Rwanda?" That's the question mountain biker Tom Richey asked his cycling buddies in Cape Town, South Africa. The team set off last year on the 2,000-mile road trip north, part of an effort called Project Rwanda to provide coffee farmers with bicycles to transport their coffee beans.|
Richey, a cyclist and bicycle designer, began the project in 2005 when a friend invited him to tour Rwanda by bike. It was 11 years after the genocide, and Richey was so moved by the efforts of Rwandans to heal and reconcile that he decided to devote his life to helping them. He noticed that Rwandan coffee famers desperately needed help getting their beans to market. So he designed a special bike that has enough space to stack sacks of coffee beans.
Coffee farmers can now deliver their beans faster, and get paid a higher price for a fresher product. That's good news for farmers who produce Rwanda's number one export.