Myanmar (also known as Burma) was ruled by a brutal military junta which violently oppressed and ultimately dispossessed minority ethnic groups like the Karen, the Chin and the Rohingya until recent years. Indefatigable democratizing forces saw victory in the form of a new constitution in 2011 and landmark elections in 2015 which resulted in the political party of Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi coming into power.
But the scars remain.
Generations of displaced peoples spent decades in refugee camps, some died there, some were born there. And now tens of thousands have been resettled to foreign lands. Many lost property. Nearly all lost loved ones. Fear and an abiding sense of hopelessness mark the minds of far too many.
Our Endiro family has had the opportunity to befriend many refugees from Burma for the past several years. We know them well and have exchanged many stories as we see much in common between the Ugandan and Burmese peoples.
Some of our friends have begun to venture back to the land of their mothers and fathers. They go to see if anything remains of houses and farms and relatives. They go with tears and something very similar to #hope.
And because they are our friends, we want to join them on this journey. As they embark on new rebuilding, restoration and reconciliation efforts, Endiro Coffee will, as usual, look to the cup, as a way to lend our support.
Recently in our brew lab, we roasted and cupped four coffees produced by farmers in Myanmar which have been able to attain specialty coffee grades due, in part, to the work of Atlas Coffee in that country. Two of those coffees are now on the way to our shops and are due to me online at Endiro soon.
We have been learning from Atlas about the projects in Myanmar and are very encouraged by their efforts to really help these communities to develop through coffee. Check out one of their recent reports here.
Now as we proceed to bring these coffees to market through our shops, we are in conversation with our friends from Burma in order to understand how coffee can best help their efforts to rebuild, reconcile, and restore their beloved nation. We will keep you posted on how these things develop. In the meantime, we hope you will enjoy a cup of some really delicious Burmese coffees and know that each one is helping to brew a better world!